UAE public holidays 2016: The days we’re likely to have off
A list of the expected dates for UAE public holidays next year has been released. However, due to the fact that most national holidays are based on the sighting of the moon, many of these dates are just tentative.
We’ll announce each holiday as it’s definitely confirmed by the government, but, in the meantime, here’s the best guess…
UAE PUBLIC HOLIDAYS 2016
Friday January 1 – New Year’s Day
This falling on a Friday means we’re unlikely to have an extra day off, we’ll let you know if that changes however.
Thursday May 5 – Al Isra’a Wal Mi’raj
If this falls on a Thursday, we’re likely to have a three-day weekend. The holiday marks the night that Mohammed (peace be upon him) travelled from Makkah to Jerusalem and then ascended to heaven.
Monday June 6 – Ramadan is expected to begin (it did begin then)
This won’t be a day off, but it will most likely be the first day of Ramadan. During Ramadan, UAE labour law stipulates that all workers are entitled to work two hours less each day (and yet still be compensated for a standard day, which according to labour law is eight hours).
Wednesday July 6 – Eid Al Fitr
This holiday celebrates the end of Ramadan, ‘the breaking of the fast’. This date may vary as the holiday’s declaration depends on a moon sighting. It is currently expected to fall on Wednesday July 6, and will mean two to three paid working days off.
Saturday September 10 – Arafat Day
This marks the second day of the annual pilgrimage or haj – the holiday depends on the moon sighting, but if it falls on September 10 as predicted, there is unlikely to be an extra day holiday for those who already have Fridays and Saturdays off.
Sunday September 11 – Eid Al Adha
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 Sunday September 11 and mean three days off (and therefore a five day weekend).
Sunday October 2 – Al Hijri
Islamic New Year in 2016 will mark the year 1437 – and, while the date may change, it’s likely to fall on Sunday October 2.
Wednesday 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, although the day off may sometimes change (as it did this year).
Friday December 2 – National Day
UAE National Day falls on December 2 every year, irrespective of the day. As it falls on a Friday in 2016 it’s likely a day off will be granted on the Thursday, meaning a four day weekend when paired with Commemoration Day.
2016 will mark the UAE’s 45th birthday (it will also be the year of Mark Wahlberg’s 45th birthday).
Monday December 12 – 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 Monday Decemer 12 in 2016 (this year the holiday has been announced for Thursday December 24, with a dry period from 5pm on December 22 until 6.30pm on December 23).