Break of 6 or 9 days? UAE’s Eid Al Fitr holiday explained

For some employees, paid days off for the Islamic festival depend on when the Moon is spotted

by

Sahim Salim

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Published: Tue 2 Apr 2024, 6:00 AM

Last updated: Wed 3 Apr 2024, 12:32 AM

Some UAE residents will enjoy up to nine days off to celebrate Islamic festival Eid Al Fitr. The UAE Cabinet announced on Sunday that federal government employees will get a week-long holiday that starts from Monday, April 8. Along with the Saturday-Sunday weekend, that’s a nine-day break. For government employees, the holiday does not depend on when the Moon is sighted.

However, private sector employees could get a holiday that lasts either nine or six days depending on when the Moon is sighted and whether Ramadan lasts 29 or 30 days.


Here’s all you need to know about the longest break of the year.

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When is Eid Al Fitr 2024?

Like all Islamic Hijri calendar months, Ramadan lasts 29 or 30 days depending on when the crescent Moon is spotted in the night sky. Eid Al Fitr is celebrated on the first of Shawwal, the month that comes after Ramadan. Eid this year will fall on April 9 or 10. If Ramadan lasts 30 days, Eid is on April 10; and if it’s 29 days, the Islamic festival is on April 9.

Does the Eid holiday start before the festival?

Yes. That’s because the Eid holiday starts from Ramadan 29. On the Gregorian calendar, that’s Monday, April 8. The holiday begins on this date irrespective of when the Moon is spotted for both private and public sector employees.

Will employees get a 9-day break irrespective of when the Moon is spotted?

Government employees: If you factor in the Saturday-Sunday weekend that precedes April 8, federal government employees get a nine-day break. The holiday is therefore from Saturday, April 6, till Sunday, April 14. They will report back to work on Monday, April 15.

Private sector employees:

  • If Ramadan lasts 30 days: The Eid break is from Monday, April 8 (Ramadan 29), till Friday, April 12 (Shawwal 3). With the Saturday-Sunday weekends before and after the break, that’s a total of nine days off. The break then is from Saturday, April 6, till Sunday, April 14.
  • If Ramadan lasts 29 days: If this is the case, residents will get six days off, including the weekend. The Eid break will be from Monday, April 8 (Ramadan 29), till Thursday, April 11. If you include the Saturday-Sunday weekend before the break, that’s a total of six days off. The break then is from Saturday, April 6, till Thursday, April 11.

Does this mean that Muslims will be fasting during the break?

If Ramadan lasts the whole 30 days, Muslims would be fasting on the first two days of the break. If it lasts 29 days, they will be observing the fast on the first day of the holiday.

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