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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 17 December 2018

Dry weekend announced as UAE marks Israa Wal Miraj

The second public holiday of the year – due to be announced – will result in bars refraining from serving alcohol

Israa Wal Miraj is the second public holiday in this year's calendar. Pawan Singh / The National
Israa Wal Miraj is the second public holiday in this year's calendar. Pawan Singh / The National

Hotels and restaurants will refrain from serving alcohol on Friday and Saturday, April 13 and 14, as the Emirates mark the Islamic holiday of Israa Wal Miraj.

The second public holiday of the year is due to be announced and will result in bars being dry from 6pm on Friday.

Restrictions will be in place until the Saturday at 7pm, according to Dubai Tourism.

The move will mean Friday brunches, which are hosted by many hotels and beach clubs, are likely to be cancelled and tour boats and other operators are typically asked to refrain from hosting parties and live entertainment.

The holiday marks the occasion that the Prophet journeyed from Makkah to Jerusalem and ascended to heaven.

As Islamic holidays are decided by the lunar cycle, confirmation of exactly when the holiday will fall has not yet been confirmed. But it is likely to fall on the weekend, so an additional day off work is unlikely.

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What is Israa Wal Miraj?

Also known as the Ascension to Heaven, this holiday marks a religious occasion in Islamic history.

On this night, the Prophet Mohammed travelled from Makkah to Jerusalem, where he met all the prophets who preceded him at Al Aqsa mosque and led them in prayers. He then travelled to the heavens, and received divine instructions on acts of worship such as prayers. On that day, Muslims were assigned to five prayers a day.

It is due to fall on April 13, 2018 or Rajab 27, 1439