The UAE has announced that the private sector will have a paid public holiday to mark Isra’a Wal Miraj this weekend.
The country’s Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation said: “Saturday, April 14 will be a paid public holiday for all employees of private sector establishments in the UAE on the occasion”, according to state news agency WAM.
This means no additional leave for workers with a Friday/Saturday weekend but an extra day off for those that usually receive just Friday off.
The circular was issued by Nasser bin Thani Al Hamli, minister of human resources and Emiratisation in implementation of a decision issued by the Council of Ministers.
Al Hamli congratulated the government, the people of the UAE and its residents on the occasion.
Earlier in the day, the ministry announced that federal government workers would also receive the same day off.
Authorities in Bahrain and Kuwait have granted their workers an additional day off to mark the occasion.
Bahrain said last week it would hold its annual Isra’a Wal Miraj ceremony on Thursday, April 12.
Kuwait said on Tuesday it would give workers the following Sunday off instead, with a national holiday on April 15 – meaning a three-day weekend for some workers.
Prior to the announcement, UAE authorities had already told bars and restaurants not to serve alcohol from 6:00pm on Friday, April 13 until 7:00pm on Saturday, April 14.
Isra’a Wal Miraj, or ‘the Night Journey’, refers to a journey undertaken by Prophet Mohammed from Makkah to Jerusalem in one night.
Last year, Isra’a Wal Miraj fell on Saturday, April 22.
Both public and private sector workers in the UAE got the next day off under the country’s federal law, which allows public holidays to be moved to the beginning or end of the week.