UAE’s 2024 Public Holidays: An Overview of Long Weekends and Breaks

UAE residents are in for a treat in 2024 as the country’s Cabinet recently announced a list of at least 13 public holidays. The good news doesn’t end there, with four of these occasions translating into extended weekends, the lengthiest of which offers a generous six-day break.

In addition to these public holidays, employees in the UAE can also enjoy up to 30 annual leaves in a year. Recent travel surveys have indicated that a significant number of expatriates residing in the UAE strategically utilize their annual leaves, combining them with public holidays to embark on trips to their home countries or opt for rejuvenating vacations closer to home, known as staycations.

The list of holidays, revealed on Tuesday, is predominantly based on the Islamic calendar. To assist in planning for 2024, the Hijri calendar published on the Dubai Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities Department (IACAD) website has been utilized to determine the corresponding Gregorian calendar dates.

Hijri calendar months can last either 29 or 30 days, depending on the sighting of the crescent moon. The specific dates for these holidays will be officially announced by relevant authorities closer to each occasion.

Highlights of the 2024 Public Holidays:

  1. Happy New Year – 3-Day Weekend: Kicking off the year, residents will enjoy a long weekend as January 1 falls on a Monday, providing a three-day break to welcome the new year.
  2. Eid Al Fitr – 6-Day Break: Celebrating the end of Ramadan, this Islamic festival grants a six-day break, including public holidays from Ramadan 29 to Shawwal 3. The duration varies depending on whether the month lasts 29 or 30 days.
  3. Arafah Day, Eid Al Adha – 5 Days Off: Arafah Day, considered the holiest in Islam, observed on Dhul Hijjah 9, is followed by the three-day celebration of Eid Al Adha. The extended weekend, including Saturday, results in a five-day break from Sunday, June 16, to Wednesday, June 19.
  4. Islamic New Year – 1-Day Holiday: Falling on Muharram 1, around July 7, this day offers a one-day break for those without a Sunday weekend.
  5. Prophet Muhammad’s (PBUH) Birthday: Celebrated on Rabi Al Awwal 12, the exact Gregorian date is not immediately clear.
  6. National Day – 4-Day Holiday: Wrapping up the year, December 2 and 3 fall on Monday and Tuesday, respectively. Combined with the Saturday-Sunday weekend, this results in a luxurious four-day holiday to conclude the year on a festive note.

As residents plan their calendars for the upcoming year, these public holidays provide ample opportunities to unwind, celebrate, and create lasting memories with family and friends.