Looking to plan your trip to Abu Dhabi around UAE public holidays? Here’s a guide to what to expect in 2023:
- New Year’s Day: 1 January 2023 (1 day)
- Eid Al Fitr: From the last day of the Islamic month of Ramadan to 3 Shawwal* (approx. 20 April to 23 April 2023 – 4 days)
- Arafat Day and Eid Al Adha (Feast of Sacrifice): From 9 to 12 Dhu al Hijjah* (approx. 27 June to 30 June 2023 – 4 days)
- Hijri New Year: 1 Muharram* (Approx. 19 July 2023, date of observation TBC – 1 day)
- The Prophet Mohammed’s birthday: Approx. 27 September 2023, observation TBC – not always a public holiday
- Commemoration Day: 1 December 2023 (1 day)
- National Day (52nd Anniversary): 2 and 3 December 2023 (2 days)
Jump back to Previous Year: Abu Dhabi 2022 Pubic Holidays
*Islamic holidays are determined according to moon sightings. The date a religious holiday is observed and the public holiday declared may be two different dates, particularly if it falls on a weekend, Friday- Sunday.
Note that the weekend in the UAE changed from 1 January 2022; Government working hours are now Monday to Friday lunchtime, and the weekend is Friday afternoon, Saturday, and Sunday.
Hijri Calendar to Gregorian Calendar
The Hijri Calendar moves forward by approximately ten days more than the Gregorian Calendar every year. There is a good translation tool here from IslamicFinder.org to understand when important days on the Hijri Calendar will translate to:
Prayer Times in Abu Dhabi
You can also check out our guide here to the daily prayer times in Abu Dhabi. There isn’t much you need to do as a non-Muslim tourist at prayer times, but it has some great tips on understanding exactly WHAT is happening and WHY.
You can use this tool to see when daily prayer times are due to occur in Abu Dhabi:
Abu Dhabi School Holidays 2023
Abu Dhabi has a public (MoE) and private (international) school sector. The dates they have stipulated as holidays in a three-term school year for September starting curriculums are:
Winter Break 10 December to 1 January 2023 (schools return 2 January 2023)
Spring Break 27 March to 7/14 April 2022 (International Schools/MoE Schools)
Summer Break Not before 7 July 2023 until approximately 28 August 2023*
*The end of summer break is only anticipated until formally announced by the Government.
You can learn more and see further academic year calendars here
Other Major Events in Abu Dhabi & the UAE 2023
Here’s what’s already lined up for the 2023 Abu Dhabi Events Calendar:
- Sheikh Zayed Festival – 2022-23 Dates TBC
- Ramadan – the Holy Month from approx. 23 March to 21 April 2023 – not a public holiday but month-long religious observance
- Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – 23 to 26 November 2023
- Diwali – 12 November 2023 – with a large Indian expat community, the event is widely celebrated in the UAE
- Mubadala World Tennis Championships – dates for 2023 TBC usually mid-December
- Mother of the Nation Festival – dates for 2023 TBC – previously early December
- Christmas – 25 December 2023 – not a public holiday but widely observed within the retail and hospitality sector
- New Year’s Eve – 31 December 2023 always a spectacular night of fireworks and festivities not to be missed
We still await finalized dates for a number of the popular Emirates Heritage Festivals, these are a great immersive way to learn more about Emirati culture.
You can see our complete guide to the best times to visit Abu Dhabi here, or click on your planned month below to get a detailed guide to events and the best activities to try that month.
Before you go… Important things to consider when planning a trip to Abu Dhabi
- Pop into our essential planning information page; it includes everything you need to know about getting around Abu Dhabi, a handy guide on what to pack and top tips for first-timers on the dos and don’ts, laws, and customs in the UAE.
- Don’t forget to pack your travel insurance!
- Discover the best places to stay in Abu Dhabi, or bag a bargain on your accommodation here:
Please note we are not a travel agency. This site is a travel blog to help newcomers to the UAE self plan their trip, we cannot book your flights, hotels, visas or connections for you. We may make a small commission if you click on any of our hotel or tour recommendation links.Abu Dhabi Travel Planner