Great news: There are two potential long weekends in September…
Yes, most national holidays in the UAE are based on the sighting of the moon, so we don’t know exactly what days we’re going to have off in the rest of 2017, but here’s a general guide to the final long weekends and public holidays coming up in 2017.
We’ll announce each holiday as it’s definitely confirmed by the government, but, in the meantime, here’s our very best guess…
THE REST OF THE HOLIDAYS IN 2017
Thursday August 31 – Arafat Day
This marks the second day of the annual pilgrimage or haj – the holiday depends on the moon sighting, but it’s strongly predicted that it will fall on Thursday August 31, so this will mean yet another long weekend in the UAE. And it will be directly followed by…
Friday September 1 – Eid Al Adha (two days off)
This holiday honours Ibrahim’s willingness to sacrifice his son Ismail (which is why goats are symbolically sacrificed over this period). While the date could change due to the moon sighting, the holiday is likely to fall on Friday September 1. It traditionally means two days off, which, when combined with Arafat Day, could mean a four day weekend. So it’s likely we’ll have Thursday 31, Friday 1, Saturday 2 and Sunday 3 as paid days off (whether we’ll get Monday too we’re not yet sure).
Thursday September 21 – Al Hijri
Islamic New Year in 2017 will mark the year 1438 – and, while the date may change, it’s likely to fall on Thursday September 21, making it the second long weekend in September. Some are predicting, however, that it will fall on Friday September 22.
Thursday November 30 – Commemoration Day
Formerly referred to as Martyr’s Day, this new holiday honours the Emiratis who have died while protecting their country. It will always fall on November 30, last year it fell on a Wednesday but we didn’t get that specific day off (we instead got a combined day off for this and National Day). But we’re likely to get Thursday November 30 off as it falls on the same day as the next official public holiday…
Thursday November 30 – The birthday of Prophet Mohammed (PBUH)
The date of this holiday is called by the moon-sighting committee, but it is predicted to fall on Thursday November 30 in 2017 – the same day as Commemoration Day. This will likely mean a four day weekend when combined with National Day.
As the Prophet’s birthday is a lunar holiday, this will likely be the only year that it coincides with Commemoration Day.
Saturday December 2 – National Day
UAE National Day falls on December 2 every year, irrespective of the day. As it falls on a Saturday in 2017 it’s likely a day off will be granted on the Sunday (maybe as a combined public holiday with Commemoration Day and/or the birthday of Prophet Mohammed). When releasing the official list of public holidays in 2017, the government wrote down National Day as December 2/3, perhaps acknowledging that the Sunday will be off.
2017 will mark the UAE’s 46th birthday.