The Federal Authority for Government Human Resources has declared Thursday May 5, an official holiday for the public and private sectors to mark the 'Israa and Miraj' holiday.
Work will resume on Sunday May 8.
A circular issued by the authority stated that the decision is in implementation of the provisions of Paragraph 5 of Article 100 of the Cabinet Resolution No.13 of 2012 and regulations of the Decree of Federal Law No.11 of 2008 on human resources in the federal government and its amendments, which defines the public holidays of ministries and federal authorities in the country.
The article allows shifting of official holidays to the beginning or end of the week if they fall between two working days. Accordingly, the 'Israa and Miraj' holiday was moved from May 4 to Thursday, May 5.
For the private sector, the official holiday to mark Israa and Miraj will be on May 5 for all workers in private sector enterprises, institutions and companies in the country, according to a ministerial circular issued today.
On the occasion, the authority congratulated tge President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai,His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, and Their Highnesses the Members of the Supreme Council and Rulers of the Emirates.
It also congratulated the people of the UAE and the Arab and Islamic nations on the occasion.
2016: Year of long weekends?
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.
This year, several holidays are expected to 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’ll 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 this year on a 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.