DUBAI // February 17 has been declared a public holiday for the private sector, the Ministry of Labour announced today.
The holiday will mark the occasion of the Prophet Mohammed's birthday, or Mawlid al Nabawi.
Earlier this month, a circular was issued by Humaid Mohammed Obaid al Qattami, the chairman of the board of the Federal Authority for Human Resources and Minister of Education, announcing that the occasion would be marked with a public holiday for the public sector.
The earlier announcement meant all schools, and federal ministries and departments would be closed. The latest announcement means all businesses will be excused from work, or required to fairly compensate those who do work on this day.
The date corresponds to the 14th of Rabea' al Awwal according to the Islamic, Hijri calendar.
Although the Prophet Mohammed's birthday this year is on Tuesday, February 15 - the 12th of Rabea' al Awwal - the public holiday was moved to Thursday as the original date falls between two working days, according to a statement issued last Tuesday on WAM, the state news agency.