Children's Education

School holidays in the UAE: 2023 and 2024

Plan your vacations, childcare, and more with these dates for the UAE school holidays for 2023 and 2024.

School holidays UAE

Updated 19-4-2024

If you’re a parent living and working in the United Arab Emirates, it’s important to know when your child’s school holidays fall. After all, with so many fun things to do with children in the country, you’ll want to make time for them all. To keep track of these useful dates, read on to find the following information:

An overview of school holidays in the UAE

The United Arab Emirates Ministry of Education sets the minimum number of school days in the year (at least 182 teaching days) as well as the approved calendar for the school year. The scholastic year runs from late August until the end of June, with two short holidays to break it up. Almost all schools in the UAE, including private and international schools, are expected to follow these dates.

UAE with kids
Yas Waterworld: one of the many great family attractions in the UAE

There are three main school holidays in the UAE, as follows:

  • Winter break: Two and a half weeks from mid-December to early January
  • Spring break: Three weeks in late March to early April (international schools may split this into a two-week break and a one-week break)
  • Summer break: Around 8 weeks between late June and early September

In addition to these breaks, children in the UAE get to enjoy 14 days off for public holidays throughout the year. These include both Gregorian and Islamic New Year, Eid al-Fitr, and the UAE’s National Day. If your child attends one of the country’s many international schools, they might also get to enjoy additional half-term breaks.

Both adults and children in the UAE get to enjoy a relatively generous number of free days surrounding the country’s national holidays and Islamic festivals. However, bear in mind that a few businesses are closed during this time.

Additionally, the date for Eid al-Fitr depends on the sighting of the crescent moon, therefore the actual date of the holiday might vary by a couple of days.

School holiday dates in the UAE 2023–2024

Winter break11 December 2023 – 1 January 2024
Spring holiday25 March – 14 April 2024
Summer break28 June – 26 August 2024

Check with your school in case of variations.

School holiday dates in the UAE 2024–2025

Winter break16 December 2024 – 5 January 2025
Spring holiday24 March – 13 April 2025
Summer breakLate June – 25 August 2025

Check with your school in case of variations.

Additional holidays and days off

As well as making note of the term dates above, it’s worth marking down these additional dates for 2024:

Gregorian New Year1 January 2024 (Monday)
Eid Al-FitrOn or around 9 April 2024 (Thursday)
Arafah day and Eid Al-Adha15–18 June 2024 (Saturday – Tuesday)
Hijri New Year (Islamic New Year)7 July 2024 (Sunday)
Prophet Mohammed’s Birthday16 September 2024 (Wednesday)
Commemoration Day1 December 2024 (Sunday)
National Day2 December 2024 (Monday)

Keep in mind that public holidays in the UAE may be be subject to change.

Childcare during school holidays in the UAE

Although nurseries are not permitted to open during national holidays in the UAE, it’s unlikely that you’ll be at work on these days anyway.

A babysitter helps a child make a paper fanouse in a living room with a cat sitting close by
Photo: Maria Fedotova/Getty Images

However, since the country has relatively long holiday breaks, you might be looking for ways to keep your little ones occupied. Here are some options:

  • Nursery holiday camps: Some private nurseries offer a holiday camp for at least part of the day during the school holidays. If your child attends a nursery or kindergarten in the UAE, then check with them to find out what they offer.
  • Sports camps: If you want your children to get some exercise during the holidays, then there are plenty of options. For example, if they love the water, DuDive diving holiday camp and Waves Academy offer intensive swimming courses. For those who want to stay dry, however, Infinite Sports offers multi-activity camps for kids.
  • Nannies and childminders: Nannies are big business in the UAE, but it’s important to find a reputable provider and make sure that you clearly define your expectations. One option is to contact a childcare provider such as CloudNine Kids, which offers both babysitting services and childcare training in Abu Dhabi and Dubai.