What are the national public holidays for the United Arab Emirates in 2019?
UAE Public Holidays 2019
|Monday||November 19 (2018)||The Prophet Mohammed’s Birthday|
|Friday||November 30 (2018)||Commemoration Day|
|Sunday||December 2 (2018)||UAE National Day|
|Tuesday||January 1, 2019||New Year’s Day|
|Wednesday||April 3*||Al Isra’a Wal Mi’raj|
|Monday||May 6*||Ramadan begins|
|Thursday||June 6*||Eid Al Fitr|
|Sunday||August 11*||Arafat Day|
|Monday||August 12*||Eid Al Adha|
|Sunday||August 31*||Al Hijri – Islamic New Year|
|Sunday||November 10||The Prophet Mohammed’s Birthday|
|Saturday||November 30||Commemoration Day|
|Monday||December 2||UAE National Day|
*Note: dates of religious holidays are subject to change. Please always wait until the dates have been confirmed before booking. The dates above are based purely on forecasts and dates released by the Abu Dhabi government.
New Year’s Day – Tuesday, January 1
This is one of the few UAE public holidays that isn’t going to change so you can start planning your UAE New Year straight away. It’s a Tuesday, so you’re unlikely to get a long weekend to kick-start the New Year. If you didn’t want to fly abroad there are plenty of UAE hotels hosting glitzy New Year’s Eve events or special deals on overnight stays. The Atlantis Hotel, The Palm holds a huge gala dinner with a firework display that lights up the whole of The Palm Dubai!
Al Isra’a Wal Mi’raj – Wednesday, April 3
This Ascension Day holiday marks a two-part journey The Prophet Mohammed took from Mecca, Saudi Arabia, to the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem in or around the year 621. It’s now a popular national holiday in all Islamic countries. It’s expected there will be one day of leave this year as the holiday falls midweek.
Ramadan 2019 – Monday, May 6
Ramadan 2019 in the UAE is likely to begin on the evening of Sunday, May 5, so the Monday will be the first proper day of fasting. The holy month is an incredibly important one in the Muslim calendar and you’ll be expected to respect it and adapt your behavior accordingly. Be careful eating and drinking in public, and be mindful that it is a month of quite intense prayer.
Eid Al Fitr – Thursday, June 6
Eid Al Fitr, which marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan is one of the UAE’s most celebrated national holidays and marks the breaking of the fast. Ramadan 2019 is expected to begin on around May 6, so Eid Al Fitr 2019 will fall a month later. Because the exact date of the event depends on the sighting of the moon, it won’t be confirmed until a few days before, so it might be worth staying in the UAE and looking for a special hotel deal if you want to take advantage of the time off.
Arafat Day – Sunday, August 11
Arafat Day is the second day of the Hajj when millions of Muslims from across the world gather to take a pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia. Arafat Day 2019 falls on a Sunday, so you’re likely to get a three-day weekend holiday. If you want to stay in the UAE but are stuck for things to do, check out our fun lists of activities in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.
Eid Al Adha – Monday, August 12
This Islamic holiday is usually the longest UAE public holiday and falls the day after Arafat Day. It usually lasts for three days, which means Eid Al Adha 2019 and Arafat Day 2019 together will probably give you an entire week’s holiday without you needing to use any annual leave!
Al Hijri – Islamic New Year – Sunday, September 1
If the Islamic New Year falls, as predicted, on a Sunday, you’ll probably get another three-day weekend for free. It’s not usually a day of public celebrations and most Muslims dedicate their day to prayer so take this into account when making plans.
The Prophet Mohammed’s Birthday – Sunday, November 10
Marked on the 12th day of Rab Al Awwal, the third month in the Islamic Calendar, the Prophet Mohammed’s Birthday 2019 falls on November 10. It won’t be announced until much closer to the time but workers could be given a day off to allow time to celebrate, giving you another long weekend.
Commemoration Day – Saturday, November 30
This is still a relatively new UAE public holiday and it’s worth being mindful of what it’s about. Introduced in 2015, UAE Commemoration Day is a day to acknowledge and remember those who have given their lives for the country. The 2019 Commemoration Day is on a Saturday, so unless an extra day is given, it may not be a longer weekend in the diary. But be aware that it’s not a typical celebration and you’ll be expected to show respect to the cause; flags are lowered and there’ll be a minute’s silence.
UAE National Day – Monday, December 2
National Day in the UAE is by far the biggest celebration in the country’s calendar! There’s parades, concerts and all kinds of parties. But it can be a little busy, so if it’s not your scene, you might want to consider getting out of the city for a few nights, especially as it looks like it will be yet another long weekend.
*Content updated November 2018. Dates of religious holidays are subject to change.