Dubai is a vibrant and bustling city, and its citizens enjoy a variety of public holidays throughout the year. The new year is quickly approaching, and with it comes a list of public holidays to consider. Those planning to visit Dubai in 2023 for leisure, business, or study should be aware of the holidays in order to make the most of their time. As an Islamic country, the majority of UAE’s holidays are religious festivals and spiritual observances of Islam. Because religious holidays follow the lunar calendar, the dates change each year. The UAE has currently released the tentative dates of public holidays in 2023. If you are getting ready to plan your travels to Dubai in 2023, then here is the list of public holidays in Dubai to help chalk out an exciting holiday.
1. New Year’s Day
Date and Day: 1st January 2023, Sunday
January 1st is the first public holiday of the year and the schools, most corporates, shops and public offices will remain shut. The day is used to recover from the frenzy of New Year’s Eve celebrations in the UAE before embarking on the new year and its new responsibilities.
Date and Day: 20th April , Thursday and 21st April, Friday
This holiday signifies the end of the holy month of Ramadan. Eid Al Fitr thus marks the end of the month-long fasting rituals and is celebrated with prayers, magnificent feasts, and traditional entertainment. It is one of the grandly celebrated UAE public holidays for locals to spend time with family and friends.
3. Arafat Day
Date and Day: 27th June, Tuesday and 28th June, Wednesday
Arafat Day, the second day of the Hajj pilgrimage, is considered one of the holiest Islamic days. It falls on the 9th of Dhul Hijja, approximately 70 days after the end of Ramadan, according to the Islamic calendar. The day is more spiritual than festive, and it is observed by the Islamic community with prayer and visits to the mosque.
4. Eid Al Adha
Date and Day: 28th June, Wednesday to 1st July, Saturday
The end of the Hajj pilgrimage is marked by Eid Al Adha. The day, also known as the ‘Feast of Sacrifice,’ focuses on absolution, and celebrations revolve around gathering for prayers and feasts. During this time, crowds in malls and other attractions will be quite heavy in the UAE, particularly in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.
5. Islamic New Year
Date and Day: 18th July, Tuesday and 19th July, Wednesday
Another religious holiday celebrated in the UAE is the beginning of the Islamic calendar. The UAE declares it a public holiday, hence offices, schools, and most retail outlets are closed for two days. It is also known as the Hijri New Year, and it marks the beginning of a new year. The Islamic New Year is also observed as the first day of Muharram. It is a cultural holiday celebrated in the UAE with warm wishes, gift exchanges, feasts, and good times with family and friends. Apart from New Year’s Eve, this is one of the days to enjoy spectacular fireworks in the UAE.
6. Prophet Mohammad’s birthday
Date and Day: 26th September, Tuesday
This day, which is observed as a public holiday throughout the country, commemorates the birth of Prophet Mohammad. The day is typically spent as a holiday, with outings and gatherings with family and friends. Throughout the day, some venues in Dubai offer special events or discounts on attractions. During this day, the emirate typically host performances or cultural events.
7. Commemoration Day
Date and Day: 1st December, Friday
The next official public holiday falls in December. Also referred as Martyr’s Day, this day is a public holiday in the UAE to honour the sacrifices of Emirati military and civil services who have helped the country and sacrificed their life for the UAE. It is recognized on 30th November but the official holiday is given to public on 1st of December. A minute of silence is observed throughout the country at the time specified by officials prior to this day. The day is solemn and is usually observed as a holiday with family and friends.
8. UAE National Day
Date and Day: 2nd December, Saturday
On December 2nd, the United Arab Emirates celebrates the unification of all seven emirates and the formation of the United Arab Emirates as a bright, visionary country. On this day, the entire country is swathed in the UAE national flag. The UAE’s national flag can be found everywhere, from the streets to the shops. This is one of the Dubai public holidays where the emirate leaves no stones unturned to put on a lavish show to lift the spirits, with grand parades, fireworks, and other festivities.
With the above public holiday list in hand, you can easily decide which days are best for your Dubai trip. So, mark your calendars and prepare to make the most of your Dubai trip in 2023!