There’s some extra-long weekends to come…

After two years of travel uncertainty, the world is reopening and relaxed restrictions make heading off for a long weekend from Saudi Arabia much easier. But if you’re looking to preserve your annual leave, there’s plenty of ways to still enjoy a long weekend thanks to the public holidays in Saudi Arabia, which could see three-, four-, five- and even a six-day weekend this year.

Here’s the full list of public holidays for the private sector in Saudi Arabia in 2022

February 22: Saudi Founding Day

A brand new holiday was introduced in 2022, after officials issued a decree announcing that Saudi Arabia would commemorate February 22 every year as the nation’s Founding Day.

The decision to commemorate Founding Day on February 22 dates back three centuries, during the leadership of Imam Muhammad bin Saud when he founded the first Saudi state in 1727. The royal order also stated that this would enable the public to celebrate Muhammad bin Saud’s successors. Founding Day also marks Imam Turki bin Abdullah bin Muhammad bin Saud, who was the successor in 1824 and helped restore the nation by establishing the second Saudi state, which lasted until 1891. Ten years later, King Abdulaziz bin Abdulrahman Al Faisal Al Saud then succeeded in 1902 in establishing the third Saudi state by uniting it under the name of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

May 3 to 5 (dates TBC): Eid Al Fitr

At the end of Ramadan, both the public and private sectors enjoy a few days off work to celebrate Eid Al Fitr. In 2022, Eid Al Fitr is expected to fall from around Tuesday, May 3, and the Eid holidays are typically three or four days long for the private sector. If the holiday starts on Tuesday, that will mean a five-day weekend for those that enjoy a Friday-Saturday weekend. The dates will be confirmed closer to the date based on the moon-sighting.

July 10 to 13 (dates TBC): Arafat Day and Eid Al Adha

After Eid Al Fitr comes two public holidays right next to each other, on the occasion of Arafat Day and Eid Al Adha. In 2022, Arafat day is expected to fall on July 8 and Eid Al Adha will likely be on July 9. These dates, too are subject to the moon sighting but we should have the regular Friday and Saturday weekend, followed by a further four days off. Work is expected to resume on Thursday July 14, making it a one-day working week to ease back in after the Eid holidays.

September 23: Saudi National Day

Saudi National Day is celebrated each year on September 23, marking the renaming of the Kingdom of Nejd and Hejaz to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia by royal decree of King Abdulaziz bin Abdulrahman Al Faisal Al Saud in 1932. This year, September 23 falls on a Friday, so it’s expected that Thursday September 22 will be given as the public holiday, making it a three-day weekend.

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