Students in many Indian curriculum schools will have a long weekend, thanks to the Diwali holiday. Image Credit: Gulf News

Dubai: Several Indian curriculum schools in the UAE have declared a one or two-day holiday to commemorate Diwali, the traditional Indian festivals of lights.

GEMS Modern Academy stands out with the declaration of a three-day holiday beginning today right up to Thursday and followed by a two-day weekend. In effect, GMA students are on a five-day extended Diwali weekend.

Students from leading schools such as the Indian High School, Amity High School and some other Indian curriculum schools in the GEMS Education stable said they will be availing a holiday on November 3 and 4, the two days of Diwali. This will mean they will be able to enjoy an extended four-day leave as the weekend follows the two-day closure.

Traditionally schools like IHS have always declared Diwali a holiday.

Michael Guzder, vice-president of GEMS Education, told Gulf News: “In celebration of Diwali, a number of GEMS-Indian curriculum schools will be closed on November 3 and 4 to allow students to celebrate with their families. The decision to close the school on two days, i.e. Wednesday and Thursday or only on Thursday rests with the principal of each school as it is taken with full permission of the education regulator.”

Punit Vasu, CEO of Indian High School, said: "Diwali, the festival of joy and lights, gives all of us an opportunity to celebrate festivities of giving and happiness. As it is celebrated in India over a period of five days, we definitely felt it would be nice if our staff and students can benefit from the long weekend for Diwali, starting with Dhanteras on Tuesday. This is important to ensure the wellbeing of all stakeholders as many have not had an opportunity to celebrate such festivals due to COVID restrictions that were in place earlier."

He added: "We are sure that all those associated with The Indian High Group of Schools will celebrate safely and responsibly."

GEMS Schools that are off on Wednesday and Thursday

• GEMS Our Own High School, Al Warqa

• GEMS Legacy School

• The Millennium School, Dubai

GEMS Schools off only on Thursday

• GEMS Our Own English High School, Sharjah, (Boys)

• GEMS Our Own English High School, Sharjah ( Girls)

• GEMS New Millennium School, Al Khail

• GEMS Millennium School, Sharjah