Shaikh Zayed Grand Mosque
Image Credit: Ahmed Kutty/Gulf News

Dubai: Public and private sector employees in the UAE will not get a holiday marking Al Israa Wal Miraj in the year 2020.

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

On the list released in March, Al Isra Wal Miraj was not listed. This year, as far as the Gregorian calendar is concerned, the occasion is expected to fall on Sunday, March 22, 2020.

The next upcoming public holiday will be Eid Al Fitr.

Here is a list of public holidays for the year 2020 applicable to both public and private sectors:

Government approved public holidays
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-Gregorian New Year: 1 January

-Eid Al Fitr: From last day of the Islamic month of Ramadan to 3 Shawwal* (4 days)

-Arafah day and Eid Al Adha (Feast of Sacrifice): From 9 to 12 Dhu al Hijjah* (4 days)

-Hijri New Year: 1 Muharram*: August 23, 2020

-The Prophet's Mohammed birthday: October 29, 2020

-Commemoration Day: 1 December (previously it was observed on 30 November)

-National Day: 2 and 3 December (2 days).

What is Al Israa Wal Miraj?

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 Hijri calendar.

Al Israa Wal Miraj 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.

How Muslims mark the occasion

To mark Al Israa Wal Miraj, 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 Cabinet granted equal leaves to both sectors. This decision aims to achieve a balance between the two sectors in the number of official holidays they are entitled to.