UAE public holidays - dates and explanations

Time Out has a full breakdown of UAE public holidays - dates and explanations, including Ramadan dates, Eid dates and UAE National Day

According to the Abu Dhabi government website, the UAE National Day holiday lasts for two days, Eid Al Fitr and Eid Al Adha are for three, and the others for one, although those in the public sector can often expect additional days to those working in the private sector.


- January 1: New Year's Day
- May 5: Israa and Miraj Night
- June 6: Ramadan expected to begin
- July 6: Eid Al Fitr
- September 2: Haj season
- September 10: Arafat Day
- September 11: Eid Al Adha
- October 2: Al Hijri, Islamic New Year
- November 30: Commemoration Day
- December 2 and 3: UAE National Day
- December 11: Prophet Muhammad's Birthday (PBUH)

January 1
New Year’s Day

Fixed on January 1, but celebrated the night before, it is the start of the new Gregorian year. For a decade, Dubai has been at the forefront of worldwide celebrations, breaking world records with its fireworks displays, and generally a hub of activity.

May 5*
Israa and Miraj (Ascension Day)
Observed on the 27th day of the Rajab. Israa and Miraj are the two parts of a Night Journey made by the Prophet Mohammad (PBUH).

June 6*
The start of the Holy Month of Ramadan, the most important time of year for the Islamic world.

July 7*
Eid Al Fitr
Roughly translated as "Festival of breaking the fast", it is the celebration to mark the end of Ramadan and the first day of Shawwal.

September 10*
Arafat Day

This is the second day of the annual hajj, known as the pilgrimage, and takes place the day before the start of Eid Al Adha.

September 11*
Eid Al Adha
Translated as the "Festival of sacrifice", it honours Ibrahim and his willingness to sacrifice his son Ismail for Allah. It begins on the 10th day of Dhu Al Hijjah.

October 2*
Al Hijri

Islamic New Year, which in 2016 will be 1437.

November 30
Commemoration Day
Also referred to as Martyrs' Day, it is a new public holiday that was announced in 2015 to commemorate Emiratis who have died in the service of their country. It is fixed on November 30.

December 2
UAE National Day
The UAE’s National Day is fixed on December 2, with holidays usually granted on both then and December 3. In 2016, the UAE will celebrate its 45th National Day.

December 12*
Prophet Muhammad's (PBUH) Birthday

Referred to in Arabic as Eid Al Mawlid an Nabawi, the birthday of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) is celebrated on the 12th day of Rabi Al Awwal.

*These dates are subject to the sighting of the moon and could change

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