x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Eid brings nine days off for UAE public sector workers

The Cabinet has announced that the official Eid Al Adha holiday would begin this Sunday and continue until Sunday, October 20, when government staff will be required to return to work.

Muslims arrive at Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque to perform the Eid Ad Adha prayers in Abu Dhabi. This year the holiday will begin on Tuesday, October 15. AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili
Muslims arrive at Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque to perform the Eid Ad Adha prayers in Abu Dhabi. This year the holiday will begin on Tuesday, October 15. AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili

ABU DHABI // Many workers will enjoy up to nine days off thanks to next week’s Eid celebrations.

The Cabinet has announced that the official Eid Al Adha holiday would begin this Sunday and continue until Sunday, October 20, when government staff will be required to return to work.

This means most Emiratis and government employees will be off for nine days if you include this weekend, October 11 and 12.

Most workers were happy about the news.

“We have an occasion coming soon, so I will use the week off to prepare for the wedding,” said Meera Eissa, 25, an Emirati project manager at a social organisation.

“Otherwise I would have had other plans, to go around to see family in Al Ain. And then spend three days to rest in Dubai and shopping and dining in new restaurants. At the same time I’m using this time to connect with my siblings.”

Hyam Eid, 28, an Emirati graphic designer, said: “I was very happy because I was longing for a good holiday ... last Eid we didn’t get any time off.”

The long holiday was just one of the announcements and decisions to emerge from yesterday’s Cabinet meeting at the presidential palace in Abu Dhabi, led by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai.

It was also decided that holders of diplomatic passports from Serbia would be exempt from needing visas to visit the UAE. In another diplomatic move, the UAE will open an embassy in Yerevan, Armenia, and reopen one in Mogadishu, Somalia.

Agreements regarding air transport with Paraguay and Swaziland were also confirmed.

“Our diplomatic aim is to be a key player in spreading peace, dialogue and tolerance, thanks to the sensible approach of Sheikh Khalifa,” Sheikh Mohammed posted on Twitter.

The agreements are “in line with strengthening international cooperation and serving the UAE’s welfare”, reported state news agency Wam.

A request from the Federal National Council to be allowed to discuss reports issued by international organisations concerning the UAE was also approved.

The Council had asked to see reports rating the country’s performance in issues such as human development and investment.

The Cabinet approved the request, Wam said, noting that “international reports play an effective role in forming the image and status of countries worldwide”.

Financial records for last year were presented to the Cabinet by Emirates Transport and Emirates Real Estate Corporation.

The meeting was also attended by Sheikh Saif bin Zayed, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, and Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs.

hdajani@thenational.ae