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KHDA Issues Rules: New Official Dates for Dubai School Holidays

KHDA Issues Rules: New Official Dates for Dubai School Holidays

by David WestleySeptember 24, 2020

A revised academic calendar for the 2020/21 academic year has been issued by the KHDA, which states that it will “provide a more aligned school year for all private schools in Dubai”.

The revised calendar includes a minimum of 182 school days and “fulfils each curriculum’s academic and examination requirements”.

The new guidelines will hit hardest those schools that had previously used training days to create an academic half term. This has been the case particularly of UK / British curriculum schools, but will no longer be allowed.

Academic Calendar Guidelines:

  1. All private schools in Dubai must abide by the dates specified in the academic calendar.

  2. A minimum of 182 school days must be included in the academic year.

  3. The academic year must not end before the date specified in the calendar.

  4. Start dates for the Spring and Winter breaks cannot be changed.

  5. Schools have the flexibility to take five days off during the academic year – distributed or combined throughout the year, or to extend Spring break. However, these five days cannot be used to extend the Winter or Summer breaks.

  6. Previously, schools were able to allocate eight days each academic year for training or continuous professional development (student-free days). This option is no longer available.

  7. The exact dates of public holidays will be announced by the government of the UAE. These holidays can be communicated to parents on a tentative basis, but must not be confirmed until officially declared by the UAE government. Schools should not mark public holidays in the calendar submitted for approval.

  8. Schools can only share their academic calendar with their community after it has been approved by KHDA.

  9. All schools are expected to comply with these guidelines. Failure to do so will result in further action, in line with Executive Council Resolution No.(2) of 2017, Regulation Private schools in the Emirates of Dubai.


The Dates

Academic Calendar for Dubai’s Private Schools Starting in September
Academic Years: 2020/2021 to 2022/2023 Date
Start of academic year 30th August 2020
Winter break (3 weeks) 13th Dec 2020 – 31st Dec 2020
Spring break (2 weeks) 28th March 2021 – 8th April 2021
Academic year not to end before 30th June 2021
Minimum school days 182
Academic Year 2021/2022
Start of academic year 29th August 2021
Winter break (3 weeks) 12th Dec 2021 – 30th Dec 2021
Spring break (2 weeks) 27th March 2022 – 7th April 2022
Academic year not to end before 3rd July 2022
Minimum school days Minimum school days
Academic Year 2022/2023
Start of academic year 28th August 2022
Winter break (3 weeks) 11th Dec 2022 – 1st Jan 2023
Spring break (2 weeks) 26th March 2023 – 6th April 2023
Academic year not to end before 28th June 2023
Minimum school days 182

Staff at private schools have been advised to refer to their employment contracts or school management to learn if and how these revisions apply specifically to them.

About The Author
David Westley
David is the co-founder and GM of Which Media, the owner of and

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