Dubai: Almost half a million travellers came through Dubai’s land and air ports over the Eid vacation as thousands more across the country enjoyed the special celebration.
Around 442,756 travellers entered and exited Dubai from its land and air ports between Thursday, October 25, and Sunday, October 28, officials at the General Directorate of Residency and foreigners affairs said.
People have flooded the UAE to celebrate their Eid holiday, where there were many events lined up.
Concerts, shopping offers, 24 hour mall timings and family events have drawn throngs of people out of their homes and into the country over Eid to brave the crowds and traffic.
Friday, October 26, saw two sell out concerts, Enrique Iglesias’s concert with 18,000 fans at the Trade Centre and Salaam Dubai 2012, featuring Shreya Goshal at Madinat Jumeirah Arena with 4,000 fans.
Zabeel Park recorded an astounding 33,396 guests on the second day of Eid, October 27, with 6,500 people participating in the Dubai Water Bash.
The water bash was the first in Dubai and each participating “Water Balloon Basher” represented one of two teams, Yellow and Blue. The water fight lasted three minutes.
Dubai Events and Promotions Establishment (DEPE) and Dubai Municipality also took steps to ensure that the event lived up to its environmentally friendly tag.
The water that spurted from around 200,000 specially made balloons was used to irrigate the grass at the event area, as Dubai Municipality had ceased to water the area for three days to compensate for the water that was to be used in the event.
A clean-up campaign followed the event, in which participants and Municipality workers collected the remains of the balloons that were burst to raise awareness among families and children about the importance of keeping the environment clean.
Other water-based games, a fun fair area, horse riding area, a section for food as well as musical entertainment were on the side lines of the water bash.
Hospitals were not left out of the festivities.
A team from the DEPE visited Latifa Hospital’s maternity ward on the second day of Eid – October 27- and surprised mother’s who gave birth within the days of Eid and awarded them shopping vouchers worth Dh5,000.
Global Village received 600,000 visitors since opening on October 21 until the second day of Eid.
The first day of Eid saw 120,000 visitors and the second day saw 140,000 visitors.
Crowds flocked to Global Village to enjoy Eid celebrations and watch shows, fireworks, folk dances, concerts and to enjoy the theme park.
Global Village has extended its operating hours until 3am during weekends until November 2.
Malls have also been packed during Eid, even after extending their working hours and running for 24 hours on selected days.
Fouad Sharaf, senior director of Asset Management of Shopping Malls for Majid Al Futtaim Properties said: “Across Deira City Centre, Mall of the Emirates and Mirdif City Centre we have seen positive results and have witnessed a boost in footfall for the month from the 24-hour ‘Eid in Dubai’ celebrations.”
In Al Ain, visitors from all over the emirates and neighbouring GCC countries thronged tourist spots during the Eid Al Adha holidays, especially on Saturday evening when all roads leading to Jebel Hafeet and Green Mubazzara resort were packed beyond capacity.
Long queues of cars forced traffic police to close and restrict entry to the Green Mubazzara, a tourist hotspot in the foothills of Jebel Hafeet, letting in only families. Traffic was crawling in the afternoon with passengers stuck inside for hours.
The city’s roads were also occupied by cars coming from other UAE cities.
The Oasis city has more than 70 car parks that were also completely packed to capacity.
“It was an adventure of its kind to get into Mubazzara and reaching the Jebel Hafeet top,” said Mujahid Ali, an Ajman resident. “Cars were crawling up and down and police stopped vehicles from moving in once the parking was full,” he said.
Farooq Ahmad, another expatriate, said his family had an enjoyable time at Al Ain Zoo, Hili Fun City, and Jebel Hafeet. “Al Ain comes first in the mind whenever we think of outdoor family fun,” said Ahmad who lives in Dubai.