Residents can expect some significant differences in the holiday dates in 2023 — including some extra-long weekends.
After New Year’s Day, the UAE has four main holidays during the year: Eid Al Fitr; Arafat Day and Eid Al Adha; Hijiri New Year; and National Day — which includes Commemoration Day.
Ramadan began in the UAE on Thursday, after the Moon-sighting committee met at the Abu Dhabi Judicial Department after maghrib (sunset) prayers on Tuesday and announced it could not yet see a new crescent moon, meaning Ramadan would begin on Thursday.
The exact date of Ramadan can only be determined a night or two before the holy month begins because the Hijri calendar is based on moon cycles. The beginning of the month of Ramadan is determined by the sighting of a new crescent moon.
Based on current calculations, Eid Al Fitr — the festival that marks the end of Ramadan — is expected to be from Thursday, April 20 to Sunday, April 23.
In November, the UAE Cabinet confirmed the dates of the Emirates’ holidays for public and private sectors.
The government also announced in 2019 that private sector workers would have the same number of holidays as government employees.
At the time, the cabinet 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.
Five long weekends
It’s expected that Eid Al Fitr will be residents’ first of five expected 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 Hijiri New Year — Islamic New Year — falls on Friday July 21, which will mean another long weekend.
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
April 20 to 23: Eid Al Fitr
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
Updated: March 25, 2023, 10:59 AM