Public holidays in Dubai for 2017 are listed in the table below.
|Holiday||Start Date||Fixed/Islamic||Duration (days)||Notes|
|New Year’s Day||January 1 2017||Fixed||1||Falls on a Sunday.|
|Israa and Miraj Night||April 24 2017||Islamic||1||Falls on the 27th day of Rajab (the seventh month of the Islamic calendar). Commemorates the time that Muhammad travelled from Mecca to Jerusalem and onto to heaven.|
|Eid Al Fitr||June 25 2017||Islamic||3||The end of Ramadan. Expected to fall on Sunday June 25.|
|Arafat Day||August 31 2017||Islamic||1||Second day of the Hajj (the yearly pilgrimage to Mecca). Expected to fall on Thursday August 31.|
|Eid Al Adha||September 1 2017||Islamic||3||Honours the readiness of the prophet Ibrahim to sacrifice his son.|
|Islamic New Year||September 22 2017||Islamic||1||Also known as Hijri New Year. Marks the beginning of a new Islamic calendar year.|
|Commemoration Day||November 30 2017||Fixed||1||Also known as Martyr's Day. New public holiday to honour Emiratis who have died for their country.|
|Prophet Muhammad’s Birthday||November 30 2017||Islamic||1||Likely to fall on same day as Commemoration Day, subject to moon sighting.|
|UAE National Day||December 2 2017||Fixed||2||Celebrates the union of the emirates. Expect parades, firework displays, concerts, and more.|
They can be broken down into two categories:
- Those that are fixed in the standard Gregorian calendar (Western calendar).
- Islamic holidays that follow the Hijri calendar (Islamic calendar).
The Gregorian calendar is a solar calendar with 365 days (366 days in a leap year), whereas the Hijri calendar is a lunar calendar with 354 days.
Islamic holidays will therefore shift 11 or 12 days every year in relation to the Gregorian calendar. Things are further complicated by the fact that the start date of each month in the Islamic calendar is determined by local sightings of the moon (and can vary by a day from the anticipated date).
The actual dates of Islamic holidays are only confirmed a day a so before they begin.
As the Hijri calendar is shorter than the Gregorian calendar it is also possible for an Islamic holiday to be held twice within a western calendar year.
Generally speaking only public sector workers enjoy days off lasting the full duration of the public holidays. Most employees in the private sector get fewer days off. For example, government employees will get two days off to celebrate UAE National day, whereas those that work in the private sector will only get one day off work.
Ramadan is not a public holiday. It is ninth and holiest month in the Hijri calendar. During the month observant Muslim do not eat or drink during the daytime. Working hours are reduced.
Christmas Day is not a public holiday in Dubai and the United Arab Emirates. Islam is the official religion of the UAE, but the festivals and holidays of other religions are tolerated.
Shopping malls and many hotels will be decorated for the ‘festive season’, just as in western countries. However, expat-orientated schools will tend to hold ‘winter’ concerts rather than nativity plays.
Some western companies may give staff a holiday, though most workers wishing to celebrate the day will have to book time off.