public holidays

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There are two types of public holidays in Abu Dhabi: fixed holidays, such as UAE National Day (December 2), New Year’s Day (1 January), Martyr's Day (1 December) and Prophet Muhammed’s Birthday (Peace Be Upon Him) on 29 October. 

UAE celebrates UAE National Day on December 2 each year, under the theme of Spirit of the Union, which is derived from the historic meeting of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the founder of the UAE, with the rulers of the emirates to announce the formation of the UAE on December 2, 1971

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New Year’s Day is a big deal in Abu Dhabi, with the city hosting exciting activities, events and firework shows across the emirate.

Martyr's Day is a national day in which the United Arab Emirates expresses its appreciation for the martyrs who sacrificed their lives defending the honour of the homeland. Dedicating a day to these martyrs is an expression of gratitude, and a chance to express the deep correlation between the nation and its leadership.

On the twelfth of Rabi' al-awwal each year (29 October), Muslims in the UAE celebrate the anniversary of the birth of Prophet Muhammed (Peace Be Upon Him) and his message of tolerance and coexistence.

Islamic holidays, which are subject to moon sighting, see their dates varying each year. The Islamic calendar year is a lunar calendar used to determine the Islamic months, holidays and rituals, such as fasting, Eid Al Fitr, Hajj season and Eid Al Adha.

Muslims all over the world celebrate Eid Al Fitr (the festival of fast-breaking), an occasion that marks the end of Ramadan, the Islamic holy month of fasting. On the thirtieth night of Ramadan, the moon observation authorities confirm either the completion of fasting or the start of Shawal, the next Hijri (Islamic calendar) month, whose first day is Eid Al Fitr.

Arafat day is the ninth day of Dhu al-Hijjah, when pilgrims accomplish the most important rite of Hajj, while other Muslims fast, following the Sunnah of their Prophet.

Eid Al Adha is the tenth day of the Islamic month of Dhu al-Hijjah, after Arafat day on the ninth, during which pilgrims accomplish the most important rite of Hajj, whereas other Muslims fast following the Sunnah of their Prophet. 

On the first day of Muharram, Muslims celebrate the beginning of a new Hijri year, named after the emigration of Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) from Mecca to Medina. 

Federal ministries, public departments and government institutions are closed during public holidays.