UAE | Society

Relax, they know you’re in a holiday mood

The few who must work through Eid have to squeeze out family time

  • By Carolina D’Souza and Samihah Zaman, Staff Reporters
  • Published: 17:21 August 20, 2012
  • Gulf News

  • Image Credit: Francois Nel/Gulf News
  • Khalid Nazir Mir, an employee of the Habtoor Grand Beach Resort and Spa, has been working during Eid for 25 years.

Dubai, Abu Dhabi: It was business as usual for those working during the Eid Al Fitr holidays. With airports, hotels, restaurants, shopping malls and entertainment venues exuding the conviviality of Eid, several residents had to work to provide for these services.

Gulf News spoke to a few residents who carved out time to celebrate the occasion despite their hectic schedules.

Khalid Nazir Mir, a Pakistani telephone manager with the Al Habtoor Group of hotels in Dubai, said the hotel front desk is busy throughout the year and Eid isn’t an exception. “I have worked during Eid for more than 25 years. I tend to take the first day off, but work for the rest of the holidays. I live with my wife and children, so special meals are prepared for family and friends. After work, I take my family out to the park or beach depending on the weather.”

Sri Lankan petrol station attendant Firaz Riyaz said he was trying to get over the disappointment that his weekly off hadn’t coincided with the Eid break. Having relocated to Dubai just a month ago, it is his first Eid away from family. “My wife has given birth to our second child a few weeks ago. I wish I could have spent this festive occasion with them. However, after my duty, I went out with some friends for dinner on the first day of Eid,” he said.

Mohammad Rahman, an Indian watchman in Dubai, said that the management of the property he works at has sanctioned two days’ leave but there was nobody to relieve him. He said, “I have no choice but to continue to work because otherwise the maintenance work will increase. I have my brother in Dubai, so I ensured that I made time to have lunch with family on the first day of Eid.”

Supermarkets and grocery stores were busier than usual. “People still require groceries during Eid, and so it isn’t feasible for us to close the store,” said Mohammad Kunhi, an Indian supermarket attendant who works at a supermarket on Khalifa Street, Abu Dhabi. He added, “Because it is Eid, we leave around 8 pm instead of midnight. After work I head out for a celebratory meal with my friends.”

Iranian grocery store owner M.Tighkhorshid in Dubai also said that Eid means brisk business. “I try to step out for a quick lunch when there are fewer customers,” he said.

Hajar Abdul Rahim, an Indian customer service attendant at a mall in Abu Dhabi, said, “I get a chance to attend Eid prayers in the morning, but I have to come to work right afterwards. A lot of people come to the mall on Eid, and we have to be there to assist them.”

After work, he calls his family in India and meets up with friends. “I hope to get leave on Eid soon so that I can celebrate the occasion back home,” he added.

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