Ramadan in UAE: Dubai students to get 3-week-long break; holiday dates revealed

Institutions will be closed for either the spring or end-of-term break around this period

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Nandini Sircar

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Published: Wed 24 Jan 2024, 6:00 AM

Last updated: Mon 19 Feb 2024, 12:38 PM

Most students will enjoy a three-week long break in March coinciding with the Holy month of Ramadan and followed by the anticipated Eid Al Fitr holidays.

Institutions will be closed for either the spring or end-of-term break around this period.

As per the Hijri calendar published on the Dubai Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities Department (IACAD) website, Ramadan will begin on Tuesday, March 12, 2024.

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According to the Dubai Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) website, private schools in Dubai, commencing in September, will observe a break from Monday, March 25, to Monday, April 15, 2024.

The prolonged holiday period, stretching for an extra week beyond the customary two-week break, is due to the expected Eid Al Fitr festival, which might fall on Wednesday, April 10, 2024.

However, this depends on the sighting of the moon, but if it happens, Dubai could potentially observe holidays from Monday, April 8, to Friday, April 12.

Considering the weekends before and after this period, it would result in a nine-day break for families.

Annual exams to end by March 14

Meanwhile, principals explain how this could result in at least three weeks of breaks for certain year groups.

Mohammedali Kottakulam, Principal, Gulf Indian High school Dubai said, “Our annual exams are scheduled to end by March 14 and the new academic year 2024-25 will begin from April 1, 2024.”

Mohammedali Kottakulam
Mohammedali Kottakulam

It's important to highlight that schools have a degree of flexibility with their calendars, as long as they fulfil the required minimum number of school days — 188 days for the Ministry of Education (MoE) curriculum and 182 days for the international curriculum.

Deepika Thapar Singh, CEO-Principal, Credence High School said, “The last working day for our students of PreKG to Grade 8 is 18 March which is concluding with their final exams, while our grade 9 and 11 students will continue school till March 22 with their bridge classes for their next academic grade.

Our younger children will enjoy a full two-week break from March 19 until March 29 for Ramadan and they would commence their new academic session 2024-2025 on 1st April.”

Religious observance

Steven Lupton, Principal of Repton Abu Dhabi stressed on the reason behind students enjoying a break from regular school timings.

He said, “This pause allows them to fully immerse themselves in the significance of the Holy month, participate in religious observances, and spend quality time with their families.”

Steven Lupton
Steven Lupton

Lupton added, “ADEK have confirmed that the spring break will also include the Eid Al Fitr holiday. Repton Abu Dhabi students will begin their spring break on March 25 and will return to school after the Eid break, allowing them to actively participate in the religious and cultural activities associated with this Holy month.”

Term 2 internal assessments

School heads also point out that most international curricula schools will end the internal assessments for Term 2 before the start of Ramadan.

“At Repton Abu Dhabi, we strive to create an environment that respects and accommodates the diverse religious practices of our students and their families. The Holy month of Ramadan is a significant time for many of our families and we encourage a supportive atmosphere that fosters understanding and appreciation for the values associated with Ramadan,” he added.

Headteachers also explain the external examinations for this academic year will begin at the end of April, with the IBDP testing window lasting for about four weeks, and the A-Level and GCSE examinations happening in May and June.

All other internal exams will be taking place during May and June for the final term, well after the return from the long spring break.

It should be noted as per the KHDA, “All private schools can only tentatively communicate public holidays (like Eid) to parents and confirm them once declared by the UAE government authority.”

Sarah O’Regan, Principal/CEO GEMS Wellington Academy - Silicon Oasis, said, “At GEMS Wellington Academy, Silicon Oasis, following changes to the KHDA calendar, Monday, April 8, will no longer be a day with any students in school. It will now be a 'Professional Development Day' for staff only.”

Regan added, “As the remainder of the week is likely to be Eid al Fitr, confirmation of these holidays will always be dependent on the official Moon Sighting Committee and the appearance of the crescent moon, and we will communicate with our parents accordingly. The internal exams for our Year 11 and 13 students have already happened for this term – they took place in January for three weeks. Other internal assessments are ongoing in other year groups but have been planned in such a way so that they will not be affected by any upcoming holidays.”

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