Times to visit Dubai and Abu Dhabi
Depending on your capacity for heat, bear in mind the temperatures of Summer, the heat can be scathing on the skin. Apart from that, depending on your preference, the public holidays are not necessarily the best times to visit – but there are many who travel in to the UAE to be part of the festivities and spend time with friends and family. Equally, many residents, locals and expats use the holidays to travel out of the country. During Eid, some of the shops will be closed, though there is a festive feel in the evenings. Ramadan would require no eating or drinking in public during the day. It would be possible to eat in your room, for example, and some hotels have screened areas, but, many people prefer to avoid this time as a holiday – but the flight and hotel prices sometimes reduce during this period, so you could get a good deal. The main times that you may consider not travelling to the UAE are the summer months (July, August) as well as the numerous holidays.
The UAE has some holidays tied to the Gregorian calendar (Western calendar) and some that are tied to the Muslim Lunar calendar (Hijri Calendar). The holidays are January 1st (New Year’s Day), December 2nd (National Day, 2 days). In addition there is the Prophet’s birthday (Mawlid al Nabi), Ascension of the Prophet (Al Isra wa al Miraj), the last day of Ramadhan, Eid al Fitr (Feast of the Breaking of the Fast, usually at least 2 days), Eid al Adha (Feast of the Sacrifice, usually 3 days) and the Hijra New Year (the Muslim New Year). Since the dates of the Islamic holidays are based on the Hijri calendar they are subject to change every year, getting earlier by approximately 11 days every year. Islamic holidays are granted in accordance with the latest decree or ministerial decision by the Government and announcements are usually published in the press, to give exact public and private holidays.
Miraj and are unlikely to affect your holiday and, at worst you could spend that time at the beach or pool. The one other time where things shut down are during mourning periods where the country effectively shuts down for a few days and sometimes more – but one cannot plan for death!
Predicted dates for the next couple of years are as follows, but these are always subject to the sighting of the moon:
Eid al Fitr
Eid al Adha
Hijra New Year