Ramadan timings UAE 2022: What will school hours be during Ramadan?
Ramadan 2022 is upon us and parents are wondering what UAE schools’ Ramadan timings will be during the Holy Month now that the UAE working week has become 4.5 days?
The Dubai school regulator, the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA), has now confirmed the Ramadan 2022 school timings in a circular sent out to institutions across the emirate.
“Dubai’s private schools will have shorter timings during the holy month of Ramadan. Schools should provide a maximum of five hours of instruction time and classes should end by 12pm on Fridays. These timings have been developed in close consultation with families and schools.”
“The holy month of Ramadan is an extremely important and significant time of the year for Muslims. We encourage students, staff and their families to practice the virtues of compassion, gratitude and the spirit of community during this holy month.”
It is always anticipated that school and office timings will be cut down during the holy month. But this year it is a bit different: the UAE’s introduction of the 4.5-day working week for government departments, which was adopted by all UAE schools from 1 January 2022, means that there has been some debate about what to do on Fridays.
Traditionally schools cut their timings down from being open seven hours per day to five hours per day during Ramadan, but the new half-day on Friday means that the school “day” is set to become just around three hours on a Friday.
Schools will generally follow a schedule loosely based around the Ramadan hours for the public sector, namely:
9am till 2pm Monday to Thursday
9am till 12pm Fridays
Ramadan school timings 2022: the details
With schools currently on Spring Break, families will be returning to school in the midst of Ramadan, so most schools will have informed parents of the altered timings for drop-offs and pick-ups before they broke up for the vacation.
To date, no school has advised us that they are cancelling Friday classes altogether.
Not all schools are required to pick precisely the same timings, and many will vary their exact hours in order to stagger the traffic around pick-up and drop-off times in areas where there are multiple schools in relatively close proximity.
Horizon English School for example, put out a survey asking parents to pick between three possible timing choices, and went with the most popular one. It has since announced that it will be open from 8.30am until 1.30pm on Monday to Thursday, and 8.20am until 12pm on Fridays.
UAE Ramadan hours for Private and Public sectors 2022
Federal UAE government entities will be open for five hours per day for the first four days of the working week during Ramadan, from 9am till 2pm Monday to Thursday. The usual working day Monday to Friday for government employees is 7.30am to 3.30pm, so this represents a day that is shorter by three hours.
On Fridays during Ramadan, government entities will be open from 9am to 12 noon, compared to the regular timings of 7.30am to 12 noon, representing a day that is shorter by 1.5 hours.
During the holy month of Ramadan, the working hours of private sector employees (and schools) are traditionally reduced by two hours per day. The reduction in working hours applies to everyone in the private sector, irrespective of whether the employees are Muslim or fasting. Therefore, the usual maximum working hours for an employee working in the UAE during Ramadan are 30 hours per week (based upon a five-day working week).
The UAE became the first country in the world to introduce a 4.5 day working week for public sector entities at the start of this year. Friday afternoon, Saturday and Sunday form the new weekend in the country. Although it is not mandatory for private companies to change their timings in line with government departments, private sector schools in Dubai have all followed the public-sector’s lead and also follow a 4.5-day working week.
When is Eid Al Fitr 2022 and how long will we get off?
The end of Ramadan is marked in the UAE by a holiday for both the public and private sectors. In 2022, Eid Al Fitr is expected to fall around Monday May 2, according to official predictions by Ibrahim Al-Jarwan, member of the Arab Union for Astronomy and Space Sciences. Then the Eid holidays will be four days from Ramadan 29 until Shawwal 3, based on the Islamic calendar, according to government website U.ae.
UAE families can look forward to an extended long weekend, as this could mean almost a full working week off , with the public holiday looking likely to fall between Monday May 2 and either Wednesday 4 or Thursday 5 May. When you include the usual 2.5 weekend days of the afternoon of Friday 29 April, Saturday 30th April and Sunday 1st May for schools, many schoolchildren could be looking at almost seven days off in a row as Ramadan draws to a close.
However, as this is an Islamic holiday, the exact dates are subject to moon sightings. The number of days off could also change closer to the time – and they may differ between the private and public sector. We will share any updates as and when they emerge.