Shaikh Zayed Grand Mosque
A night view from Wahat Al Karama of Shaikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi. [Illustrative purposes only] Image Credit: Ahmed Kutty/Gulf News

Dubai: Public and private sector employees in the UAE will not get a holiday marking Al Isra’a Wal Mi’raj, sources told Gulf News.

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This is in line with the unified public and private sector holidays declared by the UAE Cabinet in March for the year 2019 and 2020.

It grants the public sector the same number of holidays as the private sector.

The unified holidays list approved by the UAE Cabinet is expected to streamline work in both public and private sectors.

It is also aimed to enhance the attractiveness of the private sector for Emiratis, allow citizens and residents to plan vacations ahead of time, and strengthen social ties between all segments of society.

On the list released in March, Al Isra Wal Mi'raj was not listed.

The birthday of the Prophet Mohammad (PBUH), which was also previously celebrated as a public day off, wasn't on the list.

In a tweet on Monday, the UAE Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation stated: "We would like to extend our greetings on the occasion of Al Isra wal Miraj. In regards to the public holidays, they have been specified in the UAE Cabinet’s decree. The unified holidays aim to achieve harmony between the public & the private sectors."

What is Al Isra'a Wal Mi’raj?

Al Isra'a Wal Mi’raj is an Islamic holiday observed annually on the 27th day of the Islamic month of Rajab, according to the Hijiri calendar.

Al Isra'a Wal Mi’raj marks the night God took the Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) on a journey from Makkah to Jerusalem, and then to heaven. The journey was made in a single night, hence the name.

This year, as far as the Gregorian calendar is concerned, the holiday is expected to fall on Wednesday, April 3.

To mark Al Isra'a Wal Mi’raj, Muslims offer optional prayers throughout the night. In some parts of the world, candles are lit and special lights are shone to signify Mohammad’s (PBUH) journey.

The unified public sector and private sector holidays approved by the UAE Cabinet is expected to streamline work in both sectors, enhance the attractiveness of the private sector for Emiratis, allow citizens and residents to plan vacations ahead of time, and strengthen social ties between all segments of society.