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UAE School Holidays for 2020 – 2023
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UAE School Holidays for 2020 – 2023

by David WestleyMarch 10, 2021

Dubai: UAE authorities approved on 14th September the academic calendar for three years, starting with 2020-21. The calendar details start and end of school year, vacation days and other details.

Chaired by Sheikh Mansour Bin Zayed, the Ministerial Development Council approved the academic calendar for government and private schools for the next three years. Details below.

Schools are allowed to deviate from the MOE calendar dates, within reason. British Schools in Dubai, for example, align half terms and professional learning days using the KHDA allowance of up to eight professional development days each year. These, combined with an extra week of teaching to that published by MOE, means a core group of UK schools have two half terms.

The current academic year and 2022-23 will be of 188 days for private schools according to the MoE. Children will go to school 186 days in the 2021-2022 school year.

Pupils will return to school a day earlier in the new academic year on August 29 next year and on August 28 in 2022.

For the official UAE holiday dates for 2020-2021, for private schools starting in September, and MoE curriculum schools, look no further than the table below however.

 

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Key Dates

Pupils in private schools will get a three-week winter break that starts on December 13 2020.

The second term will start on January 3, 2021.

Schools will get a two-week spring break from March 28 to April 15 2021 and classes will resume on April 18 2021.

The last day of school for the academic year 2020-21 will be July 1, 2021.

The term dates for 2021-2022 are:

Winter break: December 12 to 30 in 2021

Spring break: March 27 to April 14, 2022

Term dates for 2022-2023 are:

Winter break: December 11, 2021 to January 1, 2023

Spring break: March 26, 2023 to April 13, 2023

 

Half Terms

Half terms in Terms 1 and 2 have been reinstated in calendars after schools negotiated the extension of the academic year, beyond the dates the KHDA set out in its “new calendar”.

Rule number one in the KHDA’s new guidelines was that all private schools in Dubai must abide by the dates specified, however wriggle room seems to have been allowed in when the year actually ends.

In calendars sent out by leading UK curriculum schools to parents, the start and end dates of all terms have remained as per the KHDA’s guidelines, but the end of the academic year has been extended to July 7th. This one-week extension has allowed one extra half term in the school year. As per the KHDA’s guidelines schools already had flexibility to take five days off during the year – “distributed or combined throughout the year, or to extend Spring break…”

With the five flexible days, and the one-week extension of the school year, schools have been able to reinstate two half terms in KHDA approved calendars.

British schools in Dubai we have spoken to will have the following half terms utilised in the winter and spring terms.

  • Winter term: Sunday 18th October – Thursday 22nd October
  • Spring Term:  Sunday 14th February   – Thursday 18th  February

The staff development week, which previously was student free and afforded a half term earlier in the year, has been moved to the summer term. Children will be in school during the week.

There is no half term break in the summer term.

The revised academic calendar for the 2020/21 academic year was issued by the KHDA to “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”.

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 2020-21 Academic Calendar and UAE School Holidays

Private Schools in the UAE following an international curricula Date Duration of Vacation
Beginning of attendance of the Academic body 2020-2021 academic year 23/08/2020
Beginning of the Students’ attendance for Winter term 30/08/2020
Winter vacation for students 13/12-31/12/2020 (3) weeks
Resumption of study for Spring term 03/01/2021
Spring vacation for students 28/3/2021-8/4/2021 Two weeks
Resumption of study for Summer term 11/04/2021
End of students’ attendance 01/07/2021
End of the Academic body attendance 08/07/2021
Number of school days 182 with examination days
 Date Duration of Vacation
Private or Local Schools in the UAE following the MoE curricula
First Semester
Beginning of attendance of the Academic body 23/08/2020
Beginning of the Students’ attendance 30/08/2020
Winter vacation/students 13/12/2020 -7/1/2021 (20) working days (4) weeks
Winter vacation/ Academic body 20/12/2020-31/12/2020 (10) working days /two weeks
Second Semester
Beginning of attendance of the Academic body 03/01/2021
Beginning of the Students’ attendance/ Resumption of study 10/01/2021
Spring vacation/ Academic body 28/3/2021- 8/4/2021 or 28/3/2021- 1/4/2021 (10) working days /two weeks or (5) working days, a week
Third Semester
Beginning of attendance of the Academic body 04/04/2021
Beginning of the Students’ attendance/ Resumption of study 11/04/2021
End of the Students’ attendance 01/07/2021
End of the Academic body attendance 08/07/2021  (30) working days (6) weeks
Number of school days 182 with examination days

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

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