UAE Holidays (2019 – 2020)

List of Public UAE Holidays 2019-2020

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 the rest of the year 2019?
Or maybe you want to plan upcoming UAE holidays for 2020?

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 (2019).

Without further ado, here is the list of UAE holidays for 2019 that applies to public sectors and private sectors:

UAE Public Holidays 2019

Holiday NameDateWeekdayDuration (Days)
New Year's DayJanuary, 1Tuesday1
Leilat al-Meiraj (The Prophet’s Ascension)April, 3Wednesday1
Eid-al-Fitr (End of Ramadan)June, 4Tuesday1
Eid-al-Fitr HolidayJune, 5-6Wednesday - Thursday2
Arafat Day (Haj Day)August, 10Monday1
Eid Al Adha (Festival of Sacrifice)August, 11-13Sunday - Tuesday3
Hijri New Year (Islamic New Year)August, 31Saturday1
Mawlid (The Prophet’s Birthday)November, 9Saturday1
Commemoration DayNovember, 30Saturday1
National DayDecember, 2-3Monday - Tuesday2
New Year's EveDecember, 31Tuesday1

And as promised here is also the list of UAE holidays for 2010:

UAE Public Holidays 2020

Holiday NameDateWeekdayDuration (Days)
New Year's DayJanuary, 1Wednesday1
Eid-al-Fitr HolidayMay, 23 or 24Saturday or Sunday4-5
Arafat Day (Haj Day)July, 29 or 30Wednesday or Thursday1
Eid Al Adha (Festival of Sacrifice)July, 30 or 31Thursday or Friday3
Hijri New Year (Islamic New Year)August, 19 or 20Wednesday or Thursday1
Mawlid (The Prophet’s Birthday)October, 28 or 29Wednesday or Thursday1
Commemoration DayDecember, 1Tuesday1
UAE National DayDecember, 2-3Wednesday - Thursday2
New Year's EveDecember, 31Thursday1

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

  • New Year (Gregorian New Year): 1 January
  • 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* in 2019
  • Commemoration Day: 1 December
  • National Day: 2 and 3 December (2 days).

Reference: Gulfnews. 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. 

2020 will be the UAE’s 49th 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.

What about the schools holidays in Dubai?

School Holidays 2019 – 2020

Here is a list of public holidays for private and public schools in Dubai for both years 2019 and 2020:

Dubai Private Schools (Foreign Curriculum) 2019 – 2020

Aug 25, 2019Beginning of attendance of the Academic body
Sep 01, 2019Beginning of the Students’ attendance
Dec 15, 2019 – Jan 02, 2020Winter vacation for students (3 weeks)
Jan 05, 2020Resumption of study
Mar 29, 2020Spring vacation for students (2 weeks)
Apr 09, 2020Resumption of study
Jul 02, 2020End of students’ attendance
Jul 09, 2020End of the Academic body attendance

Dubai Private Schools (Starting in April) 2019 – 2020

Apr 1, 2019Start of the academic year
Jun 30, 2019Summer break begins
Sep 1, 2019Return from summer break
Dec 15, 2019Winter break begins
Dec 29, 2019Return from winter break (Option 1: Return on Sunday, Dec 29, 2019 (2 weeks)
Jan 5, 2020Return from winter break (Option 2: Return on Sunday, Jan 5, 2020 (3 weeks)
Jan 12, 2020Return from winter break (Option 3: Return on Sunday, Jan 12, 2020 (4 weeks)
Mar 15 – 19, 2020End of the academic year
Apr 1, 2020The new academic year begins 2020/2021

Dubai Public and Private Schools (Ministry of Education Curriculum) 2019 – 2020

First Semester
Aug 25, 2019Beginning of attendance of the Academic body
Sep 1, 2019Beginning of the Students’ attendance
Dec 15, 2019 – Jan 09, 2020Winter vacation/students (20) working days (4) weeks
Dec 22, 2019 – Jan 02, 2020Winter vacation/ Academic body (10) working days /two weeks
Second Semester
Jan 01, 2020Beginning of attendance of the Academic body
Jan 12, 2020Beginning of the Students’ attendance/ Resumption of study
Mar 29, 2020 – Apr 09, 2020Spring vacation/students (10) working days /two weeks
Mar 29, 2020 – Apr 02, 2020Spring vacation/ Academic body (5) working days, a week
Third Semester
Apr 05, 2020Beginning of attendance of the Academic body
Apr 12, 2020Beginning of the Students’ attendance/ Resumption of study
Jul 02, 2020End of the Students’ attendance
Jul 09, 2020End of the Academic body attendance (30) working days (6) weeks

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 lists? Please leave a comment if you have any suggestion or a question 🙂

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