You are here

Holidays in the UAE

Holidays in the UAE

One thing that can certainly be said about the UAE is that the country knows how to take a break. With an impressive 10 days of public holidays per year along with generous vacation days with most employers you will absolutely have a great deal of time to explore this wonderful country.

Let’s take a quick look at the public holidays in the UAE. Remember, these dates change every year as they are based not on the Gregorian calendar, but on the Islamic calendar which is tied to the cycle of the moon.

List of holidays in the UAE
Date( 2014) Day Number of Days Holiday
1 January



New Year's Day

13 January


1 Milad Un Nabi (The Prophet's Birthday)
27 May Tuesday 1 Lailat Al Miraj (The Prophet's Ascension)
28 July Monday 2 Eid Al Fitr
4 October Saturday 3 Eid Al Adha
25 October


1 Al Hijra (Islamic New Year)
2 December Tuesday 1 UAE National Day


Some of these days are self-explanatory but let’s take a look at the others.

Israa and Miaraj night

This holiday marks the date in which the prophet Muhammed took a journey to the farthest mosque where he led other prophets in prayer. Muhammed then ascended to heaven where he spoke with God who told him to bring details of the prayer back to the people. This holiday is celebrated by both prayer and lights throughout the cities.

Eid Al Fitr

This holiday marks the end of Ramadan and the end of the fasting that goes hand in hand with Ramadan. It is celebrated with both prayer, acts of charity and the breaking of the Ramadan fast.

Arafat Day 

Arafat day is the day that commemorates the revelation of the Quaranic verse stating that the religion had been perfected.

Eid Al Adha

This holiday is in commemoration of the great sacrifice that Abraham was willing to make in supplication to God. Abraham was willing to sacrifice his own son Ishmael to prove that he was devoted to God. This festival is celebrated with prayer and the sacrifice of an animal. The animal is split into three parts by the family with the first third going to the family, the second to friends and relatives of the family and the third to the poor and needy. It is a time of joy and contemplation.

Hijri New Year's Day 

This day marks the Islamic New Year.

UAE National Day

Think the Fourth of July, Canada Day, St. Georges Day and Australia Day. It is a celebration of the founding of the UAE by Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the father of the UAE. It is a day of great celebration and the entire country comes out to rejoice.

The lovely thing about the UAE is that the culture is open and warm. Even though you might not be a Muslim you can certainly observe the local holidays and learn a great deal about the Emiratis while having a real cultural experience.