Video Credit:

Dubai: The Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation has announced Eid Al Fitr holidays in UAE for 2021.

When is the UAE public holiday?

According to a tweet by the ministry, the paid holidays on the occasion of Eid Al Fitr will be from Ramadan 29 until Shawwal 3. While the exact dates are subject to moon-sighting, the 29th of Ramadan corresponds to Tuesday, May 11. This would mean a long weekend for employees of the UAE public sector. The 3rd day of Shawwal is expected to be on Saturday, May 15.

These will be paid holidays for private and public sector employees. 

When exactly does Eid Al Fitr start?

Since Ramadan commenced on Tuesday, April 13, Eid will fall on either Wednesday, May 12 or Thursday, May 13.

What is Eid Al Fitr?

190514 eid al fitr
The first day of Eid Al Fitr ultimately depends on the observation of the moon by he moonshighting committee. Image Credit: Pexels

Eid Al Fitr is a celebration, which marks the end of Ramadan. From its name 'Fitr' (breakfast), it is a celebration of ending a whole month of fasting for Muslims.

It is a time when all Muslims will celebrate with family to make amends.

How do we know when Ramadan is over?

There are moon-sighting committees in each country all over the world. They get together after the sunset prayers in order to see the new moon of the month of Shawwal. If the moon is seen with the naked eye, the committee will announce the end of Ramadan.

This announcement automatically signals the start of Eid Al Fitr.

Sighting the moon

When early Muslims observed Ramadan, they relied on the same method to determine when it started — namely moon sighting using their own eyes.

Fast forward to today with Muslims have access to advanced technology such as telescopes, as well as advances in astronomical calculations, however, it is still tradition to sight the moon with the eye. 

What does Eid Al Fitr mean?

Roughly translated, Eid Al Fitr means the “festival of ending the fast” it is marked by a special prayer on the morning of the first of Shawwal.

How long does it lasts?

Eid Al Fitr 2021 will last for four days according to the holiday list released by the UAE government.

Is it a public holiday?

Yes! Eid Al Fitr is a public holiday in the UAE.

How do you greet others?

Greet people by saying “Eid Mubarak”. This translates into “Happy Eid”.

Join the celebrations online by using the hashtag #EidMubarak and #EidAlFitr.

What do Muslims do during Eid?

OPN 200417 PRAYING-1587108481067

It is usually customary for a Muslim to wake up early in the morning and clean themselves, dress in smart clothes before going to the mosque to pray a special prayer for eid. But this year, due to COVID-19, muslims will be asked to pray the Eid prayers at home.

As fasting is forbidden during Eid, Muslims will then have a light breakfast and will usually have a bigger lunch with family.

It is also essential that Muslims donate to charity to help the poor and needy before the Eid prayers. This is called “Zakat”, and the amount which is given to charity is calculated based on one’s personal possessions.

Muslims are required to walk to Eid prayers and forgive and forget any arguments that they may have had over the last year.

Decorations

Eid decorations at Dubai Mall
Eid decorations at Dubai Mall. Image Credit: Clint Egbert/Gulf News

The UAE goes to great lengths to decorate itself during Eid Al Fitr. Municipal areas, buildings, shops, roads and houses are decorated in lights and other cheerful adornments.

Eid Al Fitr for non-Muslims There are no special requirements for non-Muslims during Eid Al Fitr, although they are encouraged to greet others with “Eid Mubarak” and join the festivities.

Things to do during the long weekend

Staycations

staycations for kids

Staycations are a major part of any Eid holiday in the UAE. Plenty of hotels will offer special deals for families and friends looking to enjoy a home away from home.

We've compiled a list of the top staycations to enjoy in the UAE

Staycation deals

Fireworks

Yas Marina Fireworks
Image Credit: Supplied

Eid holidays are also synonymous with fireworks. Top destinations accross the UAE host a firework show in celebration of Eid Al Fitr.

Read more about where to watch the fireworks

Meal deals

Atelier M
Image Credit: Supplied

Since those fasting can go back to eating during the day, plenty of restaurants will offer special Eid lunch packages, which can be enjoyed with family or friends. Menus are designed to share with loved ones. 

Shopping

Shopping
Photo for illustrative purposes Image Credit: Stock image

Shopping during Eid is a major tradition for Muslims, as it is common to buy new outfits in celebration of this wonderful time. 

Eid deals