How to maximise your holiday time around the UAE public holidays

Make your annual leave go further by planing your trips around the UAE public holidays in 2019 and 2020

Making the most of your annual leave takes some planning, but you too can become a master of stretching your allocated days during the rest of 2019 and in 2020. We’ve rounded up the UAE Cabinet approved national holidays for the rest of 2019 and 2020 and come up with some handy suggestions for stretching your allotted days (based upon a working week of Sunday to Thursday). Here’s how to more than double your holiday allowance, in one easy swoop…

December 2019 (and 2020)

In December, there are three UAE public holidays: Commemoration Day on 1 December (previously observed on 30 November) and UAE National Day which is celebrated on 2 and 3 December. If you book 4 and 5 December as annual leave, you’ll get the whole week off, plus the weekends either side, by using just two days of annual leave. 

Result: Turn two days of annual leave into a nine-day holiday

December 2019 to January 2020

In January, book 29, 30 and 31 December off, along with 2 January and, with the Gregorian New Year falling on 1 January, you’ll get five days off for the price of four, bookended by two weekends.

Result: Turn four days of annual leave into a nine-day holiday

May 2020 (expected)

Eid Al Fitr takes place from the last day of the Islamic month of Ramadan to 3 Shawwal, offering four days’ holiday in total. Eif Al Fitr is expected to fall on 26 May in 2020. While Islamic holidays are determined according to the moon sighting, you could consider putting a request in for 24 and 25 May, along with the whole of the next working week (31 May to 4 June) for an extra long break away.

Result: You could turn seven days of annual leave into a 16-day holiday

July/August 2020 (expected)

Arafah Day and Eid Al Adha (Feast of Sacrifice) take place from 9-12 Dhu al Hijjah, offering four days in total. Again, it depends on the moon sighting, but with Arafah Day expected to fall on 30 July, you could think about requesting 26 July to 6 August inclusive in order to secure a longer break.

Result: You could turn seven/eight days of annual leave (depending on when the holiday falls) into a 16-day holiday

Furthermore, Hijri New Year falls on 23 August in 2020. Book 24-27 off work and you can enjoy an extended break.

Result: Turn four days of annual leave into a nine-day holiday

Photo: Reethi Faru Resort in Maldives

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