Dubai: Several GCC countries have announced Eid Al Fitr holidays for public and private sectors, including the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Oman, and Kuwait. UAE and Saudi Arabia have declared a four-day weekend, while Qatar has announced an 11-day holiday. Oman and Kuwait will observe a five-day weekend.
The exact date of Eid Al Fitr will only be confirmed based on the moon sighting. The UAE Moon-sighting committee has invited all Muslims in the country to sight the crescent of the month of Shawwal on Thursday evening, 29th Ramadan, 1444 AH.
Eid Al Fitr festival marks the end of Ramadan, the Islamic holy month of fasting. It is a time of joy and celebration, where families and friends come together to enjoy the festivities.
Likely dates of Eid
Saudi Arabia and UAE has called on Muslims to sight the Shawwal crescent on Thursday evening, April 20, and report any sightings to the nearest court or contact center.
According to the International Astronomical Center (IAC) in the UAE, there no possibility of seeing the Shawwal crescent in most Arab and Islamic countries, except parts of West Africa on Thursday, Ramadan 29, which corresponds to April 20, meaning that Eid Al Fitr may fall on Saturday, April 22.
IAC predicted that the majority of Islamic nations would likely announce the beginning of the month of Shawwal on Friday due to the possibility of seeing the crescent with a telescope from some areas of the Islamic world on Thursday, as well as the fact that conjugation occurs before sunset and the moon sets after sunset in all areas of the Islamic world. In the UAE, Eid Al Fitr could begin on Friday or Saturday. However, the date will not be confirmed until after Thursday's meeting of the Moon-sighting committee.
According to the Gregorian calendar, the 29th day of Ramadan will fall on Thursday April 20. So Eid holidays will begin from Thursday. Here is a breakdown of the Eid Al Fitr holidays announced across countries in 2023
Eid in UAE
UAE has officially announced the Eid Al Fitr 2023 holidays for the employees of both government and the private sectors.
Public sector: The Federal Authority for Government Human Resources announced that the period from Ramadan 29 until Shawwal 3, 1444 will be a paid holiday for all federal government employees on the occasion of Eid Al Fitr. In the UAE, federal government employees will receive their salaries starting from Monday, April 17.
Private sector: Ramadan 29-Shawwal 3 1444 will be a paid holiday for all employees in the private sector in the UAE on Eid Al Fitr, according to the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MoHRE).
Eid holidays in Dubai and Sharjah: In line with the decision by the Federal Authority for Government Human Resources, the Dubai Government Human Resources Department and Sharjah Human Resources Directorate have announced that government departments will observe Eid Al Fitr holiday, starting from the 29th of Ramadan until Shawwal 3, 1444 AH. The Sharjah government agencies that operate on shift systems should undertake necessary arrangements in accordance with the nature and needs of their work.
Saudi Arabia: 4-day Eid holiday for private sector
For Eid Al Fitr, the Saudi Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development has announced a four-day holiday for non-profit organizations and employees of the private sector. The Eid holidays will start on Thursday, April 20, after the workday ends. This holiday marks the end of Ramadan, which began on March 23.
In addition to the usual Friday-Saturday weekend, employees in the private and non-profit sectors will enjoy a long holiday before work resumes on Thursday, April 27.
Eid in Oman
Oman has announced Eid Al Fitr holiday for employees in the public and private sectors. The holiday will begin on Thursday, Ramadan 29, corresponding to April 20, and will conclude on Monday, April 24.
Official work will resume on Tuesday, April 25. The Ministry of Labour noted that, if necessary, employers may negotiate terms with employees to work during the holiday due to the nature of their jobs. In such cases, employees should be compensated for working on the holiday.
5-day Eid holiday in Kuwait
Public sector workers in Kuwait will have a 5-day holiday for Eid Al Fitr. The Kuwaiti Cabinet on Monday declared Eid Al Fitr holidays from April 21 to 25 for all ministries, governmental bodies and institutions in the country. Work will resume on April 26. According to the Cabinet, work will return on April 26 while agencies with a special nature would decide their Eid holiday by the relevant bodies to take into account the public interest.
3-day Eid holiday in Bahrain
Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, the Crown Prince and Prime Minister, has released a circular regarding the Eid Al Fitr holidays, announcing a three-day holiday for all workers in the Kingdom. The circular stipulates that the Kingdom's ministries and public institutions will close on the day of Eid and the two days that follow, reported BNA.
If any of the Eid days coincides with an official holiday, an extra day will be given in lieu, the circular added.
11-day holiday in Qatar for Eid
Qatari people will enjoy an 11-day holiday in celebration of Eid Al Fitr, according to the Amiri Diwan. Starting on April 19, 2023, which corresponds to 28 Ramadan 1444 AH, the holiday will continue until April 27, 2023. Employees are scheduled to return to work on Sunday, April 30, 2023.
Philippines: Eid holiday on April 21
Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has issued a proclamation on Friday (April 14) declaring April 21 as a regular holiday in commemoration of Eid Al Fitr. The purpose of the holiday declaration, according to Proclamation No. 201, was to "bring the religious and cultural significance of the Eid Al Fitr to the fore of national consciousness."
Pakistan: Five-day holiday for Eid
Pakistan government has announced a five-day public holiday on Eid Al Fitr, which marks the end of Ramadan. The Cabinet Division said in a notification that April 21 to 25, 2023, (Friday to Tuesday) have been declared as public holidays for Eid. Pakistan’s Central Ruet-e-Hilal Committee is scheduled to meet on April 20 to sight the crescent of Shawwal.
Eid Al Fitr is usually celebrated on the first day of Shawwal, the tenth month of the Islamic calendar. However, the exact date varies depending on the sighting of the new moon. The festival lasts for three days and is a time of forgiveness, compassion, and gratitude.
The preparations for Eid Al Fitr begin weeks before the festival. Muslims usually decorate their homes, wear new clothes, and prepare traditional sweets to share with family and friends. The day begins with the special Eid prayer, which is performed in mosques or large open areas.