Image Credit: GN Archive

Unlike 2018, 2019 holds out a lot of scope for long weekend and short trips. Bookmark this story as we will update and add information as and when confirmed on all of these holidays.

January 1 – New Year’s Day

New Year’s Day on January 1 celebrates the dawn of the new Gregorian year. The UAE joins the global party with fireworks, parades, and parties. Every year, the Burj Khalifa is the centerpiece for one of the greatest firework displays in the world.

In 2019, New Year’s Day falls on a Tuesday, so it won't be a long weekend unless you already are on holiday that week.

April 3 – Al Isra'a Wal Mi’raj – Ascension Day

Al Isra'a Wal Mi’raj is an Islamic holiday, which is observed annually on the 27th day of the Islamic month of Rajab (falls on April 3 in 2019), according to the Hijri calendar. The holiday marks the night Allah took Mohammad (PBUH) on a journey from Makkah to Jerusalem, and then to heaven. The journey was made in a single night, hence the name.

In 2019 the holiday falls on Wednesday, April 3. You might get a public holiday on Thursday (April 4) to combine with the weekend - which has been done before - when the Ministry confirms the dates.  

June 4/5 – Eid Al Fitr

Roughly translated, Eid Al Fitr means “festival of breaking the fast”. The holiday is a celebration which marks the end of Ramadan (which is forecast to be on June 3 or 4). Once confirmed, residents may get two days off based on when it falls during the week.

Eid Al Fitr begins automatically after the last day of Ramadan, on the first day of Shawwal. In 2019, the end of Ramadan could be June 4 (Tuesday) or 5 (Wednesday), which will be confirmed closer to the date based on the moon-sighting.

August 10 – Arafat Day

Arafat Day is the second day of the annual haj (or pilgrimage). The holiday takes place the day before the start of Eid Al Adha. At dawn, Muslim pilgrims make their way from Mina to a nearby hillside called Mount Arafat and a plain called the Plain of Arafat.

In 2019 Arafat Day is predicted to fall on a Saturday (August 10). However, the date is subject to moon-sighting and could change.

August 11 – Eid Al Adha

Eid Al Adha translates to the “festival of sacrifice”. The holiday honours Ibrahim and his willingness to sacrifice his son Ismail for Allah. Ismail is happy to oblige before Allah sends his angel, Jibra’il, to inform Ibrahim that he has already accepted the sacrifice from his heart.

Goats are sacrificed and divided into three parts: one part for the family, one part for relatives, and one part for the poor. The holiday begins on the 10th day of Dhu Al Hijja – the last month of the Hijri calendar.

In 2019, Eid Al Adha is expected to begin on Sunday, August 11. A three-day holiday for Eid Al Adha, including Arafat Day on Saturday, could mean a long weekend in August.

September 1 – Al Hijri – Islamic New Year

Al Hijri is the Islamic New Year. This year, the date expected for this observation is Sunday, September 1 in 2019. This would mean a possible long weekend, if you have Saturdays off.

The date is subject to moon-sighting and could change.

November 9 – Prophet Mohammad’s (PBUH) Birthday

The birthday of Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) is celebrated on the 12th day of Rabi Al Awwal, which falls on November 9 in 2019. The holiday is referred to as Milad Al Nabi.

In 2019, the Islamic date corresponds to November 9, Saturday. The date is subject to moon-sighting and could change.

November 30 – Commemoration Day

Commemoration Day (sometimes referred to as Martyr’s Day) is a public holiday on November 30. The day was declared by His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, in 2015 to honour Emiratis who have died for their country.

The remembrance will fall on a Saturday in 2019.

December 2 – UAE National Day

The UAE’s National Day is fixed on December 2 each year. Although the UAE – or the Trucial States as it was known until 1971 – was never part of the British Empire, it was a British Protectorate. The protectorate treaty was withdrawn on December 1, 1971, paving the way for the federal unification of the Trucial States.

Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Umm Al Quwain, and Fujairah made up the original UAE, with Ras Al Khaimah joining in a year later in 1972. 2019 will be the UAE’s 48th birthday.

One or two days are granted as public holidays, and as December 2 is a Monday, we could enjoy a long weekend.

All of these holidays are subject to change.