List of UAE public and private sector holidays in 2016

Employees in the UAE’s government sector are likely to have 14 holidays in 2016 while their counterparts in the private sector are expected to enjoy 11 days off.

Most of the UAE’s national holidays and festivals are based on the sighting of the moon rather than having fixed dates in the Hijri Calendar. Due to this, the actual dates may vary from those listed below.

Here’s the list of UAE’s expected public holidays in 2016:

As can be seen from the list above, several holidays fall just before or after the weekend, which will translate into at least four longer weekends for UAE residents in 2016.

Among the 2016 holidays that may lead to extended weekends is the Israa & Miaraj, which is observed on the 27th day of Rajab, the seventh month in the Islamic calendar.

Eid Al Fitr, which marks the end of Ramadan, is also expected to start next year on Thursday (July 7, 2016). It must be reiterated that the date of Eid depends on the sighting of the moon, and there are variations in the exact date it is celebrated around the world. The announcing of the exact holidays of Eid may not happen until closer to the date.

Eid Al Adha, or the Feast of Sacrifice, concludes the Pilgrimage to Mecca. It lasts for three days, and in 2016, it is expected to start on Sunday, September 11. This would mean a rather long break (Friday, September 9 to Tuesday, September 13) even as the exact dates will depend on the sighting of the moon.

The Islamic New Year in 2016 may fall on Sunday, October 2, again extending the previous weekend.

In addition, some holidays (like the UAE Commemoration Day holiday, which falls on a Wednesday in 2016) may also be shifted so they can be combined with the weekends.

Such a measure has been adopted previously on many occasions, in line with a Cabinet decision that authorises the shifting of official holidays to the beginning or end of the week, if the event happens to fall between two working days.

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