Image credit: Dubai Festival City Mall

Full list of public holidays for 2018 and their significance

Citizens and residents in UAE will enjoy up to ten public holidays this year although Islamic holidays may vary based on the phases of the moon.

Holiday Date(s) Day(s) No. of holiday(s)
Al Isra’a Wal Mi’raj(Ascension Day) April 13th Friday 1
Eid Al-Fitr June 15th and 16th Friday and Saturday 2
Arafat Day August 21st Tuesday 1
Eid Al-Adha August 22nd and 23rd Wednesday and Thursday 2
Al Hijri-Islamic New Year September 11th Tuesday 1
Prophet Muhammad’s (PBUH) birthday November 20th Tuesday 1
Commemoration Day November 30th Friday 1
UAE National Day December 2nd Sunday 1

Al Isra’a Wal Mi’raj(Ascension Day) on Friday, April 13th.

Marking the 27th day of the month of Rajab when Allah took Prophet Muhammad(peace be upon him) from Mecca to Jerusalem in one night and was then ascended to heaven, the day is celebrated for the completion of Muhammad’s journey.

Eid Al-Fitr on Friday and Saturday, June 15th and 16th.

Ending one month of the holy month of Ramadan, Eid Al-Fitr is one of the most celebrated holidays in UAE and will go on for two days. Although the festival will take place during the weekend, the dates may vary by a day or two by the phases of the moon.

Arafat Day on Tuesday, August 21st.

Happening on the second day of the week long Haj, Muslim pilgrims visit the Mount Arafat hill in Mina to the Mount of Arafat plain, performing prayers of Quran throughout the night, the reason being that Arafat was the last place where Muhammad gave his “farewell address”.

Eid Al Adha on Wednesday and Thursday, August 22nd and 23rd.

Literally, the phrase translates as ‘Festival of Sacrifice,’ where Allah honored Ibrahim for sacrificing his son, Ismail. To celebrate Ibrahim’s sacrifice, domestic animals like camel or goats are sacrificed, out of which 1/3rd is retained by the family, 1/3rd is given to relatives and 1/3rd is given to the poor. Also, the festival will be a long weekend a Arafat Day falls on a Tuesday, followed by Eid Al Adha on Wednesday and Thursday, followed by the weekend.

Al Hijri-Islamic New Year on Tuesday, September 11th.

Ending the year 1439 AH, this year’s Al Hijri will mark the start of a new decade, 1440 AH and it’s celebrated as Muharram, a time of remembrance and mourning throughout the first month. The date marks 1440 years since Prophet Muhammad migrated from Makkah to Madinah, dating back to 622 AD.

Prophet Muhammad’s birthay on Tuesday, November 20th.

Celebrated as Mawlid Al Nabi, the day is observed and celebrated as the birthday of Prophet Muhammad. On the lunar Islamic Calendar, it falls on the third month, on 12th Rabi’ ul-awwal. On the day, Prophet Muhammad is remembered for his dignity of humankind, integrity and trustworthiness.

Commemoration Day on Friday, November 30th.

Dedicated to Emirati Martyr’s, this day recognizes their efforts and sacrifices to protect the country. The annual Commemoration Day started in 2015 by His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, after 45 Emirati soldiers passed away during the ‘Operation Restoring Hope’ mission in Yemen.

UAE National Day on Sunday, December 2nd.

Celebrating 47 years since unification from the Trucial States, part of the British Protectorate in December 2, 1971, UAE’s National Day is a fixed date for holiday and it will be a long weekend this year, since it’s falling on a Sunday.

Public holiday dates may vary by a day or two based on the moon’s phases. We’ll keep you updated whenever an expected date is announced.