UAE Holidays (2021)

List of UAE Public Holidays 2021

This UAE holidays list is the official reference to every public occasion according to the Islamic calendar (Hijri Calendar) and other special dates of important events.

At the beginning of every year, the government of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) announces the list of all public holidays in the UAE.

Hijri Calendar

The Hijri calendar is the official reference for Islamic occasions, such as the first day of Ramadan, Eid Al Fitr, Eid Ul Adha or Hajj. Even the prayer times are calculated according to the days of this calendar.

The Hijri (Islamic) calendar is based on the moon phases; hence the dates of Islamic events are not the same every year on the Gregorian calendar as it depends on the moon sighting.

Table of contents:

UAE Holidays

Do you want to plan for upcoming UAE holidays for 2021? It’s exactly why we gathered all up-to-date UAE holidays here for you whether you’re working in the public or private sector 🙂

But it’s important to mention this…
In case you didn’t know…

Back in the days, employees working in the public sector could expect more days off than those in the private sector.

But now and since the 5th of March 2019, it’s been officially announced by the UAE cabinet that UAE holidays for the public and private sector now have equal leaves.

Great! Isn’t it?

They said the decision was made to keep both sectors balanced in the number of official public holidays in UAE.

On a side note, UAE public holidays are paid and may not count in the annual leaves of the employee.

Note that all public departments, federal ministries, and public institutions will be closed on the following UAE public holidays.

Without further ado, here is the list of UAE holidays for 2021 that applies to public sectors and private sectors:

UAE Public Holidays 2021

Holiday NameDateWeekdayDuration (Days)
New Year's DayJanuary, 1Friday1
Eid-al-Fitr HolidayMay, 13-15Thursday, Friday, Saturday3
Arafat Day & Eid Al Adha (Festival of Sacrifice)July, 19 - 22Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday4
Hijri New Year (Islamic New Year)August, 10Tuesday1
Commemoration Day & National DayDecember, 1-3Wednesday, Thursday, Friday3

The above are tentative days and may change depending on the moon sighting. Also, the UAE authorities have not yet released the official holiday list

Islamic holidays are based on Hijri calendar, here’s how they’re sighted according to the Hijri calendar:

  • Eid Al Fitr: From the last day of the Islamic month of Ramadan to 3 Shawwal* (4 days)
  • Eid Ul Adha (Feast of Sacrifice) & Arafah day:  From 9 to 12 Dhu al Hijjah* (4 days)
  • Hijri New Year (Islamic New Year): 1 Muharram*

Reference: KhaleejTimes. We keep our sources updated according to public announcements in Dubai and UAE.

Definitions of Public Holidays in UAE

New Year’s Day 

It’s the first day of the New Year in Gregorian calendar (Which is the new year in almost the whole world)

Ascension Day (Al Israa Wal Mi’raj)

It’s the night that Allah took Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) on a journey from Makkah to Jerusalem, and then to heaven; hence the name Ascension Day.

Ramadan (Ramzan): 

Ramadan is the name of the ninth month in the Hijri calendar. According to the moon sighting, Ramadan comes after the 29th or the 30th day of the month before ‘Shaaban’.

For Muslims around the world, Ramadan is the month of fasting in order to commemorate the first revelation of the Holy Quran to Prophet Muhammad.

Eid Al Fitr:

Eid Al Fitr holiday marks on the first day of the Hijri month of Shawwal. It’s exactly after the last day of Ramadan. 

During Eid Al Fitr, Muslims globally break the fast, attend prayers, listen to a sermon (Khutba) and give out alms (Zakat Al Fitr).

Arafat Day (Hajj Day):

The second day of Hajj pilgrimage. At the dawn of Arafat Day, Muslims pilgrims make their way from Mina to a nearby hillside and plain called Mount Arafat.

Eid Ul Adha: (Festival of the Sacrifice)

Eid Ul Adha holiday is celebrated by Muslims worldwide every year. It is considered the holiest Eid (Day) for Muslims.

It honors the Prophet Ibrahim’s (Abraham) willingness to sacrifice his own son as an act of submission to Allah’s command before Allah intervened through the angel Gabriel (Jibrail) and informs Ibrahim that his sacrifice had already been accepted. 

Muslims sacrifice animals and divide the meat into three parts. One part for the family and one for the relatives, friends, and neighbors; and the remaining third is given to the needy and poor.

Islamic New Year (Al Hijri New Year)

The first day of the beginning of a new Hijri calendar. It’s observed on the first day of the first Hijri month Muharram.

Commemoration Day 

It’s the Martyrs’ Day and it’s observed in the UAE on the first of December of every year to salute the martyrdom of Emirati martyrs who gave their lives defending the nation.

Prophet Muhammad’s Birthday (Al Mawlid Al Nabawi)

It’s not a public UAE holiday.

Muslims observe the Prophet Mohammed’s (PBUH) birthday on the 12th day of the Islamic month of Rabi’ Al-Awwal. 

UAE National Day:

Marking the UAE’s federal unification of the seven emirates in 1971 which formed the United Arab Emirates today, headed by the first president of the federation, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan.

Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Umm Al Quwain, and Fujairah formed the United Arab Emirates, with Ras Al Khaimah joining later in 1972. 

2021 will be the UAE’s 50th birthday.

The official theme of the UAE’s National Day is Spirit of the Union.

UAE National Day is celebrated on the 2nd December every year and holiday is on 2nd and 3rd of December.

We keep on updating the holidays’ fixed dates, so please make sure to revisit the page whenever a holiday is coming soon.

Do you like our UAE public Holidays list for 2021? Please leave a comment if you have any suggestion or a question 🙂

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