UAE Moves Date Of Upcoming Islamic New Year Public Holiday
Source:WAM Emirates News Agency (Abu Dhabi)
Posted: Monday, December 22, 2008
In a surprise move, earlier this morning, the UAE has moved the date of the Muharram 1st, 1430 H (Islamic New Year) public holiday from Monday, December 29, to Sunday, December 28, 2008, presumably to create a long weekend, as weekends for civil servants are Fridays and Saturdays.
Note that this change cannot be due to the usual last-minute uncertainty of Muslim holidays, as such a change, occurring on the first day of a Muslim month, could only be determined the evening before, on next Saturday, December 27.
In any case, the UAE usually follows the Saudi Umm al Qura Islamic calendar, according to which it is impossible for the Islamic New Year to begin on December 28 of this year, as the New Moon occurs on the afternoon of the 27th and on that day the Moon sets at 17:39 before the Sun does at 17:43 (Mecca local time).
In addition, it was announced that Thursday, January 1st, 2009, would be a public holiday for both the public and private sector of the UAE.
The announcement for the private sector was made by the UAE Minister of Labour, Saqr Ghobash, while the announcement for the public sector was made by Humaid Al Qattami, the UAE Chairman of CSB (Civil Service Bureau) and Minister of Health.
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