As of now four holidays have been confirmed and there might be further holidays to be announced by the government.
National Sports Day – February 13
The government has mandated the second Tuesday of February as the National Sports Day with a view to encourage healthy lifestyle for the people of Qatar. On the day, government and non-government offices will organise sports and physical activities for their employees.
Among the common sports activities are football (or soccer), basketball, volleyball, cricket, swimming, horse racing, camel racing, auto racing powerboat racing, golf, Olympic-style handball and rowing competitions.
Eid al-Fitr – June 15 to 17
Since it all depends on the sighting of the new moon, the date keeps changing every year on the Western calendar. This holiday comes after Ramadan.
Eid al-Fitr has various traditions, which includes communal praying in mosques or other prayer grounds, eating with families and friends, giving gifts to children and giving zakat al-fitr as charitable duty. Everyone is greeted with “Eid Mubarak”
The public sector employees can get as much as 11 days off from work. In the private sector, employees are also given several days off. Even school children are given a vacation.
Eid al-Adha – August 20 to 22
It is also known as the Feast of Sacrifice and considered as the holiest in the Islamic calendar. The festival comes 70 days after Eid al-Fitr. It commemorates the willingness of Ibrahim to sacrifice his son in an altar to obey Allah.
There are also traditions observed during this time. It includes morning prayer in the mosques and other prayer area and sacrificing animals such as cattle, goat and sheep. These sacrificed animals will be eaten by the family, and a portion will usually be donated to the poor. Performing Hajj also happens before Eid-al Adha.
Employees usually get around three to five days leave from work, while the schools and bank services will also be closed. But some banks might be opened for a short duration.
National Day – December 18
The holiday marks the unification of Qatar and also remembers and respects Sheikh Jassim and many other people who sacrificed for Qatar’s unification and independence. This is also known as Founder’s Day.
The country had tribal issues and battling with the British and Ottoman empires before the unification. Sheikh jassim brought different tribes in Qatar together and were able to stay away from outside influence.
Majority of the events are held in Darb Al-Saai, which is in Al Sadd. The events showcase Qatari history such as camel and horse riding, falconry and shooting. There will also be celebrations at the Katara Cultural Village, while the National Day parade will be held in Corniche.