From left: Sarish Yusuf Mostafa, Sarah Nizamuddhin, and Gauri Aditi, the girls creating traditional henna designs each other for Eid -ul Fitr celebrations, as part of the Eid preparations at the residence of Sarah in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday, May 13, 2018.. Photo: Abdul Rahman/Gulf News Image Credit:

Dubai: The festive mood heightened across the UAE on Thursday as residents began preparing for the joyous advent of Eid Al Fitr, which marks the completion of Ramadan.

Bazaars, supermarkets, malls and souqs witnessed huge crowds having last-minute preparation for a grand Eid Al Fitr celebration expected on Friday.

Many residents were already gearing up to meet and greet family and relatives on the first day of Eid and enjoy a big feast together, while children were excited to receive their Eidiya from close older relatives.

Typically, men and women along with their children get dressed in their Eid best and head to the musallahs (prayer grounds) early morning to pray before heading out for any activities.

On the eve of Eid, confectioneries and sweet shops were extra busy and packed with customers making special orders and ordering huge amounts of sweets.

For the Basheer family, who come from India, Eid Al Fitr is one of the occasions they look forward to the most throughout the year because they can spend quality time together as a family.

“The children have started their holidays and are very excited for the weekend. We have planned a family outing, some shopping and dinner outside. After 30 days of fasting, we will first have a big feast at home in the company of friends and family,” said Hashim Basheer, an Indian father of two.

While visiting the park could have been an entertaining plan for the kids, Basheer said the weather was too hot for any outdoor activities.

“We will definitely be spending a lot of time at the mall this Eid. I will be distributing gifts to my wife and children as well,” he said.

Over the last few days, in preparation for the Eid weekend, thousands of residents have been flying out of the country to celebrate the festival overseas with their relatives. Many visitors from across the world have also landed in the UAE to enjoy the numerous festivities and sales on offer in the country.

Farah Abdullah, from Jordan, said she didn’t have to travel back home this year because her family decided to come and spend the summer holidays in Dubai.

“Eid is a time of joy and celebration. This year it’s extra special because my family have come here to celebrate it with me. There is so much to do and experience in Dubai during the summer,” she said.

Eid revellers have a variety of locations and activities to choose from to enjoy the holidays and make the most of it with family and friends — from watching fireworks in various landmark locations in the city to attending live shows.

Among the top attractions in Dubai is Modhesh World which features a line-up of family fun and an array of entertainment activities, immersive and themed experiences.

Running until August 25, Modhesh World has unveiled a packed calendar of events and activities that will take place in eight distinctive halls at the Dubai World Trade Centre, offering engaging games, rides, stage shows, acts by roaming artistes, adventure-oriented activities, and much more.

Malls are also holding several activities to keep families entertained along with their children with roaming artistes and renowned characters performing live.

Activities

Roaming Eid entertainment

Head to City Centre Deira to experience a giant walkable piano keyboard or to City Centre Mirdif to catch stilt-walking ballerinas. At The Outlet Village, Ibn Battuta Mall and Dragon Mart 2, take in a wearable art show, or watch freestyling footballers at Mall of the Emirates. Dubai Festival City Mall will be home to a silent clown with a mysterious moving box.

Aventura Park

Aventura Parks, the adventure and zip-line park, will offer guests a 50 per cent discount on general admission tickets, allowing visitors to explore the park and all its offerings with wallet-friendly prices. The price of entry to the park will be Dh75 per person over the Eid weekend, where you can tree-surf, zip-line and enjoy the great outdoors, while if the weather still allows, enjoy the beautiful Ghaf tree-lined forest in the city’s Mushrif Park.

Fireworks in Abu Dhabi and Dubai

Eid Al Fitr marks the first of many celebrations to come this year and what better way to start that off than with spectacular fireworks. This year, Yas Island in Abu Dhabi will celebrate every day of Eid in style with a fireworks show that will kick off at 9pm every night during Eid. Dubai Festival City will also host two musical fireworks shows at 9pm and 10.30pm on the first day of Eid.

Traditional Eid in Al Ain

The Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi has organised a series of activities for the entire family across five museums (Al Jahili Fort, Al Ain Palace Museum, Al Ain Oasis, Al Ain Museum and Qasr Al Muwaiji) in Al Ain. To be held on the second and third day of Eid, the festivities are free to attend and open to all. Visitors will experience traditional folklore, food, clothing and celebrations along with some exhibitions and educational events.

Eideya at Dubai Mall

Visit The Dubai Mall to watch a traditional Eideya concept being brought to life throughout the day from Thursday to Saturday. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to meet Sheibitna, a grandfatherly figure who celebrates Eid Al Fitr with children by telling stories and sharing seasonal treats.

My Little Pony live show

Meet the characters from Ponyville at Dragon Mart 2 this Eid Al Fitr. The My Little Pony Live Show is a 20-minute interactive, musical adventure featuring the lovable characters of Twilight Sparkle, Rainbow Dash, Pinkie Pie, Spike and Applejack.

The free live show will run three times a day from the first day of Eid until June 24, with a special parade taking place over the three days of Eid Al Fitr weekend.

Children’s City

Children’s City at Creek Park encourages kids to investigate, explore, discover and learn about the world we live in through the earth science gallery, nature centre and space exploration centre.

Visit on the second and third days of Eid from 4pm to 7pm. Admission is Dh10 for children, Dh14 for adults and Dh40 for a family package that includes two adults and two children.

Enjoy live screening of Fifa games

All UAE cinemas are screening many of the Fifa matches live. Enjoy the games with movie-quality sound and video settings. If you’re looking for a more sporty and interactive vibe, try sports bars and restaurants that will feature live screenings and exciting food and beverage deals. You can find that list online on gulfnews.com.

Visit the cinema websites to book tickets to the live match screenings. Cost starts at Dh75.

Fun activities in Sharjah

Al Majaz Waterfront, one of Sharjah’s premier leisure and hospitality destinations, announced a packed programme of fun activities.

The entertainment will include roaming singers, acrobats, drummers and illusionists as part of a five-hour programme from 4pm to 9pm on each of the festival’s three days.

The eight-member strong troupe of acrobats, singers and entertainers will perform four sets per night lasting thirty minutes, as well as the ‘hang drum’ artiste with his handpan percussion instrument.

Join the flamboyant Venetian Parade at City Centre Sharjah, which will be on four times every day from the first day of Eid, with dancers in glittering costumes and traditional Venetian masks.