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Dubai: Raise your hand if you were looking forward to the next public holiday. But what happens if it falls on your weekly off?

On Tuesday, December 20, the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MOHRE) announced that January 1, 2023, would be an official holiday in the UAE for all private sector employees.


But as the first day of the year is falling on a Sunday, which is a weekly off for many workers, would they be entitled to an extra day off?

No, according to the legal experts who spoke with Gulf News.

Imran Khan, a Dubai-based legal consultant, spoke about how companies are not legally required to give an extra day off to workers in such situations.

“An employer and employee can reach an agreement for a separate day off by mutual understanding, but nothing is mentioned specifically related to it in the UAE Labour Law,” Khan said.

Priyasha Corrie, a Partner at Keystone Law Middle East LLP, spoke about how this was in line with what the UAE Labour Law states about public holidays that fall during a worker’s annual leave.

“Under Article 29 of the new UAE Labour Law, employees are entitled to 30 days of annual leave. If a public holiday falls on the days of his annual leave, then the public holiday is counted towards the annual leave of the employee. So, the employee does not get any additional days off,” Corrie told Gulf News.

“On the other hand, if an employee has to work during any official holiday, then the employer has to compensate him or her with another holiday or pay the employee the salary for that day plus an increase of not less than 50 per cent of the basic salary for that day,” she added.

“Similarly, under the new UAE Labour Law, employees are entitled to one weekly day off, which can be any day of the week and not necessarily Friday, Saturday or Sunday. If a public holiday coincides with an employee’s weekly day off, then the employee does not get an additional day off,” Corrie said.