Offices to close for Eid al-Adha
1 Sep 16
IMPACT – MEDIUM
What is the change? Government offices will close this month in a number of Muslim countries for the Day of Arafah and the Eid al-Adha holiday.
What does the change mean? Employers and foreign nationals who need government services should submit applications as soon as possible to avoid holiday-related delays.
- Implementation time frame:Approximately Sept. 10-20. Government closures vary from country to country and may range from two to 11 days.
- Visas/permits affected:All visas, permits and other government immigration services.
- Who is affected:Anyone needing to obtain visas, work permits, renewals or other immigration-related government services.
- Impact on processing times:Delays should be expected due to office closures and possible backlogs when offices reopen.
- Business Impact:Holiday delays may impact business schedules and assignments.
- Next steps:A number of countries are expected to announce the exact dates when offices will be closed within the next week or so.
Background: The Day of Arafah is considered the holiest day of Islam and falls on the second day of the annual Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca. It is followed by Eid al-Adha, which marks the end of the Hajj pilgrimage and honors Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice is son to God. Eid al-Adha is also known as the Feast of the Sacrifice, Eid-e-Ghorban, Kurban Bayramı or Hari Raya, among other names. Closures vary from country to country and in some cases will be set when the new moon appears. In most countries that celebrate the holiday, government offices will be closed for at least two days.
Saudi Arabia is likely to observe the Day of Arafah on Sept. 10 and Eid al-Adha for up to 10 days beginning Sept. 11. Other Gulf Cooperation Council countries – Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates – are likely to follow Saudi Arabia’s schedule, though in some instances the holiday period will be shorter. The UAE, for example, is expected to celebrate Eid al-Adha for a four-day period beginning Sept. 11. Government offices in Turkey are expected to be closed for roughly 10 days beginning Sept. 10.
BAL Analysis: Affected companies and foreign employees should check with their local officials for the exact dates when offices will be closed. Government services tend to slow down in some areas, especially in Saudi Arabia, not only during Eid al-Adha but throughout the Hajj season when millions of pilgrims arrive in Saudi Arabia and many government officials undertake the pilgrimage themselves. Those in need of government services this month should submit applications as soon as possible in order to minimize delays.
This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group. For additional information, please contact your BAL attorney.
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