2016 UAE Public Holidays Revealed



The 2016 UAE public holidays have been already scheduled. People working in the public sector can expect more days off than those in the private sector. All public holidays are paid, and do not affect employee’s annual leave. On the table below, yo can see the exact dates, but some are subject to change in accordance with moon sighting.

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 10 * Arafat (Haj) Day       1
Sunday September 11 * Eid Al Adha       3
Sunday October 2 * Al Hijri – Islamic New Year       1
Wednesday November 30 Commemoration Day       1
Friday December 2 UAE National Day       2
Monday December 12* Milad Un Nabi – Birthday of Prophet Mohammad (PBUH)       1

January 1 – New Year

As every year, the New Year’s Day is on January 1 and celebrates the dawn of the new Gregorian year. The UAE joins the global party with fireworks, parades, and parties.

In 2016, New Year’s Day falls on a Friday, so it is unlikely that an additional day off work will be granted.

May 5 – Al Isra’a Wal Mi’raj

Al Isra’a Wal Mi’raj is an Islamic holiday which is observed annually on the 27thday of the Islamic month of Rajab, according to the hijri calendar. The date is subject to moon-sighting and could change.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.

In 2016, as far as the Gregorian calendar is concerned, the holiday falls on Thursday May 5. UAE workers can expect a long weekend.

July 7 – Eid Al Fitr

Roughly translated, 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. In 2016 it is predicted to begin on Thursday July 7. Holidays vary between two and three days, so expect a long weekend.

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.

Although a single day off is granted, in 2016 it falls on a Saturday, so those with a full weekend off already won’t likely benefit from further time off work.

September 11 – Eid Al Adha

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.

In 2016, Eid Al Adha is forecast to begin on Sunday September 11. Usually lasting for three days, it is very likely that some workers will get the entire week off.

October 2 – Islamic New Year

Al Hijri is the Islamic New Year. Expected to fall on Sunday October 2 in 2016, it is likely that workers in the UAE will enjoy a long weekend.

In 2016, the new Islamic year will be 1437.

November 30 – Commemoration Day

Commemoration Day (sometimes referred to as 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 remembrance will fall on a Wednesday in 2016 and a single day off work will be granted.

December 2 – UAE National Day

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.

One or two days are granted as public holidays, and as December 2 is a Friday, it is possible that workers could receive a long weekend.

December 12 – Prophet Mohammad’s (PBUH) 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.

In 2016, December 12 is forecast to fall on Monday. A day off work is granted, but it could be moved to Sunday to create a long weekend.


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