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UAE Eid Public Holidays 2024: KHDA announces closure of all Dubai schools, nurseries and universities

UAE Eid Public Holidays 2024: KHDA announces closure of all Dubai schools, nurseries and universities

by Tabitha BardaApril 5, 2024

The Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA), which regulates private schools, nurseries and universities in Dubai, has announced the Eid Al Fitr school holidays for educational establishments.

The KHDA has confirmed that all Dubai schools, nurseries and universities will remain closed for a full week, from Monday 8th April until Sunday 14th April inclusive.

Most UAE schools are already on Spring Break over this period, which was officially extended to three weeks this year, instead of the usual two weeks. The UAE’s Ministry of Education updated the official Spring Break in the 2023/2024 academic calendar to be three weeks from March 25 to April 15 for all schools, in order to encompass the anticipated Eid Al Fitr public holiday from April 8 to April 12.

Will all parents get the same amount of time off work as their children?

Although all Dubai students will have the full week off from school, nursery or university, it is not guaranteed that all parents will get the same amount of time off.


On the one hand, those parents who work in the public sector are sure to receive a full week off on the occasion of the Eid Al Fitr holiday, from Monday 8th until Sunday 14th April inclusive. Work for the public sector will resume on Monday, April 15, on the same day as UAE educational establishments.

However, parents who work in the private sector may be required to return to work on Friday 12th April, depending on when Eid begins – which is subject to the sighting of the new moon, and can only be confirmed by government authorities closer to the time.

This is contrary to some media reports, which have assumed that all private and public sector workers get the same amount of time off. Although this is possible, it is not necessarily the case, due to the difference in wording in the respective government announcements.

The public sector has been explicitly mandated a full week off, regardless of when the month of Ramadan ends, from Monday 8th April to Sunday 14th April.

Eid holiday dates confirmed for schools and families across Dubai and the UAE

The UAE media office posted the official UAE public holidays for government workers on Monday 1 April

In contrast, the announcement for the private sector from the UAE’s Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MOHRE) is that the holiday will run from 29 Ramadan (8th April) until 3 Shawwal in the Islamic calendar (or “what it is equivalent to in the Gregorian calendar”). Since the Islamic calendar is lunar, and the start of each month is determined by the moon sighting, the ways these dates coincide with the Gregorian calendar is not yet confirmed…

So what does this mean for parents who work in the private sector?

It is certain that the private sector’s holiday will commence on Monday 8 April, since this corresponds to the 29th day of the month of Ramadan in the Islamic calendar. Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar.

But the month of Ramadan could be either 29 or 30 days long, depending on when the new crescent moon (which signals the new month) is sighted.

Shawwal is the 10th month in the Islamic calendar. Therefore, the 3rd day of Shawwal in the Islamic calendar could coincide with either Thursday 11 or Friday 12 April in the Gregorian calendar.

This means private-sector employees will receive paid leave that could amount to either four or five days. This will be confirmed by the official UAE Moon Sighting Committee closer to the time.

Private sector holiday runs from 29 Ramadan – 3 Shawwal
Day Islamic calendar date Gregorian calendar date UAE Private holiday? UAE Public holiday? Schools closed?
Monday 29th  Ramadan 8th April Yes Yes Yes
Tuesday 30th Ramadan (if the moon is not seen on Monday) OR 1st  Shawwal* 9th April Yes Yes Yes
Wednesday 1st or 2nd  Shawwal* 10th April Yes Yes Yes
Thursday 2ndor 3rd Shawwal* 11th April Yes Yes Yes
Friday 3rd Shawwal (if the moon was not seen on Monday) or the 4th Shawwal* 12th April Maybe (if this is the 3rd Shawwal)* Yes Yes
*Dependent on moon sighting

How can private-sector workers find out how long they will have off?

Monitor media reports and official government sources on Monday 8th April to learn whether the new crescent moon has been sighted or not.

If the moon is sighted on Monday evening then the first day of Eid is on Tuesday 9 April. This means the private sector holiday will be four days, and private sector work will resume on Friday 12 April.

But if the moon is not sighted on Monday then Tuesday 9 April will still be Ramadan and the first day of Eid will be on Wednesday 10 April. In this instance, the holiday for the private sector extends until Friday, with work not resuming until Monday 15 April for those private-sector workers who enjoy the traditional two-day Saturday and Sunday weekend.

What seems to be the most likely case?

The good news is astrologers are predicting that Ramadan will last for 30 days this month, and it is therefore expected that Eid will be declared on Wednesday 10th April, meaning that private sector workers will also enjoy a full week off.

Ibrahim Al Jarwan, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Emirates Astronomy Society is quoted by official UAE government media sources as stating:

“Islamic consensus is expected that the first day of the month of Shawwal and Eid Al Fitr shall be on Wednesday, April 10, 2024.

“The birth of Shawwal crescent will coincide with the occurrence of a total solar eclipse on April 8, 2024; its birth before midnight will mean that it can be seen after sunset the next day in most parts of the Islamic world.”

As ever, exact dates will be subject to the moon sighting and official announcements closer to the time.

Read more about why private and public sector workers have different holiday lengths here.


About The Author
Tabitha Barda
Tabitha Barda is the Senior Editor of Oxbridge educated and an award winning journalist in the UAE for more than a decade, Tabitha is one of the region's shining lights in all that is education in the emirates. A mum herself, she is passionate about helping parents - and finding the stories in education that deserve telling. She is responsible for the busy 24x7 News Desk, our Advisory Boards and Specialist Panels - and Parents United's WHICHPlaydates - a regular meeting place for UAE parents to discuss the issues that matter to them, make friends and network with others. You can often find Tabitha too on Parents United - our Facebook community board, discussing the latest schools and education issues with our parent community in the UAE - and beyond.

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