Dubai: Public holidays in Saudi Arabia provide residents with the opportunity of exploring kingdom’s diverse culture and traditions.
The weekend in the kingdom typically falls on Fridays and Saturdays, and national holidays are generally observed as paid days off for both government and private sector employees.
Here’s the list of public holidays:
February 22 — Saudi Founding Day
On this day, Saudi Arabia commemorates its founding, a historic event that shaped the nation. As it falls on a Thursday, the residents will have a long weekend.
Last year, public sector employees enjoyed a three-day break, while private sector companies had the option to grant one or two days off to mark the occasion.
April 10 — Eid Al Fitr
Eid Al Fitr marks the end of Ramadan, the month of fasting. The exact date varies each year, determined by the moon-sighting committee.
In 2024, it’s expected to fall on a Wednesday, offering a long holiday period for both public and private sector workers.
June 15 or 16 — Day of Arafat
This day coincides with the second day of the Hajj pilgrimage and is observed on the ninth day of Dhu Al Hijjah in the Islamic calendar. The precise date will be confirmed by the moon sighting committee, but it’s anticipated to be around June 15 or 16.
June 16 or 17 — Eid Al Adha
Following the Day of Arafat, Eid Al Adha, the Festival of Sacrifice, begins. The national holiday is expected to fall on a Monday, contingent on the moon sighting committee’s finalisation of the date. On this occasion, Muslims worldwide gather for prayers, acts of charity, and the traditional sacrifice of animals, typically sheep or cows. Saudi Arabia observes a two to three-day paid national holiday for Eid Al Adha.
July 7 — Islamic New Year
The Islamic New Year marks the start of a new year in the Islamic calendar, with the first month known as Muharram. In 2024, it’s expected to occur on a Sunday. However, whether Saudi Arabia designates it as a paid national holiday remains uncertain.
September 23 — Saudi National Day
Saudi National Day is a time of immense pride for nationals and residents alike. The day is celebrated with fireworks, parades, light shows, and various entertainment activities held across the Kingdom.
In 2024, it falls on a Monday, and the decision to grant a paid day off will be announced closer to the date. In 2023, the occasion was marked with a day off that coincided with a Saturday, a part of the weekend for many in the Kingdom.