Manama: Qatar’s public institutions will remain closed between August 16 and August 27 on account of the Eid holidays, the Emiri Court said.

The holidays will start on Thursday, three days ahead of Eid, the feast that marks the end of Ramadan, the month during which adult Muslims abstain from food and drink from sunrise until sunset, expected to start on Sunday August 19. State employees should resume their work on Tuesday August 28, the statement said. However, financial institutions, including Qatar’s central bank and bourse, will remain closed for only three days to be determined later.

Media reports on Sunday speculated that the Eid break would be ten days.

Details about the break for the private sector have not been announced amid speculation that they would be two to three days.

The differences between the public and private sector holidays once more highlights one of the issues facing the authorities as they encourage citizens to take up jobs in non state-run institutions.

Attracted by generous working conditions that feature high salaries, a less demanding workload and longer holidays than in the private sector, most young Qataris opt for jobs in the public sector.

The decision in 2011 to boost salaries for government employees by 60 per cent and for the military by 120 per cent has made it all the more difficult for the private sector to lure Qatari university graduates.

Those who take up jobs in the non-government sector are often ambitious young men and women motivated by reaching leading positions.

According to official figures, Qataris make up less than one per cent of the country’s private sector workforce.