Vacation Leaves and Holidays in Dubai – A Guide for Expats

When foreign workers come to Dubai, they want to secure employment and accommodation first. The most important things to look for in a job contract are definitely the work hours and the remuneration. However, you should pay attention to the vacation leaves you are entitled to as well. You should also have an idea about the public holidays in Dubai during which you will not work as well as about the school holidays of your kids. This information will help you organize visits home and vacations away from the emirate.

It is a standard norm for workers to have a 4 week paid vacation leave during the year. Still, this is not applicable to all jobs and some employers prefer to reduce this period to 2 weeks. You should definitely check whether the paid leave duration is mentioned in the employment contract before you sign it. You should discuss this with your employer to find out how things work in the respective company.

In general, companies in Dubai are considerate about such matters and employed expatriates usually do not have a problem taking two to four weeks from work during the year. In fact, many employers even pay for the plane tickets to and back from your home country.

You are highly recommended to arrange your vacation leave as early as possible. This is applicable to talking to your employer as well as to getting plane tickets and organizing a holiday abroad. Dubai is a very busy destination, so you might end up with no way to get back home when you want to.

The school holidays in Dubai match the ones in most Western countries. Students are not attending school at New Years and in most cases the time off school includes Christmas as well, but you have to check explicitly with the educational institution attended by your child. Primary school students usually have vacation from mid December to the beginning of January. There is a mid term holiday of 2 weeks that is usually in the second half of January for secondary school students. Summer vacation is from the middle of June to the middle of September. The duration is that long due to the temperature heights during this time of year in Dubai.

Some of the public holidays in Dubai have fixed days. These include New Years and National Day on 2nd December. However, the public holidays for religious celebration are not fixed. They are determined based on moon sightings. For this reason, major holidays, such as Eid Al-Adha, Islam New Year and Prophet’s Birth, change from year to year. In addition, some of them can be announced only shortly before they commence.

That is why you should pay attention to news announcements to make sure you know which day is a holiday. You can readily check official government and local authority websites for details. They usually act quite fast to update the public holiday information.

Last, but not least, make sure you enjoy your holidays as much as you can.


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  1. Are all published UAE national holidays paid by the Employer? My Employer asked me to work through the EID holidays Nov 16,17 & 18 and told me I only get straight time pay for hours actually worked without the paid national holiday hours. My employment contract did not mentioned paid national holidays. I understand that paid national holidays is manadatory UAE Labor Laws. Can somebody shed some lights on this matter.

  2. good afternoon,
    i am boubaker boukraine from algeria.i work as a middle school teacher.i will be free soon in summer i am free for two months i hope to find a job in dubai.
    yuours sincerly,

  3. Its always hard to find work in a new country but I managed to find work fairly easy in Dubai. Good luck for anyone looking for work there 🙂

  4. Sometimes the holidays can change in Dubai so you should always keep up to date with what the government is doing with the holidays so you know whats going on. Like the article mentioned you should check with the government websites to see what is happening

  5. Tremendous info here. I am very happy to have seen your post.
    Thank you a lot and I am looking ahead to more articles like this.

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