Business Hours and Holidays in Abu Dhabi, UAE
Abu Dhabi Business Hours
The Abu Dhabi weekend has traditionally been Thursday afternoon and Friday, but now much of the private sector in Abu Dhabi closes on Friday and Saturday, working through Thursday afternoon instead. Government offices are generally open from 7.30am– 3.00pm (7.30am–12.00 noon on Thursdays) observing holidays on Saturday and Friday. Business hours in Abu Dhabi are either ‘straight shift’ or ‘split shift’. The former normally requires 8 working hours beginning from 7:30 a.m. or 9:00 a.m. with a lunch break lasting 30 minutes to an hour. The latter comprises 8 to 9 working hours that typically commence between 9:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m. and ends between 8:00 p.m .and 9:00 p.m., with 3 to 4 breaks in between. The split shift is thought to be an efficient means of addressing the extremely hot weather during the summer months, particularly for labourers
Abu Dhabi shopping hours are similar in their opening times, but most shops remain open until 9.00–10.00pm. Traditional shops & smaller street traders often operate under split shift timings, closing for 3 to 4 hours in the afternoon. Department stores, boutiques, souks and many food shops remain open on a Friday, apart from prayer times (between 11.30am and 1.30pm), while larger shops re-open on a Friday afternoon at around 4.00–5.00pm. Some food outlets and petrol stations are open 24 hours a day. According to the labour laws, all companies are obliged to shorten the working day by 2 to 3 hours during Ramadan. This is to assist Muslim employees who are fasting, but the law makes no distinction in this regards between Muslim and non-Muslim employees. Many businesses, schools and shops change their working hours slightly in Ramadan. Night-time activity increases during Ramadan, with many shops are open until midnight.
Embassies and consulates in Abu Dhabi are generally open from 8.45am–12.30pm and are closed on Fridays and in most cases on Saturdays, but usually leave an emergency number on their answering service, website. They may designate specific times and days for certain tasks.
Both the local banks and the many international banks represented by branches in Abu Dhabi provide the usual commercial banking services. Transfers can be made without difficulty as there is no exchange control and the dirham is freely convertible. Abu Dhabi Banks opening hours are 8.00am to 1.00pm, from Saturday to Wednesday, although some also open from 4.30–6.30pm. On Thursdays, banks operate only from 8.00am to noon. Exchange houses are open from 8.30am–1.00pm and 4.30–8.30pm in Abu Dhabi
Holidays in Abu Dhabi
In keeping with Islam, Abu Dhabi observes several public holidays throughout the year, most of which are religious in nature. The main Muslim festivals are Eid Al Fitr (the festival of the breaking of the fast, which marks the end of Ramadan) and Eid Al Adha (the festival of the sacrifice, which marks the end of the pilgrimage to Mecca). Mawlid Al Nabee is the holiday in Abu Dhabi celebrating the Prophet Muhammad’s birthday, and Lailat Al Mi’raj celebrates the Prophet’s ascension into Heaven. As some holidays in the UAE are based on the sightseeing of the moon and do not have fixed dates on the Hijri calendar and so Islamic holidays in the UAE are more often confirmed less than 24 hours in advance.
The following list shows the major Holidays in Abu Dhabi and Islamic events in the UAE for the year 2012. Dates in italics are subject to change on moon-sighting.
|Occasion||Duration||Hijri Year||Gregorian Year 2012|
|New Year||1||7 Safar||01 Jan 2012|
|Prophet Mohammed’s Birthday||1||12 Rabi' Al-awwal||04 Feb 2012|
|Israa & Miaraj Night||1||27 Rajab||17 June 2012|
|Ramadan expected to begin||29 / 30||1 Ramadan||20 Jul 2012|
|Eid Al Fitr||3||1 Shawwal||19 Aug 2012|
|Arafat (Haj) Day||1||9 Dhu Al-Hijjah||25 Oct 2012|
|Eid Al Adha||3||10 Dhu Al-Hijjah||26 Oct 2012|
|UAE National Day||2||-||2 / 3 Dec 2012|
|Hijri New year’s Day||1||1 Muhrram||15 Nov 2012|
Corniche - Sunset
Abu Dhabi Street Scene
Boat Race Near Corniche
Trade Shops in the Heritage Vi...
Abu Dhabi Corniche - Crowd
"The greatest reward and luxury of travel is to be able to experience everyday things as if for the first time" - Bill Bryson