THE MIDDLE EAST'S NEW TRAVEL MAGAZINE: FOR BEAUTIFUL DESTINATIONS, HOTELS, THINGS AND EXPERIENCES
THE MIDDLE EAST'S NEW TRAVEL MAGAZINE: FOR BEAUTIFUL DESTINATIONS, HOTELS, THINGS AND EXPERIENCES
THE MIDDLE EAST'S NEW TRAVEL MAGAZINE: FOR BEAUTIFUL DESTINATIONS, HOTELS, THINGS AND EXPERIENCES
THE MIDDLE EAST'S NEW TRAVEL MAGAZINE: FOR BEAUTIFUL DESTINATIONS, HOTELS, THINGS AND EXPERIENCES
THE MIDDLE EAST'S NEW TRAVEL MAGAZINE: FOR BEAUTIFUL DESTINATIONS, HOTELS, THINGS AND EXPERIENCES
THE MIDDLE EAST'S NEW TRAVEL MAGAZINE: FOR BEAUTIFUL DESTINATIONS, HOTELS, THINGS AND EXPERIENCES
THE MIDDLE EAST'S NEW TRAVEL MAGAZINE: FOR BEAUTIFUL DESTINATIONS, HOTELS, THINGS AND EXPERIENCES
THE MIDDLE EAST'S NEW TRAVEL MAGAZINE: FOR BEAUTIFUL DESTINATIONS, HOTELS, THINGS AND EXPERIENCES
THE MIDDLE EAST'S NEW TRAVEL MAGAZINE: FOR BEAUTIFUL DESTINATIONS, HOTELS, THINGS AND EXPERIENCESM
THE MIDDLE EAST'S NEW TRAVEL MAGAZINE: FOR BEAUTIFUL DESTINATIONS, HOTELS, THINGS AND EXPERIENCES
THE MIDDLE EAST'S NEW TRAVEL MAGAZINE: FOR BEAUTIFUL DESTINATIONS, HOTELS, THINGS AND EXPERIENCES
THE MIDDLE EAST'S NEW TRAVEL MAGAZINE: FOR BEAUTIFUL DESTINATIONS, HOTELS, THINGS AND EXPERIENCES
THE MIDDLE EAST'S NEW TRAVEL MAGAZINE: FOR BEAUTIFUL DESTINATIONS, HOTELS, THINGS AND EXPERIENCES
THE MIDDLE EAST'S NEW TRAVEL MAGAZINE: FOR BEAUTIFUL DESTINATIONS, HOTELS, THINGS AND EXPERIENCES
THE MIDDLE EAST'S NEW TRAVEL MAGAZINE: FOR BEAUTIFUL DESTINATIONS, HOTELS, THINGS AND EXPERIENCES
THE MIDDLE EAST'S NEW TRAVEL MAGAZINE: FOR BEAUTIFUL DESTINATIONS, HOTELS, THINGS AND EXPERIENCES

When is the UAE National Day holiday? 2024’s dates and all you need to know

All you need to know about the UAE National Day holiday, one of the highlights of the UAE’s public calendar and a four-day vacation in 2024

Near+Far

16 January 2024

uae national day holiday - view of Dubai

About the UAE National Day holiday

Many of us will be looking forward to the year ahead – planning adventures and trips and making the most of given public holidays. In the United Arab Emirates, residents and citizens are blessed with many public holidays, one of the most loved and celebrated being the UAE National Day holiday – the final public holiday of the year.

Marked annually at the beginning of December, the UAE National Day holiday celebrates the unification of six of the seven emirates – Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, Ajman, Fujairah and Umm Al Quwain – a monumental moment for the region, bringing together individual sheikhdoms following the completion of treaties with Great Britain. The unification day itself – and independence from the British – took place on 2 December, with the United States recognising the UAE as an official country the following day, on 3 December.

The seventh and final emirate, Ras Al Khaimah, joined the federation on 10 February 1972 – forming the Trucial States. This newly founded country became officially known as Dawlat Al Imarat Al Arabiyya Al Muttahida or the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

UAE national day holiday: Ras Al Khaimah mountains
Mountainous Ras Al Khaimah was the final emirate to join the UAE

When is the UAE National Day holiday?

In the years that followed, the UAE National Day holiday has been celebrated on 2 December annually, alongside the 3 December. The 2 December is known as the ‘Spirit of Union’ day, and the theme is complemented with a logo and silhouette of the iconic image of the first congregation of the Founding Fathers of the UAE, on 2 December 1971. Commemoration Day – celebrated on 30 November – has also long been included in the UAE National Day holiday; however, in 2023, residents were not granted a public holiday but instead given the right to work from home. Commemoration Day is not currently mentioned in the official UAE public holidays list for 2024.

UAE National Day holiday is celebrated from 2 to 3 December, with residents given time off from work. When combined with weekends, this can give people up to four days off work; however, when falling over a weekend, it is not practised for the UAE government to issue lieu days in place of the weekend holiday days – meaning one day off work. In 2023, in a turn of events, the 4 December was granted as an additional public holiday, giving residents a three-day public holiday.

UAE National Day will fall on a Monday, meaning UAE residents are in for a four-day long weekend when combined with the 3 December. With four days to play with, without cutting into annual leave, UAE residents can enjoy staycations, jet off to a number destinations – popular escapes being Maldives, Oman, Georgia and Seychelles – and make the most of celebrations happening at home in the UAE. Typical celebrations include fireworks, brunches and events, including an annual UAE official celebration attended by UAE royals and dignitaries – a visual and emotive ode to the powerful story of the UAE, its successes and the country it has grown into today.

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