There’s confusion over public holiday’s in some GCC countries to celebrate the holy day of Isra Wal Miraj.
The day is observed on the 27th day of the Islamic month of Rajab. This year the day falls on Saturday. April 14. Last year, the holiday was observed on April 23, a Sunday, after it was moved ahead by a day from April 24, Monday.
Isra’a Wal Miraj, or ‘the Night Journey’, refers to a journey undertaken by Prophet Mohammed from Makkah to Jerusalem in one night.
Here’s what we know about holidays in the GCC during 2018 for this day, based on newspaper reports from the respective countries:
KUWAIT – has said it will give workers Sunday, April 15 off.
OMAN – has announced it will give workers Thursday, April 15th off.
UAE – as the day will be observed on Saturday 13th, there will be no other day’s off. It’s been reported that bars and restaurants in the UAE had been instructed not to serve alcohol from 6:00pm on Friday, April 13 until 7:00pm on Saturday, April 14 to mark the Islamic holiday.
SAUDI ARABIA, QATAR, AND BAHRAIN – It has been reported in some UAE media that it is expected the day will be accompanied by a public holiday in Bahrain, but this was likely in error as there is no official government confirmation of this, nor is such a public holiday accounted for in Bahrain’s, Qatar’s, and Saudi Arabia’s list of public holidays for 2018.