UAE public holidays for 2017 announced by Abu Dhabi Government

The list of 2017 public holidays for the UAE, released on the Abu Dhabi Government website, is subject to the moon sighting and may differ slightly from the date given.

Saudi Arabian men greet each other after Eid Al Fitr prayers at Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi. Christopher Pike / The National
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The Abu Dhabi Government has announced the list of public holidays planned for 2017.

“The following list shows the public holidays in the UAE for the year 2017. The official reference to determine Islamic occasions, such as the beginning of Ramadan or Haj, is the Hijri Calendar. It is based on the phases of the moon. Hence, the exact dates of Islamic events vary from one Gregorian year to another as they depend on the local sightings of the moon,” the announcement reads.

All federal ministries, public departments and institutions will be closed on the following holidays:

According to the website, the UAE National Day holiday will be two days, Eid Al Fitr and Eid Al Adha will be three days, and the others will be one day.

This page will be updated throughout the year, with the latest news as it is announced. Relevant dates for both the public and private sector in the UAE will be linked.

The holidays explained:

Israa wal Miraj Night

Known as the Prophet's Ascension or the Night Journey, Israa wal Miraj are the two parts of Prophet Mohammed's journey from Mecca to Jerusalem during a single night. He is said to have travelled on a winged horse before ascending to heaven to speak to God, who gave him instructions to take back to Muslims regarding the details of prayer. Learn more here

Muslims pray at Grand Sheikh Zayed Mosque during the Islamic high holiday Isra wal Miraj. Jaime Puebla / The National


Ramadan is the ninth month and the holiest for Muslims in the Islamic calendar. It is believed the Quran was revealed to Prophet Mohammed during Ramadan. During this month, Muslims do not consume any food or liquid between fair and maghrib prayers (at dawn and sunset), not even water.

Ramadan FAQs: All you need to know about the holy month in the UAE

People break their fast at the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi during Ramadan last year. Pawan Singh / The National

Eid Al Fitr

Is the festival of breaking the fast which celebrates the end of Ramadan. Eid Al Fitr falls on the first and second day of Shawwal and are the only two days Muslims are not permitted to fast.

Haj season

Haj is the annual Islamic pilgrimage to the holy city of Mecca which Muslims must carry out at least once in their lifetime, if they have means. It is one of the five pillars of Islam and involves a series of rituals and prayers aimed at erasing past sins.

Muslim pilgrims circle the Kaaba, Islam's holiest shrine, at the Grand Mosque in the Muslim holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia. Nariman El-Mofty / AP Photo

Arafat Day

The second day of the Haj pilgrimage when Muslims will make their way from Mina to a nearby hillside called Mount Arafat, where Prophet Mohammed is said to have delivered his last sermon. The day after Arafat Day is Eid Al Adha.

Muslim pilgrims pray on the Mountain of Mercy, on the Plain of Arafat. Nariman El-Mofty / AP Photo

Eid Al Adha

The festival of sacrifice is considered the holiest of the two Eids. On this day Muslims sacrifice a sheep or goat and distribute the meat to the needy in honour of Prophet Abraham who is said to have had his faith tested by God after he was told to sacrifice his son. Once he agreed, God intervened and put a sheep in his son’s place. Eid Al Adha is celebrated over four days.

Livestock trader Fazal Bakht says prices for local breeds have jumped with overseas animals in short supply. Mona Al Marzooqi / The National

Hijri New Year’s Day

The Islamic New Year, celebrated on the first of Muharram, is the first day of the lunar calendar year.

Commemoration Day

In August 2015, President Sheikh Khalifa announced that November 30 will be a national holiday to honour Emiratis who have fallen in the line of duty. The first Emirati serviceman to die in the line of duty was Salem Suhail bin Khamis, at the end of November in 1971, shortly before the UAE’s formation.

Members of the Armed Forces take part in a presentation for Commemoration Day at Wahat Al Karama, the monument in Abu Dhabi that honours those who have died while serving the country. Ryan Carter / Crown Prince Court - Abu Dhabi

UAE National Day

The anniversary of the federal unification of the Emirates in 1971, which was headed by the late founder of the UAE, Sheikh Zayed.

People celebrate National Day at the Union Car Parade on Yas Island. Silvia Razgova / The National