5 UAE Public Holidays in 2024

Rest is rejuvenating, especially when done with an awareness that it’s official.

About 85% of UAE workers – both in the government and private sectors are on tippy toes for the official announcement of the UAE public holidays in 2024.

If you’re anything like them, you can’t wait to see your favorite leisure parks and hang out with family and friends.

However, as a 90% Islamic state, holidays in the UAE are based on the Hijri – the Islamic calendar. That’s to say these holidays are an observation of the holy days in the Islamic faith.

According to the Dubai Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities Department (IACAD) website – the UAE will experience about 13 official holidays in 2024 – depending on when the crescent moon is spotted.

Out of the 13 anticipated holidays in the UAE, here are 5 important rests you should bookmark and plan for.

5 UAE Public Holidays in 2024

While we await the date unveiling of more holidays, here are some known UAE Public Holidays in 2024:

#1. January 1, Monday New Year’s Day 

the UAE Ministry of Human Resource and Emiratisation declared January 1 a public holiday in the UAE for both government and private workers. 

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The holiday was experienced on Sunday – on the Gregorian calendar. While it was worth it, there was no extended day off for workers.

The fun was that families were encouraged to view fireworks to mark a new year.

Some people went creative attending various parties, concerts, and live shows organized by residents to celebrate new beginnings.

#2. Leilat al-Meiraj, the Prophet’s Ascension Day 

The Leilat al-Meiraj marks the night Allah inspired Prophet Muhammad to journey from Makkah to Jerusalem and then to heaven.

The Hijri calendar marks this day to be on the 27th day of the Islamic month – Rajab.

It was on the 27th Eve that the holy prophet began his night journey also known as Israa and Miraj.

History had it that it was a moment of miracle and impacted the life of the prophet.

#3. April 8- 11, Monday- Thursday Eid Al Fitr

Eid Al Fitr is celebrated, marking the end of the holy month of Ramadan.

This is when you attend communal prayers and give food as a sign of love to your neighbor. In Islam, this practice is called Zakat al-Fitr.

According to Hijri, Eid Al Fitr begins from 29 Ramadan to 3 Shawwal 1443. In the Gregorian calendar, these dates match April 8 to 11, 2024.

You now have a 4-day national rest – however, it’s one marked with a series of fasting and then an auspicious occasion. All work will resume on April 12.

#4. June 15, Saturday Arafat Day

70 days after Ramadan starts the occasion of Arafat– another big day in the history of Islam.

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Arafat is a mountain situated in proximity to the holy city of Mecca.

In Islam, Arafat is a moment of spiritual reflection and supplication – a day to honor the memories of over 100,000 faithful in the month of Arafat.

As predicted by the astronomers, Arafat falls on Tuesday, June 15 till June 16.

#5. Hijri New Year (July 7)

While the Gregorian calendar marks 1 January as the actual new year, the Hijri new year marks July 7, 2024, for the Islamic new year– that is on a Friday.

It’s an extended weekend rest; if you have Saturday off, then adding Sunday leaves you with 3 days of rest.

Hirji reminds the Muslims of when the Prophet traveled from Makkah to Madinah which happened to be on July 19.

FAQs 

#1. What kind of calendar does Islam use?

Muslims used the Islamic calendar. The native name is Hijri and it is fondly called the lunar calendar. Islam uses the lunar calendar to observe and determine religious events and happenings. As a lunar calendar, it runs on 12 moon activities, a new month begins when a new moon is spotted.

#2. Do Muslims use the same calendar as Christians?

Muslims use the lunar calendar. Christians use the Gregorian solar calendar. The solar calendar has its origins in medieval Western Christianity. Most places in the world operate with the Gregorian solar calendar to determine working days and to determine a calendar year.

While a month has 29 or 30 in the lunar calendar, the solar calendar can have a variety of measurements.

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#3. When is the Prophet Mohammed’s birthday?

The holy prophet Mohammed was born on 12 Rabiulawal (29 August 570 CE) which is the third month of the Muslim calendar.

Conclusion

These and about 9 more UAE Public Holidays in 2024 make up to 13 rest days for the UAE. Each of these moments is hollowed for the people of the UAE and Islam at large.

Islam uses the lunar calendar which requires some level of astronomy to match up with the Gregorian calendar. That’s why both calendars don’t tally.

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