UPDATE: Al Hijri New Year holiday for UAE public and private sector announced

The date has been confirmed for when workers will be given a holiday to mark the Islamic New Year

The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi. Tom Dulat / Getty Images
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All government and private sector employees will enjoy a three-day weekend this week as Thursday, September 21, will be a public holiday to mark Al Hijri new year.

Work will resume across both sectors on Sunday, September 24.

Saqr Ghobash, Minister of Human Resources and Emiratisation, made the announcement via an official circular on Tuesday and congratulated the country’s Rulers, government, people and residents on the occasion of the first day of the Hijri year 1439.

Hotels and restaurants will refrain from serving alcohol on Thursday and Friday, September 21 and 22, as the emirates mark Islamic New Year.

The occasion does not usually involve public celebrations or traditional events and is considered to be a day dedicated to faith, in which Muslims honour the beginning of Islam and reflect on the passage of time.

The new year marked the arrival of the Prophet Mohammed in Medina after he emigrated from Mecca, an occasion that led to the establishment of the first Muslim community based on Islamic teachings.

Known as the Hijra, the migration from Mecca to Medina marked the beginning of the Islamic era, or 1AH, in 622AD.

The Islamic year consists of 12 lunar months and is 10 to 12 days shorter than the Gregorian year.


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