Illustrative image: Ramadan lights decorations on Cultural Square in Sharjah. Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/ Gulf News

Dubai: As residents in the UAE get ready to enjoy a long Eid break, authorities in various sectors have announced special Eid protocols and timings. Here is your roundup of all the announcements you need to be aware of.

What are the COVID-19 guidelines for Eid prayers?

On April 27, the The National Emergency Crisis and Disasters Management Authority (NCEMA) announced the following COVID-19 protocols for Eid prayers:

• The duration of the prayer and khutbah (sermon) must not exceed 20 minutes. Worshippers will be supervised by police patrols, volunteers and imams to prevent overcrowding.
• Gates of mosques must be opened for Eid prayer after the dawn prayer on the day of Eid, provided that external speakers can broadcast the Eid takbeers half an hour before the prayer.
What is Eid takbeer? Read here.
• Use personal or disposable prayer mats.
• Worshippers are required to wear face masks at all times and follow physical distancing at a distance of one metre.
• Avoid gathering and shaking hands after prayers.
• Outside areas of mosques must display physical distancing stickers, with possibility of gathering in parks and parking lots near mosques.

Eid gatherings

NCEMA also urged residents to follow these guidelines when meeting loved ones on Eid:

• Wear face masks and practice social distancing, especially when near vulnerable groups.
• Ensure you have a valid Green Pass on the Al Hosn app.
• Limit celebrations to immediate family members and relatives.
• Use electronic alternatives for giving Eidiya, an Eid gift given to children, often in the form of money.

Free parking in Dubai

During the Eid break, public parking will be free of cost in Dubai from Saturday, April 30 to Friday, May 6. This does not include multi-storey parking facilities, where you will still need to pay as per the usual amount.

Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) also announced timings for its public transport services as follows:

Dubai Bus - Bus stations

Main Stations
Gold Souq - 5:00 am-12:29 am (next day)
Al Ghubaibah - 4:14 am-12:58 am (next day)

Sub Stations

Al Satwa - 4:57 am-11:00 pm
Line CO1 from Al Satwa operates 24 hours
Al Qusais - 4:34 am 12:04 am (next day)
Al Quoz Industrial - 5:05 am-11:35 pm
Jebel Ali - 4:58 am-11:17 pm
Commercial and Intercity Buses

Sub Stations

Al Ghubaibah - 6:40am-10:20 pm
Union Square - 4:25 am-12:00 am (midnight)
Deira city Center - 6:40am-11:30 pm
Sabkha, Bus Station - 6:30am-10:30 am
Etisalat Metro Station- 6:00 am-9:00 pm
Abu Hail Metro Station - 6:30 am-10:35 pm
Hatta - 05:30 am 09.30 pm

To External Stations

Sharjah, Al Jubail Bus Station - 05:30 am-11:15 pm
Ajman - 4:30 am-11:00 pm

Dubai Metro

Red Line and Green Line stations
Monday to Wednesday, 5am to 1am the next day

Free parking in Sharjah

Public parking will also be free in Sharjah from the first day of Eid Al Fitr till Thursday, May 5, according to an announcement by Sharjah Municipality.
This does not include the seven-day paid parking zones, which can be identified by the blue parking information sign.

Free parking in Abu Dhabi

On April 29, Abu Dhabi's Integrated Transport Centre (ITC) announced details of which parking areas would be free of charge during the extended Eid break.

Surface parking bays will be free of charge from Friday, April 29, 2022 until 7:59 AM on Saturday, May 7, 2022.

Parking spaces in Mussafah Industrial area M18 will be free of charge during the official holiday.

In its announcement, ITC added: “Kindly do not park in prohibited areas and avoid blocking the traffic flow. We also urge the public to adhere to the regulations regarding the resident parking spaces from 9:00 PM to 18:00 AM.”

Free toll gate passing in Abu Dhabi

Darb toll gate system will also be free of charge from Friday, April 29, 2022 until Saturday, May 7, 2022.

Abu Dhabi Public Bus Services

ITC said that it would continue to operate according to the regular schedule but the number of regional bus services would be increased according to the volume of demand from April 30 to May 4.

Free parking in Ajman

On April 29, Ajman Municipality announced that public parking would be free of charge from Saturday, April 30, to Friday, May 6.

How long will the Eid break be?

Whether you are working in the public sector or private sector, UAE residents are going to enjoy a long weekend during the Eid break. How many days will you get off and what are the Eid holidays for school children? Read our detailed explainer here.