You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

UAE public holidays 2023: Up to four long weekends ahead

The National logo The National 05/05/2023 The National
Fireworks light up the sky during Eid Al Fitr celebrations at Yas Island in Abu Dhabi. Victor Besa / The National © Provided by The National Fireworks light up the sky during Eid Al Fitr celebrations at Yas Island in Abu Dhabi. Victor Besa / The National

UAE residents can expect some significant differences in the holiday dates in 2023 — including some extra-long weekends.

After Eid Al Fitr, the UAE has three main holidays during the year: Arafat Day and Eid Al Adha, Hijri New Year and National Day, which includes Commemoration Day.

Eid Al Fitr began on Friday, April 21, after the Moon-sighting committee sighted the new crescent moon on Thursday, which meant that Shawwal, the tenth month of the Islamic calendar, would begin the following day.

The next break will be on Arafat Day and Eid Al Adha, where residents could get a break of up to six days. Like all other Islamic holidays, this will depend on the moon sighting.

Ibrahim Al Jarwan, chairman of Emirates Astronomy Society, said it is expected that Dhul Hijjah would start on Monday, June 19.

“It means that Eid Al Adha will likely be on Wednesday, June 28, and Arafat Day, which is one day before Eid, will be on Tuesday, June 27,” Mr Al Jarwan said.

In November, the UAE Cabinet confirmed the dates of the Emirates' holidays for public and private sectors.

The government announced in 2019 that private sector workers would have the same number of holidays as government employees.

At the time, it said the alignment aimed to achieve balance between the two sectors and support the national economy. Previously, public sector employees had more days off than private companies.

Four long weekends

The longest break in 2023 will be for Arafat Day and Eid Al Adha.

Arafat Day, the second day of the week-long Hajj pilgrimage, is expected to be on Tuesday, June 27, followed by Eid Al Adha, one of the most important days in the Muslim calendar. The three-day holiday for Eid Al Adha is expected to be from Wednesday, June 28, to Friday, June 30.

In total, residents could have a six-day break, as Eid Al Adha is set to be followed by the weekend.

The public holiday to mark Hijri New Year — Islamic New Year — falls on Friday July 21, which will mean another long weekend.

The Prophet Mohammed's birthday falls on Friday September 29, which also give residents a long weekend.

The holiday for National Day falls on Saturday December 2 and Sunday December 3, with the likelihood of another long weekend in store.

Remaining holidays for 2023

June 27: Arafat Day

June 28 to 30: Eid Al Adha

July 21: Islamic New Year

September 29: Prophet Mohammed’s birthday

December 2 and 3: UAE National Day

More from The National

The National
The National
image beaconimage beaconimage beacon