UAE Public & National Holidays

Public & Private Holidays in the UAE (United Arab Emirates) are announced by the government at the beginning of every new year. The Hijri calendar is the official reference to determine the Islamic occasions in the region; dates such as the beginning of Ramadan, Eid or Hajj, all of which are determined based on the sighting of the moon. As a result, the exact dates of these Islamic events vary each year.

The 2021 UAE public holidays list is an official reference for people to determine special occasions in the Islamic calendar, as well as dates that are designated for celebrating other important events in the Gregorian calendar. Workers in the public sector can expect more days off during the year in comparison with those companies and employees in the private sector. As these public holidays, commonly known as bank holidays, are paid, they will not count towards an employee’s annual leave.

With our guide on the 2021 public holidays in the UAE, you can stay up-to-date with all the long weekends and holidays in the upcoming year and plan your out-of-country trips well in advance!

Some of the major public and private sector UAE holidays include Eid Al Fitr, Eid Al Adha and the UAE National Day. These holidays will see many residents leave the country for short vacations.

During the winter break, schools in the UAE usually have a three-week academic holiday for students, while the academic staff will receive two weeks off. Students at most schools will also get a two-week holiday around March or April for their annual spring break. The longest school holidays in the country are the summer holidays when students receive a seven-week break (with six weeks for staff) which currently also coincides with Ramadan and Eid Al Fitr.

All public departments, institutions and federal ministries across the country will be closed on the following public holidays in 2020.

SEE ALSO: Dubai School Holidays 2020 (Full List)

**This page will be updated throughout the year, with the latest dates as it is announced.

UAE Public Holidays 2021

DateWeekdayHoliday name
Jan 1FriNew Year’s Day
Mar 10 – 11Sat – SunLeilat al-Meiraj (The Prophet’s Ascension)
Apr 13TueRamadan begins
May 12*WedEid-al-Fitr (End of Ramadan)
May 13 – 15*Thu – SatEid-al-Fitr
Jul 18 – 19*Sun – MonArafat (Haj) Day
Jul 19 – 22*Mon – ThuEid-al-Adha (Feast of Sacrifice)
Aug 12ThuAl-Hijra (Islamic New Year)
Oct 21ThuMouloud (The Prophet’s Birthday)
Dec 1WedCommemoration Day
Dec 2ThuNational Day
Dec 31FriNew Year’s Eve

School Holidays – Academic Calendar 2020 / 2021

Dubai Private Schools (Foreign Curriculum)
Aug 30, 2020Beginning of academic year
Dec 13, 2020 – Jan 3, 2021Winter vacation for students (3 weeks)
Jan 3, 2021Resumption of study
Feb 14 – 18, 2021Half term break
Mar 28, 2021Spring vacation for students (2 weeks)
Apr 15, 2021Resumption of study
Jul 1, 2021End of students’ attendance
Jul 1, 2021End of the Academic body attendance
186Number of school days (with examination days)
Dubai Private Schools (Starting in April)
Apr 1, 2020Start of academic year
Jul 5, 2020Summer break begins
Aug 30, 2020Return from summer break
Dec 13, 2020Winter break begins
Jan 3, 2021Return from winter break
Mar 14 – Apr 1, 2021End of academic year
Apr 4, 2021New academic year begins
Dubai Public and Private Schools (Ministry of Education Curriculum)
2020/2021 Academic Year
Aug 29, 2021Beginning of academic year
Dec 12 – Dec 31, 2020Winter vacation
Mar 28 – Apr 15, 2021Spring vacation
188Number of school days (with examination days)
2021/2022 Academic Year
Aug 29, 2021Beginning of academic year
Dec 12 – Dec 30, 2021Winter Vacation
Mar 27, 2022 – Apr 14, 2022Spring vacation
186Number of school days (with examination days)

Here are details of the UAE Public Holidays:

New Year’s Day (Jan 1)
New Year’s Day which is on January 1, marks the start of the year in the Gregorian calendar.

Al Isra’aWalMi’raj – Ascension Day
Al Isra’a Wal Mi’raj is an Islamic holiday that is observed annually on the 27th day of the Islamic month of Rajab, according to the Hijiri calendar. The holiday marks the night Allah took Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) on a journey from Makkah to Jerusalem, and then to heaven.

Ramadan (Apr 12)
Ramadan is the ninth month in the Hijri calendar. The first day of Ramadan is just after the 29th or the 30th day of Shaaban and is subject to moon sighting. It is observed by Muslims worldwide as a month of fasting to commemorate the first revelation of the Holy Quran to Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).

Eid Al Fitr (May 12)
Eid-al-Fitr is the first day of the Islamic month of Shawwal. It marks the end of Ramadan, which is a month of fasting and prayer. Muslims attend communal prayers, listen to a khutba (sermon) and give zakat al-fitr (charity in the form of food) during Eid al-Fitr.

Arafat (Haj) Day (Jul 18)
It is the second day of the Hajj pilgrimage. At dawn of this day, Muslim pilgrims will make their way from Mina to a nearby hillside and plain called Mount Arafat.

Eid Al Adha (Jul 19)
Eid al-Adha (Festival of the Sacrifice), is the second of two Muslim holidays celebrated worldwide each year, and considered the holiest of the two. It honors the willingness of Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham) to sacrifice his son, as an act of submission to Allah’s command, before Allah intervened, through his angel Jibra’il (Gabriel) and informs him that his sacrifice has already been accepted. The meat from the sacrificed animal is preferred to be divided into three parts. The family retains one-third of the share; another third is given to relatives, friends and neighbors; and the remaining third is given to the poor and needy.

Al Hijri – Islamic New Year (Aug 9)
Islamic New Year is the day that marks the beginning of a new Islamic calendar year. It is the day on which the year count is incremented. The first day of the year is observed on the first day of Muharram, the first month in the Islamic calendar.

Milad Un Nabi – Birthday of Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) (Oct 18)
Muslims observe the Prophet Mohammed’s (PBUH) birthday on the 12th day of the Islamic month of Rabi’ al-awwal.

Commemoration Day (Nov 30)
Martyrs’ Day is observed in the UAE on November 30 every year to salute the martyrdom of Emirati heroes who lost their lives defending the sovereignty of the nation.

UAE National Day (Dec 2)
National Day is celebrated on 2nd December each year in the United Arab Emirates. It marks the UAE’s formal nationalization and the eventual, federal unification of the seven emirates in 1971 which combined to form the modern-day country, headed by the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the federation’s first president.

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UAE Public & National Holidays

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