UAE Public Holidays for 2020

These are the official dates of public holidays for the UAE for the coming year, as well as notable dates, so you can make a note in your diary now and plan ahead. Actual days of holiday for both the public and private sector should be the same and these are the dates announced by the UAE Government.

As usual, dates of Islamic holidays will be subject to slight variation, dependent on moon sighting, and others may also change.

With this in mind, this article will be updated throughout the year as any changes are announced.



 Occasion Date Day of the week No. of Days
New Year’s Day January 1st Wednesday 1
Beginning of Ramadan* April 24th Friday 0
Eid Al Fitr* May 23rd Saturday 4
Arafat (Haj) Day* July 29th Wednesday 1
Eid Al Adha* July 30th Thursday 3
Hijri New Year’s Day* August 23rd Sunday 1
Prophet’s Birthday October 29th Thursday 1
Commemoration Day December 1st Tuesday 1
UAE National Day December 2nd & 3rd Wednesday & Thursday 2
*Islamic holiday dates are dependent on moon sighting and are subject to confirmation and may change


I write articles such as this one as part of the holistic personal financial planning service and that I provide to expats, and the general consumer, financial and legal information that I provide in The National newspaper, on Capital Radio UAE, and on the Facebook group British Expats Dubai.

To arrange a meeting to discuss any aspect of your personal financial planning, please email me at     Please take a look at the other useful articles on this website.

Source: UAE Government Communications Office


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How much do those Christmas pop songs earn every year?

Every year, we hear familiar songs on the radio but have you ever stopped to wonder just how much the writers and performers receive from the repeated airplay? The amounts may surprise you as for the biggest songs the amounts are very large indeed. No wonder some artists refer to these hits as their pension funds!

The revenue goes to writers and performers, not always the same people, but if they both write it and perform it, the income is even bigger. Many artists have given it a go but not all are successful. The actual amounts below are amalgamated from multiple sources as the Performing Rights Society does not release this information.

Most of the best loved Christmas songs are not recent ,with the 70s and 80s being a golden era in terms of the UK charts, so the total royalties have really added up over the years. The law in the UK changed in 2011 so that now royalties last the entire life of the songwriter and another 70 years after they have passed away. In the US, they are payable for 95 years following a similar change in legislation in 1998. These earnings can support not only the writers and artists but also their dependents.

Here are some facts and figures about some of the biggest earners.

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Seasonal Spending – hints and tips for a happier Christmas & New Year

As we head rapidly towards the end of 2019 the prospect of Christmas and New Year is daunting for many due to the cost of the celebrations. With Christmas being as much a cultural as a religious event for most people, and New Year being a party time too, this article is all about some hints and tips for budgeting at this time of year.

The holidays are a time when people want to splash out but it is all too easy to get carried away with all the advertising, tempting shop displays, and the associated pressure to make everything perfect.

The cost of living in the UAE is higher than ever and with many people having concerns about expenditure, and even job security, there are ways to cut back but still have a good time.

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Sharia law & your money in the UAE

Whilst most people are aware that Sharia law is the legal framework used in the GCC countries, not all expats have realised that this can affect them and their money.

  • Did you know that on death your bank accounts and assets in the UAE will be frozen?
  • Did you realise that your spouse, or other family members, may not get access for many months?
  • Are you aware that your assets will not automatically go to your spouse?

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News: Risk of UK State Pension freeze remains for British pensioners in Europe

Starting next week some 360,000 British pensioners living in Europe will receive letters from The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP)  confirming that their UK State Pension pension will rise each year for at least the next three years in the event of a no-deal Brexit. There are no guarantees that these increases will continue after this time. Continue reading

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2019: how it is going for you? UAE survey results

A few weeks ago I asked people to complete a survey to see how 2019 is going for them, from a largely financial and work perspective.  Everyone was asked a series of questions about stability of work, the property market, what was impacting their personal finances, personal debts and how they felt about their life going into the second half of 2019.

Over 400 replied with just over 51% being in the 31 to 45 age group. The next largest group of respondents was aged 46 to 60 years (35%) and 70% of total respondents were married.

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News: Beneficial changes for DIFC Wills

The DIFC Wills Service Centre (formerly called the DIFC Wills and Probate Registry) has confirmed changes to the rules (the Amendments) which will come into effect from 30th June 2019. This is good news for anyone with UAE assets.

There are two major changes, summarised as follows:

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