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Abu Dhabi, Dubai Holidays 2016 – Dates UAE Public Holidays

Abu Dhabi, Dubai Holidays 2016 – Dates UAE Public Holidays

Dubai holidays – dates for UAE public holidays 2016. Note, exact days will vary according to the Islamic calendar.

UPDATE: The next holiday for the public and private sectors in the UAE will be Sunday 2nd September 2016 – the Islamic New Year.

Note: Islamic holidays that fall onto a weekend do not translate into holidays from work, or do not necessarily translate. This will be up to the discretion of your employer. If Eid falls on a weekend for example, there may be no actual holiday from work, although of course it remains a deeply religious event and celebration.

For official UAE school holidays go here.

Schools are usually treated as public sector entities which means they get longer holidays than private sector companies. This can cause some difficulty for parents in private sector companies that will have to find cover for their children. Eid for example, is usually a 5 day holiday for the public sector, and a 2 day holiday for the private sector.

If you are new to the UAE note that holidays that you have come to expect do not travel. If you’re from Europe or the US forget Labour Day, Thanksgiving, Easter or Christmas holidays – although do expect the telephone lines to go dead to Europe/US. If you’re from India, forget the likes of Diwali, but still expect the lights to come on across balconies across the emirates.

Note: Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, and Dubai holidays are consistent across the UAE.



Day Date – 2016 Occasion Holidays
Friday January 1 New Year’s Day       1
Thursday May 5 * Al Isra’a Wal Mi’raj – Ascension day       1
Wednesday June 6 * Ramadan expected to begin       0
Thursday July 7 * Eid Al Fitr       2
Saturday September 11th Arafat (Haj) Day       1
Sunday September 12th Eid Al Adha       3
Sunday October 2 * Al Hijri – Islamic New Year       1
Wednesday November 30 Martyr’s Day       1
Friday December 2 UAE National Day       1
Monday December 12* Milad Un Nabi – Birthday of Prophet Mohammad (PBUH)       1


Don’t miss…
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The Best Schools in Dubai
The Best Schools in Abu Dhabi


What the holidays mean…

Al Isra’a Wal Mi’raj is an Islamic holiday which is observed annually on the 27th day of the Islamic month of Rajab, according to the hijri calendar. The holiday marks the night Allah took Mohammad (PBUH) on a journey from Makkah to Jerusalem, and then to heaven. The journey was made in a single night, hence the name.

Eid Al Fitr means “festival of breaking the fast”. The holiday is a celebration which marks the end of Ramadan (which is forecast to begin on June 6). It is a time to show kindness to others and love for Allah.

Eid Al Fitr begins automatically after the last day of Ramadan, on the first day of Shawwal.

Arafat Day is the second day of the annual haj (or pilgrimage). The holiday takes place the day before the start of Eid Al Adha. At dawn, Muslim pilgrims make their way from Mina to a nearby hillside called Mount Arafat and a plain called the Plain of Arafat.

Eid Al Adha translates to the “festival of sacrifice”. The holiday honours Ibrahim and his willingness to sacrifice his son Ismail for Allah. Ismail is happy to oblige before Allah sends His angel, Jibra’il, to inform Ibrahim that He has already accepted the sacrifice.

Goats are sacrificed, and divided into three parts: one part for the family, one part for relatives, and one part for the poor. The holiday begins on the 10th day of Dhu Al Hijja – the last month of the hijri calendar.

Martyr’s day is a new public holiday and is fixed on November 30. The day was declared by His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, in 2015 to honour Emiratis who have died for their country.

The UAE’s National Day is fixed on December 2 each year. Although the UAE – or Trucial States as it was until 1971 – was never part of the British Empire, it was a British Protectorate. The protectorate treaty was withdrawn on December 1 1971, paving the way for the federal unification of the Trucial States.

Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Umm Al Quwain, and Fujairah made up the original UAE, with Ras Al Khaimah joining a year later in 1972. 2016 will be the UAE’s 45th birthday.

The birthday of Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) is celebrated on the 12th day of Rabi Al Awwal. In Arabic, the holiday is referred to as Eid Al Mawlid an Nabawi.


Don’t miss…
WSA Advice and Guides
The Best Schools in Dubai
The Best Schools in Abu Dhabi

1 Comment

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  1. waqar Hameed says
    January 25, 2014, 10:40 am

    Thanks ….
    to update us .. keep it up ..


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