Whether you are planning a trip to Dubai or living and working in the UAE, you should be aware of the dates of the UAE Public Holidays 2024. This is because religious and civil holidays have a significant impact on life in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, as well as other emirates such as Sharjah, Ras al-Khaimah, and Ajman. Shops’ opening hours may vary, and attractions, museums, public transportation, and theme parks may remain closed. On the other hand, on some UAE public holidays, ticket prices are lower and attractions are in high demand.
All workers (public and private) and students in the UAE are affected by public holidays. – as schools and universities will be closed. Thereupon families take advantage of the opportunity for a few days of relaxation and fun, so expect long lines at ticket offices, heavy traffic on the roads, and delays at hotspots.
Religious holidays have their own calendar of events and rituals, allowing you to connect with the local culture more deeply. During these times, one should be sincere in paying respect to local customs.Major cities like Dubai and Abu Dhabi are also quieter than usual. On the other hand, during civil and international holidays (such as New Year’s Eve in Dubai, which is one of the city’s most thriving events) the rates of hotels, flights, tours, and activity tickets skyrocket. So plan ahead of time!
Public Holidays in the UAE
1. New Year’s Day
Date: 1st January 2024
New Year’s Day is one of the civil holidays observed in the UAE with great pomp and show.It follows New Year’s Eve, one of the most exciting events of the year, particularly in Dubai. Traveling to the UAE during this time allows you to fully immerse yourself in the city’s vibrant life and happenings. However, December and January are also peak months for tourism in Dubai, with high rates for hotels, tours, and activities. It is critical to book ahead of time!
Date: 10th March – 9th April, 2024
It is a holy month, not a public holiday, during which Muslims devote themselves to prayer and fasting. This month, visitors to the UAE will find the city quieter, as most clubs, bars, and restaurants are closed during the day. Acts that are disrespectful of local customs are not tolerated. The police may prosecute those who engage in public drinking, shouting, or overt displays of affection. Here is a guide to Ramadan in the UAE, complete with a list of dos and don’ts.
3. Eid al-Fitr
Date: 8th April – 12th April, 2024
Its literal translation is “Holiday of Breaking the Fast,” and it is a major Islamic holiday that follows the holy month of Ramadan. In fact, Eid al-Fitr marks the end of Ramadan, the month-long fasting from dawn to sunset – as the name implies.
It is observed on the first day of Shawwal in the Islamic calendar, which, unlike the Gregorian calendar (which is widely used throughout the world), varies according to the phases of the moon as seen by local religious authorities. The UAE government has announced the official dates for the Eid al-Fitr public holiday. Religious observance days may differ slightly from public holidays, especially if they fall on weekends.
4. Arafah’s Day
Date: 15th June 2024
Yawm ‘Arafah is a major Islamic holiday celebrated on the 9th day of Dhu al-Hijjah, according to the Islamic calendar. It is the second day of the Hajj pilgrimage followed by the Islamic holiday of Eid al-Adha. On this day, pilgrims approach Mount Arafat, where Prophet Muhammad delivered his Final Sermon in the final year of his life.
5. Eid al-Adhav
Date: 16th June – 18th June, 2024
Eid al-Adha is the main Islamic holiday, and it is widely celebrated in families, with children and other family members receiving gifts. The feast commemorates Ibrahim’s willingness to sacrifice his son Ismail as an act of obedience to Allah. Because of Ibrahim’s gratitude, Allah spared his son’s life by providing a sacrificial lamb in his place. As a result, on the day of Eid al-Adha, animals (usually lambs or rams) are sacrificed, with three equal parts of the meat given to family, friends, and the poor.
6. Muslim New Year
Date: 7th July 2024
As previously stated, the Islamic Calendar differs from the Gregorian Calendar. So the Islamic calendar has different months with different lengths, and New Year’s Day usually differs from January 1 in the Gregorian calendar.
The Islamic New Year is celebrated on Muharram 1 (al-Muarram is the first of the 12 months of the Islamic calendar). People bring in the New Year surrounded by friends and families. They also spend time reflecting on themselves, reciting Quran, and setting goals for the upcoming year.
7. Prophet Muhammad’s Birthday
Date: 15th September 2024
This public holiday, also known as Mawlid, is observed in the UAE and many other Muslim countries to commemorate the birth of Prophet Muhammad. The holiday is observed in Rabi’ al-awwal, the third month of the Islamic calendar. The official date is the 12th Rabi’ al-awwal, though the date (as well as observance as a public holiday) may differ slightly in other Muslim countries.
8. Commemoration Day
Date: 1st December 2024
Commemoration Day, formerly known as Martyrs’ Day, is one of the UAE’s civil holidays. On this day, we commemorate the sacrifice of UAE citizens who died in the course of carrying out their duties and missions, whether in the civilian, military, or humanitarian fields.
9. UAE National Day
Date: 2nd December – 3rd December, 2024
Following Commemoration Day, the civil holiday of National Day marks the anniversary of the federal unification of the emirates that comprise the UAE. This critical turning point in 1971, just after independence from the British protectorate, was a watershed moment in the process that led to the 7 Arab Emirates becoming the modern country that they are today.
Public holidays 2024 in the UAE will begin on New Year’s Day, followed by Eid Al Fitr and Ramadan, and then wrap up with National Day. Citizens will see a four-day long weekend with a couple of other long breaks in 2024.. Families come to enjoy themselves, and the the city buzzes with joy during these day-offs. Also, the New Year is around the corner and the Burj Khalifa will be decorated in the colors of the national flag. The Dubai fireworks show is unforgettable, so if you’re in the UAE these days, don’t miss it!