Dates for your diary… 

In the Islamic calendar, Arafat Day takes place approximately 70 days after Eid Al Fitr, and marks the second day of Hajj (pilgrimage to Mecca). This year, Arafat Day is expected to fall on Saturday, June 15; then the following day marks the start of Eid Al Adha.

It is the second and the largest of the two holidays celebrated in Islam. It falls on Dhul Hijjah 10 to 12, which, this year, is likely to correspond to Sunday, June 16 to Tuesday, June 18 as public holiday (but is dependent on the sighting of the moon). So, those who have a Saturday and Sunday weekend will have a four-day break with work resuming on Wednesday, June 19.

Because the Islamic Calendar is based on lunar months — it means that for these dates to be confirmed in the Gregorian calendar (the traditional January to December version), there has to be a sighting of the moon in a very specific phase. We will have to wait for confirmation on these dates closer to the time from UAE officials.

What is Eid Al Adha?

According to tradition, Eid Al Adha is held to honour Ibrahim’s willingness to sacrifice his son, after being instructed to do so by God. Prophet Ibrahim told his son of the dream, and the son then told his father to follow the order. But God intervened, sending a sheep to take his son’s place.

The occasion of Eid Al Adha is usually marked with a few days off for both the public and private sectors, however, as with any Islamic holidays, decisions are based on the phases of the moon, so we won’t know the exact dates until the moon has been officially sited.

When is the next public holiday in the UAE?

The next long weekend is a little way away yet. It will fall after the Holy Month of Ramadan, the first Eid holiday of the year – Eid Al Fitr.

If you’re wondering how many days off we’ll get for Eid al Fitr, the break runs from Ramadan 29 to Shawwal 3 on the Islamic Calendar (Hijri), which is likely to correspond to Monday, April 8 to Friday, April 12 in the Gregorian calendar. So, although we have to wait a little while for it. It’ll be worth the wait, as it could be a glorious nine-day break.

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