UAE workers given three-day weekend for Prophet's Birthday

Public and private-sector employees have day off on Thursday

Private sector workers across the UAE have been granted a day off this week to celebrate the Prophet Mohammed's birthday.

Thursday, October 29, will be a paid public holiday for government and private-sector staff, the Labour Ministry said.

Work will resume on Sunday, November 1.

Citizens and residents will have another extended weekend from Tuesday, December 1, when Commemoration Day is held in memory of Emiratis who died in the line of duty.

The public holiday, previously known as Martyrs Day, was initially observed on November 30 but was formally changed last year.

November 30 was chosen as the initial date, when the holiday was first declared in 2015, in honour of the first Emirati killed serving the UAE.

Salem bin Khamis Al Dahmani, a policeman, died on the Tunb Islands when Iran invaded them just before the UAE's Federation in 1971.

The Iranian soldiers demanded that Al Dahmani lower the UAE flag, and shot him dead when he refused.

Immediately after Commemoration Day, the public will have another two days off for National Day, beginning on December 2.

This year will mark the 49th year since the unification of the emirates.

The end of National Day celebrations see out the rest of the year, with the next holiday scheduled for January 1, 2021, to mark New Year.

Last year, the UAE Cabinet announced that people working in the public and private sectors would be granted the same number of leave days for official holidays.

Before that, those employed in the public sector were often entitled to more days off.

The decision was made to encourage Emiratis to move away from government jobs, where the vast majority of citizens work.