The holiday season can be tricky for most people. The seasonality of businesses should make it easy to predict the demand and supply of offerings but it all depends on how those offerings are positioned during the market ups and downs. Add to that, the various macro-economic factors, customer demography and related changes. Here, we will review the holidays of 2018 in UAE for what they mean in Dubai and how they affect businesses in general. We conclude it with the impact on real estate market.
New Year: It’s nothing like you have seen before. The New Year celebrations at Dubai has to be seen to be believed, with simply the most extravagant treats that the city can offer. The entire downtown is bustling with colorful lights, fireworks, dining options, cruise, galas and more.
Ramadan: Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, began on May 16 this year. It is the Holy month during which the city slows down to breathe, from a frantic pace. Between Suhoor, Siyam and Iftar – the predawn meal, the fast and fast broken in the evening after sunset with a sip of water and dates, the entire community is engrossed in the festivities. Non-muslims in Dubai also refrain from openly drinking, smoking or eating in public to respect the local culture. The restaurants serve behind the curtains till the sun goes down though.
Eid Al Fitr: It is celebrated on the first of the month of Shawwal, and at the end of the month of Ramadan, which is the period of complete fasting for the Muslims. It falls on June 14 for 2018. UAE has a 3 day holiday during this festival.
Arafat Day: Arafat Day is the second day of the Hajj pilgrimage and is the day before the first day of the major Islamic Holiday of Eid ul-Adha. Arafat Day falls on the 9th day of Dhu al-Hijjah, the twelfth and final month in the Islamic calendar. This will be on August 20 this year in UAE and is a one day holiday.
Eid Al Adha: Eid al-Adha is the second celebration in the year and translates as the ‘festival of sacrifice’. August 21 is the date announced for its celebration in the country of Dubai.
Both Eids (Eid Al Fitr and Eid Al Adha) are national public holidays that last three days. Hence government departments, shops and businesses will most likely be closed.
Hijri New Year Day: The Hijri year is the era used in the Islamic lunar calendar, which begins its count from the Islamic New Year in 622 AD. During that year, Muhammad and his followers migrated from Mecca to Yathrib (now Medina). It is a one day holiday that falls on September 11.
Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)'s birthday: This is celebrated on November 19. PBUH stands for “Peace be upon him”. The Arabic phrase ʿalayhi as-salām translating to "peace be upon him" is a complimentary phrase attached to the names of the prophets in Islam.
Martyr's Day: November 30 is celebrated as Martyr’s day or Commemoration day by saluting UAE’s vigilant soldiers, officers and commanders of armed forces for protecting and defending the homeland.
UAE National Day: It is a celebration that marks the UAE's Union Day between the seven emirates which was followed by the joining of the seventh emirate, Ras Al Khaimah, in 1972. December 2 and 3 are marked as the National day holidays for 2018.
As you can see, the above holidays are a serious celebration of UAE’s national pride and culture where everyone comes together to enjoy the festivities in Dubai and other parts of UAE. There are still a number of businesses that cater to the expats and don’t come to a complete halt even during the peak holiday season. Although retail, hospitality and entertainment businesses thrive during this period, the real estate industry doesn’t as much match their pace in speed of transactions. This is changing though.
With continuous changes brought to the construction industry from all the stakeholders, decision making of the customer also alters. A well-prepared customer is always watching the property market to capitalize on the best prices and healthy rate of returns before investing in a home to rent or sell when the market peaks again. We may be passing through the holy month of Ramadan right now but don’t be surprised if you feel blessed when Dubai real estate market picks up from where it was left at, in the coming days.