Family holiday
UAE has unified public holidays for public and private sector employees, many of which are often confirmed closer to the date Image Credit: Shutterstock

Dubai: As the year draws to an end, people have already started looking forward to when they can take vacations in 2023. On November 27, the UAE announced the official public holiday calendar for 2023. UAE has unified public holidays for public and private sector employees.

The calendar mention dates as per the Islamic calendar, many of which are often confirmed closer to the date. However, based on calculations of when these dates might fall, we have listed the approximate dates for when you should plan your break in 2023. 

January 1, 2023

New Year’s Day holidays falls on a Sunday so you don’t get an additional day off before starting work on January 2, Monday.

Eid Al Fitr

Eid Al Fitr marks the end of Ramadan.The dates as per the Islamic Hijri calendar are from 29 Ramadan until 3 Shawwal 1443.

Ibrahim Al Jarwan, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Emirates Astronomy Society, a member of the Arab Union for Astronomy and Space Sciences (AUASS), predicted that Ramadan will begin on March 23, 2023, and last for 29 days.

Based on these calculations, the corresponding dates on the Gregorian calendar are from 1 Shawwal which falls on Friday, April 21 to Monday, April 24, 2023.

This could mean a long weekend off for residents (4 days). The official dates will be confirmed by the government closer to Eid.

Arafat Day

Taking place roughly 70 days after the end of Ramadan, Arafat Day marks the second day of Haj, or the pilgrimage. This day as per the Islamic calendar would fall on a Wednesday. 9 Dhu Al Hijjah 1443 is expected to fall on June 28, 2023. Along with Eid holidays, this could mark the start of a long weekend.

Eid Al Adha

Eid Al Adha is observed on the day after Arafat Day, marking the conclusion of the pilgrimage to Mecca. The Hijri calendar dates for this holiday are 10 to 12 Dhu Al Hijjah 1443, which correspond to June 29 to July 11, 2023 (Thursday through Saturday). With the weekly Sunday off, this would mean a total of five days off, starting with Arafat Day.

Hijri New Year

Marking the beginning of the new Islamic year 1444, the official UAE holidays calendar lists this day as Friday, July 21, 2023. If you have Saturday off, this could give you a three-day long weekend. 

Prophet Mohammad's birthday

The birthday of Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) is celebrated on the 12th day of Rabi Al Awwal. In Arabic, the holiday is referred to as Eid Al Mawlid Al Nabawi. The official UAE holidays calendar lists this day as September 29, 2023 which is a Friday - this would mean a long weekend off for those who also enjoy Saturdays off. 

December 2,3

The UAE observes Commemoration Day on December 1 and it is usually marked as a day off for employees in the country. This is followed by National day celebrations on December 2 and 3. The official calendar mentions December 2 and 3 as paid public holidays for UAE residents. 

*All Islamic holidays are subject to confirmation by the UAE government after moon-sighting.