16-day Eid break for Saudi public sector employees

September 17, 2012

Public sector employees in Saudi Arabia will next month enjoy an exceptionally long holiday to celebrate Eid Al Adha.

The break will start on the second day of Dhul Hajja (Thursday, October 18) and stretch until Dhul Hajja 18 (Friday, November 2), giving government employees 16 days off, local Arabic daily Okaz reported on Sunday.

In 2011, the public sector in Saudi Arabia enjoyed an 11-day holiday for Eid Al Adha.

The break this year coincides with the Haj season when around three million Muslims from all over the world converge in the city of Makkah to perform the pilgrimage.

Islam requires physically fit and financially stable Muslims to perform Haj at least once in their lives.

The tenth day of Dhul Hajja is observed by Muslims as Eid Al Adha, which is one of the two religious feasts on the Islamic calendar, and Muslim countries customarily declare a holiday period of two or three days to allow for family reunions and celebrations.

Many Saudi nationals are expected to use the long break either to perform Haj or to travel abroad, with Bahrain and Dubai topping their list of travel destinations in the region. Istanbul and Kuala Lumpur are also favoured cities for the thousands of Saudi nationals planning to travel abroad.

The long holiday period has also set the expatriate community in the country buzzing.

Abu Lotfi, an expatriate teacher in the Eastern Province, said he was planning to visit his home country even though he had been home for the summer holidays in July and August.

“As I have performed Haj several times before, I wish this time to take my family and go home to spend two weeks and see our newborn baby granddaughter,” he said. “She was born only three days before we left to come back to Saudi Arabia and resume work, so we would love to see her again and spend the Eid with the larger family,” he said.

In Bahrain, the Eid holidays are expected to last six days, including the weekend, from October 25 until October 30.

Under Bahrain’s laws, public sector employees are given additional days in lieu of holidays that fall on either Friday or Saturday, the official weekend. However, the rule does not apply to the private sector.

In Saudi Arabia, Thursday and Friday make for the official weekend.




About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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