Holidays are one of the most awaited time of the year. Whether you are a student or a full-time employee, everyone looks up the calendar to plan for the coming holiday season. Especially in a country like the UAE, where there are thousands of people working in big organizations, the holiday season becomes even more special.
However, as special as UAE public holidays are for the employees, it is equally important for the HRs. As a Human resources head, you are responsible for creating company leave policies according to the National holidays announced. Therefore, it is crucial to check the holiday calendar released by the government. To simplify your task, we have curated a list of public holidays in UAE for the year 2023. Read the blog to know all about the national holidays in uae.
Public Holidays in UAE (2023)
The UAE has always been one of the most popular cities around the world. Islam is the official religion followed by more than 90% of the people in the UAE. Therefore, most public holidays are based on Islamic culture and tradition. The UAE public holidays follows the Hijri calendar as the reference for determining important religious occasions such as Ramadan, Eid, and Hajj. Whether you are an employee planning for a vacation with family or an HR looking to set up company leave policies, our guide to 2023 public holidays in UAE will surely prove helpful to you.
|Jan 1||Sunday||New Year’s Day|
|Feb 18||Saturday||Israa & Miaraj Night|
|April 20- 23||Thursday- Sunday||Eid Al Fitr|
|Jun 27||Tuesday||Arafat Day|
|Jun 28-30||Wednesday – Friday||Eid Al Adha|
|Jul 21||Friday||Islamic New Year|
|Sep 29||Friday||Prophet Muhammad’s Birthday|
|Dec 1||Friday||Commemoration Day|
|Dec 2-3||Saturday – Sunday||UAE National Day|
Here are the details of UAE Public Holiday 2023:
New Year’s Day (Jan 1)
The UAE Ministry of Human Resource and Emiratization has declared January 1 as a holiday.
January 1 is a public holiday in UAE for both private and public sector employees. However, this year the holidays fall on Sunday, so there is no additional day off for the employee. The holiday is in line with the Cabinet decision of the UAE. Adding on to the celebrations the whole nation is set to see fireworks in UAE in order to mark the new beginnings and a new year. Also various parties, concerts and live shows are organized by residents in order to celebrate new beginnings.
Leilat al-Meiraj – The Prophet’s Ascension Day
Leilat al-Meiraj is an Islamic holiday celebrated to mark the night Allah took Prophet Muhammad on a journey from Makkah to Jerusalem and then to heaven. This holiday is celebrated according to the Hijiri calendar every year on the 27th day of the Islamic month of Rajab. The night of 27th is believed to be the night in which the beloved Prophet embarked the famous night journey also referred to as Israa and Miraj. The Prophet was blessed by Allah with a miracle that impacted the whole life of the Prophet.
Eid Al Fitr (April 20-23)
Eid Al Fitr is celebrated to mark the end of the holy month of Ramadan. On this occasion, people attend communal prayers and give Zakat al-Fitr (food in the form of charity). The holiday is celebrated as per the Islamic Hijri calendar, which is from 29 Ramadan to 3 Shawwal 1443. In 2023, these dates correspond to April 20 to 23. So, the employees can enjoy the four-day national holiday in celebration of Eid Al-Fitr in order to do fasting as per their ritual. The offices and schools will reopen from April 24. On the occasion of this festival Muslims congratulate each other on this auspicious occasion.
Arafat Day (June 27)
The next big public holiday is on the occasion of Arafat Day, which marks the second day of Hajj, or the pilgrimage. Arafat takes place roughly 70 days after Ramadan’s end and marks a long weekend’s start. In 2023, the Arafat holidays are expected to fall on Tuesday, June 27 till June 30. It marks a day of unity, spiritual reflection and supplication. Arafat is a mountain located near the city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia. It is the day when over 1,00,000 Muslims gather at a pilgrimage.
Eid Al Adha (June 27-30)
Eid Al Adha is celebrated after Arafat Day, marking the conclusion of the pilgrimage to Mecca. It is one of the two holiest holidays celebrated in Islam. Eid Al Adha is celebrated in honor of Ibrahim’s willingness to sacrifice his son at Allah’s command. Animals are sacrificed on this day as the feast of sacrifice. The family eats one-third of the meat, and the remaining is donated to the less fortunate.
The Eid Al Adha holiday falls on the Hijri calendar and dates Dhuj Hijjah 10 to 12, which corresponds to Wednesday, June 28 to 30. Paired with the Arafat Day holiday, employees with Saturday off can enjoy a six-day long weekend holiday. The four day holiday is considered as a paid holiday in the private sector in UAE. The decision was based on the Cabinet regarding all the national or public holidays in UAE.
Hijri New Year (July 21)
Hijri New Year marks the beginning of the new Islamic year 1445. It falls on Friday, July 21, 2023, so if you have Saturday off, you can get a three-day long weekend. The official holiday for Islamic year will be on July 21, confirmed by MOHRE. Hirji on New Year marks the day on which the Prophet migrated from Makkah to Madinah and is on July 19. The Islamic Calendar is lunar, that’s why it does not correspond with the Gregorian calendar.
Prophet Mohammad’s Birthday (29 September)
The Prophet Mohammad’s birthday is celebrated on the 12th day of Rabi Al Awwal. In the United Arab Emirates, this day is a national holiday. In 2023, it falls on September 29, so employees with Saturday off can get 3-day holidays. Commonly known as “Milad un Nabi” it is observed as a public holiday in most of the countries as it marks the anniversary of the birth of the founder of Islam and proclaimer of the Quran. The date of this festival may vary every year as Islamic calendar is based on the lunar cycle. The calendar of Islam is 11 days shorter than the Gregorian Calendar.
Finally, the public holidays in UAE end in December, with Commemoration day and National day falling on December 1, 2 and 3, respectively.
On December 1, Commemoration Day is a public holiday to salute the martyrdom of Emirates heroes who lost their lives defending the nation’s sovereignty. This festival is mainly celebrated to pay a tribute to the people who have sacrificed their life in war. The day honors sacrifices of all the heroes including the first Emirati martyr, Salem Suhail bin Khamis who gave up his life during the Greater Tunb, fighting Iran forces.
UAE National Day (December 1-3)
After Commemoration Day, UAE celebrates National Day on December 2 and 3. It was declared in 1968 and also falls on the anniversary of federal unification of six emirates. On this day, the nation celebrates its independence from the British by hosting a number of cultural festivals and dances. Fireworks and dance shows are the common activities organized on this day. Palm trees are decorated with the lights from the colors of the flag.
So these are the public holidays in UAE 2023. Whether you are an employee working in a fast-paced startup or a multinational company, public holidays are the perfect time to celebrate with your friends and family.
All the public holidays mentioned in this blog are applicable to all the employees and residents of the United Arab Emirates. So, if you are looking to plan a vacation with your family, there is no need to look at your calendar. Furthermore, If you are an HR looking to simplify their leaves and attendance management process, you can rely upon Zimyo.
Zimyo is the best HR software in UAE that helps organizations of all sizes automate their day-to-day HR operations and improve the employee experience. Our robust attendance management system enables organizations to create flexible leave policies and monitor the attendance of employees to run payroll smoothly. Schedule a demo to empower your organization with the best HR software.
Also Read: List of National and Restricted Holidays in India 2023