Image via WikipediaIt's Sunday! No Monday! No Sunday! No Monday!
Finally Gulf News puts the endless speculation to rest. The forthcoming one day national holiday on the occasion of the birthday of the Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) will take place on Saturday for the private sector and Sunday for the public sector.
(Sound of tyres screeching)
Hang on. Isn't the Prophet's birthday by custom celebrated on the 12th of Rabi Al Awwal, corresponding this year (Hijri 1430) to Monday the 9th of March 2009?
This new arrangement means that the UAE's private sector, which takes a Friday/Saturday weekend - the same as the public sector - will not get a day off at all. And nobody will take a day's holiday on the right day.
"We did not want to cause any interruption between the public and private sectors," UAE Minister of Labour Saqr Ghobash told Gulf News, explaining the reason why the change made the holiday 'more coherent' with the public sector holiday.
Oddly, he also told GN, "As far as I know, the majority of companies in the private sector have only one day off, which is Friday."
Why, then, if you are going to move the holiday to the wrong day at all, would you not give both public and private sectors the Sunday holiday? "Giving the holiday on Sunday would have caused another interruption in the holiday," Ghobash told GN's hard-eyed hack on the front line of the war against flibble.
So that's nice and clear, at least.
PS: We're taking Sunday anyway. Nyer Nyer Nyer Nyer Nyer...