Stretching Expat Time Off With Public Holidays

Expats who are looking for a better work-life balance can find out which countries offer the most public holidays.

New research published by travel site looks at the nations with the most public holidays across the world, focussing on the Middle East and Asia, the current favourite destinations for many expats and their families.

“Most of us like to plan a holiday by using the least vacation days as possible, so look to extending our time off with public holidays,” said a spokesman for

“Many of us get more time off than others just because of where we live.”

India is pinpointed as the country with most public holidays, but even this depends on which state someone lives in.

Who has the most public holidays?

Most states offer at least 21 days off – and some even more.

If you think you can get by with less than three weeks of public holidays on top of your annual leave entitlement, even though the task may be a struggle, look to The Philippines, who have a measly 18 days of public holidays and 17 in China and 16 in Thailand.

This equates to 28 days off a year in China.

Here’s a list of the countries worldwide with the most public holidays:

  • 21 – India
  • 18 – The Philippines and Colombia
  • 17 – China and Hong Kong
  • 16 – Thailand and Pakistan
  • 15 – Malaysia, Sweden, Lithuania, Japan, Argentina and Vietnam
  • 14 – Indonesia and Slovakia
  • 13 – Taiwan, Austria, Belgium, Norway and South Korea
  • 12 – Finland and Russia
  • 11 – Italy, France, Morocco, Czech Republic, Luxembourg, Singapore and the United Arab Emirates
  • 10 – USA, Portugal, Poland, The Ukraine, Netherlands, Croatia, Romania, Australia and New Zealand
  • 8 – Britain and Spain
  • 7 – Mexico

“Although Mexico offers the lowest number of official public holidays, employers are free to grant more time off at their discretion and often do,” said the spokesman.

For expats looking to take advantage of public holidays to even out their work-time off balance, has developed online public holiday calendars for many countries of when the days off fall due.

For a list of public holidays in more than 100 countries, take a look at web site

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