The celebration of Eid-al-Fitr occurs at the conclusion to the Holy Month of Ramadan.
The dates this special occasion will fall on will be determined by moon sighting, however, the exact days the public and private sector will take as holidays in Abu Dhabi will be confirmed by the UAE Government.
It is expected in 2021 that this holiday will fall from approximately the 11th to 14th of May 2021 (the last day of Ramadan to 3 Shawwal – 4 days), though the exact dates are announced only a few days before.
Anywhere from Tuesday May 11th to Sunday May 16th 2021 may be called as Eid al Fitr holidays.
The dates for 2022 will move forward approximately 10 days with Eid al Fitr expected to fall from 1 May to 5 May 2022.
What do I need to know as a visitor to Abu Dhabi during Eid?
Eid Al Fitr celebrates the Festival of the Breaking of the Fast. From Ramadan 29 to Shawwal 3 (the 10th month on the Hijri calendar), Muslims around the world mark the end of “sawm” – day time fasting – which is one of the five pillars of Islam.
Eid al-Fitr is a festival for Muslims to show gratitude to Allah (God) for the help and strength he gave them throughout the month of Ramadan to help them practice self-control. Muslims will gather in mosques or open spaces and offer two units of prayer – called “Rakat”. The prayers are followed by a sermon, in which the Imam asks for forgiveness, mercy, and peace for every being across the world.
Along with exchanging Eid greetings and feasting with family, another important element of the Eid celebrations is giving money to the poor (known as ‘Zakat al-Fitr‘).
Gift-giving among family members is also commonplace. Not quite like Christmas for Christians, but along the same lines of giving and receiving. Commonly referred to as Eidi, elders give children money or gifts to mark the occasion.
There is nothing specific visitors to Abu Dhabi really need to observe during Eid. However, it’s important to note it can be a very busy time of year and hotel prices can rise as a result of a lot of local families choosing to staycation at this time of year.
The polite greeting to use at this time is “Eid Mubarak”.
Confused over which Eid?
The second Eid, which is actually the holier of the two Eid’s celebrated by Muslims around the world is Eid-al- Adha – Festival of the Sacrifice. Eid Al Adha occurs on the 10th day of Dhu Al Hijjah, which is the 12th and final month in the Hijri (Islamic) calendar.
Arafat Day and Eid Al Adha are expected to fall from 19 to 22 July 2021.
Events during Eid Al Fitr in Abu Dhabi
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic situation in 2021, there will be few large public events held in Abu Dhabi to mark the occasion this year.
As with Ramadan guidance from UAE authorities, families are asked to exchange their wishes online and limit family gatherings to first degree relatives.
Eid Fireworks in Abu Dhabi
The annual fireworks will go ahead on Yas Island over Eid at 9:00 pm each night, however, residents and visitors are being asked to enjoy the show from home by following along on the @yasiland Instagram page.
.@yasisland, with the support of @dctabudhabi, will host three days of fireworks displays to mark the occasion of Eid al-Fitr. Starting 9pm each night, the shows will be streamed live on Yas Island’s Instagram page, with gatherings prohibited to ensure public safety. pic.twitter.com/kkPDcI6Ehs— مكتب أبوظبي الإعلامي (@admediaoffice) May 2, 2021
Unlike in Dubai where bars and restaurants are asked to stop serving alcohol over religious occasions, the Abu Dhabi Department of Tourism stopped issuing these “dry day” orders in 2018. There is no formal announcement made. You can accordingly expect bars and restaurants to continue normal service over Eid Al Adha.
Offers and shopping deals for Eid Al Fitr in Abu Dhabi
Aside from the religious aspects of Eid, this holiday is also synonymous in Abu Dhabi and the UAE with local shopping deals. Expect to bag a bargain at the shopping malls and get one early as crowd numbers will still be restricted.
Further public holidays in Abu Dhabi and the UAE
Dates for the remainder of 2021:
- Eid al Adha: 19 to 22 July 2021 TBC (4 days)
- Islamic New Year: 9 August 2021, observed Sunday 12 August 2021
- Prophet Muhammed’s (PBUH) Birthday: 18 August, observed Sunday 21 October 2021
- Commemoration Day: Tuesday, 1 December
- UAE National Day: Wednesday, 2 December and Thursday, 3 December
Before you go… Important things to consider 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 as well as 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