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UAE Public Holidays 2023: Official KHDA academic calendar for 2022/23 now out – But why are some parents complaining?

UAE Public Holidays 2023: Official KHDA academic calendar for 2022/23 now out – But why are some parents complaining?

by Tabitha BardaAugust 15, 2022

The official academic calendars for every private school in Dubai are now out, detailing the dates for school vacations and UAE public holidays 2023. But some parents are complaining about how the dates will affect their children and family travel plans next year.

Why are parents complaining about the UAE 2022/23 academic calendar?

The main gripe that parents have about the 2022/23 academic calendar is the date of the last day of the academic year in 2023.

Traditionally, UAE schools with terms that start in September have broken up for the summer holiday at the very end of June or first few days of July, giving children almost the whole of July and August off, and avoiding the most intense period of the hot weather.

However, in 2023 most schools will break up for the summer holiday on Friday 7 July – which some parents say is too late.

Blogger Nour (@naraniro) commented on the KHDA’s Instagram post announcing the new academic calendar.

“The school calendar ends too late! Remove some of the holidays to make it work. Going to school in over 40-degree heat shouldn’t be happening.”

Parent Rola Abdallah agreed, saying:

“Why will schools finish again on 7 July? Really this is unfair for the kids and us. It’s too hot at that [time] and children are refusing to continue going to school”.


This year some schools’ calendars and academic-year-end dates had to be shifted back at the last minute to encompass extra teaching time. Every UAE school is required by the Ministry of Education to have a minimum of 182 teaching days, but the UAE weekend change introduced in 2022, combined with the decision for all UAE school children to have a full week off during Eid Al Fitr 2022 (instead of the predicted 3 days), saw some schools needing to shift the last day of their academic year later by a day or two in order to provide the requisite number of teaching days.

Could the later end-of-year date in 2023 lead to greater absenteeism?

It’s worth noting that in the Summer term of 2023 there is likely to be a bumper long weekend for Eid Al Adha in the last week of June, from Tuesday 27 June until Saturday 1 July.

Children will then return for just one week of school on Monday 3 July, before breaking up for the end of the academic term on Friday 7 July.

Teachers tell us that absenteeism can often be an issue in the last weeks of the summer term, as parents take their children out of school prematurely to travel abroad.

Could this bumper Eid break just before the end of the 2023 academic year mean that some parents choose to let their children miss the whole of the last week of the Summer term 2023? And should this sort of absenteeism be allowed to happen, or should there be stricter policies in place to prevent this? We’d love to hear your views – please email your thoughts to [email protected].

Key points about 2023 Academic Calendar dates

Fewer UAE public holidays for 2022-23?

Two key public holidays are set to fall on weekend days in 2023 – The Prophet’s Birthday on Saturday 8 October (although this date is subject to change), and New Year’s Day on Sunday 1 January 2023.

This means that many families will lose 2 days’ holiday that they would have had in previous years, since the public holiday falls on what would have already been a non-working day for many people. 

Long weekends and Eid holidays

However, there will be two Eid public holidays in the Summer Term – something that has not happened for many years.

The first Eid – Eid Al Fitr – is likely to fall on Thursday 20 April and run until Saturday 23 April (dates subject to change), meaning a four-day weekend towards the start of the 2023 Summer Term.

Then the second Eid – Eid-Al-Adha – is likely to fall on Wednesday 28 June until Saturday 1 July (dates subject to change), making for a possible five-day weekend, just one week before schools break up for summer holidays on Friday 7 July.

Ramadan Hours at schools in 2023

It looks likely that Ramadan will begin on March 23, just as schools break up for a two-week Spring vacation. The date of Ramadan shifts by 10-12 days each year, and it takes around 33 years for the period of Ramadan to complete a full cycle of the Gregorian calendar. Next year will be the first time Ramadan will have fallen in such a cool-weather month in the UAE for well over a decade.

The fact that Ramadan will again coincide with the Spring vacation (as it did in 2022) means that there will be only be two weeks of Ramadan timings (reduced school hours) at schools when they return from the break, which should reduce the impact it could otherwise have on teaching time.

UAE Academic calendar 2022-23*

All UAE schools must have a minimum of 182 days. Public schools have up to 188 days, but many private schools have 182 days. The below calendar is for schools with 182 days in their academic year.

August 2022

Key dates:

Monday 29 August – Term starts

September 2022

Key dates:

No public holidays, school as usual

October 2022

Key dates:

Saturday 8 October – Prophet’s Birthday (public holiday)

Monday 17 – Friday 21 October – Half term break for some schools

Monday 24 October – School resumes for some schools

November 2022

Key dates:

No public holidays, school as usual

December 2022

Key dates:

Thursday 1 December – Martyr’s Day (public holiday)

Friday 2 December – National Day (public holiday)

Monday 12 – Friday 30 December – Winter break for all schools

January 2023

Key dates:

Sunday 1 January – New Year’s Day (public holiday)

Monday 2 January – All schools resume learning after Winter Break

February 2023

Key dates:

Monday 13 – Friday 17 February – Half term break for some schools (dates may vary)

Monday 20 February – School resumes for some schools

March 2023

Key dates:

Monday 27 March – Friday 7 April –  Spring Break for most schools

April 2023

Key dates:

Monday 10 April – School resumes for some schools (exact dates may vary)

Thursday 20 – Sunday 23 April – Eid Al Fitr (public holiday, exact date subject to moon sighting)

May 2023

Key dates:

No public holidays, school as usual

June 2023

Key dates:

Tuesday 27 – Saturday 1 July – Eid Al Adha (public holiday, exact date depends on moon sighting)

July 2023

Key dates:

Friday 7 July – End of the Academic Year

Tuesday 11 July – Islamic New Year (public holiday)

*Applicable for schools with August/ September start dates. Exact dates might vary between schools. Find the academic calendar for every private school in Dubai here

Do all schools follow the same academic calendar?

All schools with academic terms that start in August/ September (UK, American, Canadian and Australian curricula) will roughly follow the above dates. Indian, Japanese and Pakistani schools start their academic term in April and will have different academic calendar dates.

Why do some schools have different dates?

All schools must follow the academic calendar of the Ministry of Education, but some of the dates are fixed while others have some flexibility. Where the dates are flexible, the exact days might be different for your particular school, so you should double check with your child’s specific school calendar. Broadly speaking this affects half term dates (not all schools have half terms or have them on the same week) and the length of the Spring Break (schools may choose whether this is two weeks or three weeks).

This is the guidance that all September-start schools must follow from the Ministry of Education:

Ministry Of Education School calendar
Start of the academic year 28 August 2022
All public and private schools in the UAE have to adhere to the above dates, irrespective of their curriculum.
Winter break 11 Dec 2022 – 1 Jan 2023
All public and private schools in the UAE have to adhere to the above dates, irrespective of their curriculum.
Spring break 26 March – 13 April 2023
The above dates are applicable to all public and private schools teaching the curriculum of Ministry of Education. Other private schools teaching foreign curricula will take a break of 3 consecutive weeks as allowed in each emirate or take two consecutive weeks and a third week later within the year.
Summer break
Summer break must not be more than 8.2 weeks for all schools in the UAE, irrespective of the curriculum they teach.
School days 188 days
The above school days are applicable to all public and private schools teaching the curriculum of Ministry of Education. For other schools, school days must not be less than 182 days.

© A WhichMedia Publication. 2022. All rights reserved.

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's The School's Report - the global weekly round up of what matters in education for parents which is published every Friday, reviewing schools across the UAE - and features on issues that really matter. You can often find Tabitha 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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