Eid Al Fitr is a religious holiday celebrated by Muslims around the world. In 2021, Eid Al Fitr in the UAE is expected to start on May 13.
The holiday marks the end of Ramadan, the month when Muslims fast. It begins on the first day of Shawwal, the tenth month of the Islamic calendar.
Eid Al Fitr means ‘Festival of the Breaking of the Fast’ in Arabic.
It is the first Eid of the Islamic year. The other, Eid Al Adha, is celebrated on the tenth day of Dhu Al Hijjah, the twelfth month of the Islamic calendar.
Public Holiday and Hours
In the UAE (Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Sharjah etc.), Eid Al Fitr is a public holiday for both public and private sector workers. 3 days off work is the norm.
Dubai Metro, Dubai Tram and bus services run later. Parking at most public car parks in Dubai is also usually free. Specific details are announced a few days before on the Dubai Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) website.
Most of the major shopping malls in Dubai have extended opening hours. They are busier than usual.
When is Eid Al Fitr in the UAE?
The month of Shawwal and the Eid Al Fitr holiday begins the day after the sighting of the crescent moon.
In the UAE the sighting is confirmed by the United Emirates Moon Sighting Committee. An announcement of the start date is made in the local press (Gulf News, Khaleej Times etc) and on social media.
In 2021 Eid Al Fitr is expected to begin on May 13. The actual date depends on the moon sighting and could vary by a day or so.
The Islamic calendar is a lunar calendar. It has 12 months but only 354 days; 11 days shorter than the Gregorian (Western) calendar. Although Eid Al Fitr is held on the same day when using the Islamic calendar, it moves 11 days earlier every year on the Western calendar.
How is it celebrated?
Eid is a time that Muslims celebrate after accomplishing their fasting duties in the month of Ramadan.
Special prayers are held. Muslims exchange gifts and visit friends and family. They greet each other using the phrase ‘Eid Mubarak’. This means ‘have a blessed Eid’.
Charitable gifts are also given (Zakat Al Fitr) and many undertake charity work.
Fireworks displays are also held throughout the UAE.
Many residents take advantage of the extended break and travel overseas. Muslims from neighbouring countries take the opportunity to visit Dubai and the UAE. Hotels and airports are busier than usual.
United Arab Emirates