UAE: 4 or 5 days off for Eid Al Adha; holiday explained ahead of moon sighting

Most countries in the Arab world will look for the crescent moon on the 29th of Hijri calendar month Dhul Qa’adah, which is on June 6


Sahim Salim

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Published: Wed 5 Jun 2024, 6:00 AM

Last updated: Wed 5 Jun 2024, 11:01 PM

The long weekend for Islamic festival Eid Al Adha falls in mid-June in the UAE, but the moon-sighting process that determines the holiday’s duration will happen on Thursday, June 6. Residents will get four or five days off including the weekend depending on when the Moon is sighted.

The holiday is given to mark the holiest day in Islam – the Arafah Day (one day off) — and the Eid Al Adha festival (three days off).

Islamic festivals are calculated according to Hijri calendar months, the start and end of which are determined by when the crescent Moon is sighted.

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Most countries in the Arab world, including the UAE, will look for the crescent moon on the 29th of Hijri calendar month Dhul Qa’adah, which is on June 6. If spotted, the month after — Dhul Hijjah — begins the next day (June 7). If not, the month begins June 8. Based on these two scenarios, here’s when the Eid break will be:

  • If the Moon is spotted on June 6: Dhul Hijjah begins on June 7. Arafah Day is on June 15 (Dhul Hijjah 9) and Eid Al Adha on June 16 (Dhul Hijjah 10). The break then will be from Saturday, June 15, to Tuesday, June 18. With two days of the break falling on the Saturday-Sunday weekend, this gives residents two weekdays off.
  • If the Moon is not spotted on June 6: Dhul Hijjah begins on June 8. Arafah Day is on June 16 (Dhul Hijjah 9). Eid Al Adha then is on June 17 (Dhul Hijjah 10). The break, therefore, is from Sunday, June 16, to Wednesday, June 19. Including the weekend (Saturday, June 15), that’s five days off to mark the festival.

Likely dates

Astronomical calculations suggest that the Moon is unlikely to be spotted on June 6. If that’s the case, UAE residents are in for a five-day break.

Schools will reopen for just a little over a week before they close again for the two-month summer break. According to experts, many residents are looking to combine the Eid break with the school holidays for a longer vacation.

Travellers are seeking both quick getaways and extended journeys, favouring destinations with “affordable and easy visa requirements”, according to online travel agency Musafir. However, airfares are increasing as demand soars. Travel app Wego said it has observed up to 64 per cent increase in airfares to some destinations.

Travel website Skyscanner had said earlier that those looking to fly out at the start of the Eid break or summer holidays won’t get the best deals. It advised residents to consider dates in August for cheaper holidays.


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