Dubai: While many UAE residents are packing their suitcases and heading out to cooler climes for a weeklong Eid break, others have decided to avoid the stress and expense of holiday travel and unwind at home.
They would much rather spend the long break at home, explore the delightful events and places in the UAE, and enjoy leisurely lunches and dinners with family and friends.
Gulf News spoke to three families on their staycation plans.
“We just want to catch up with life” — Jane Sabugeiro
Jane and Carlos Sabugueiro, UK expatriates, have decided to stay back in Dubai with their sons Charlie, 10, and Raphael, 6, this Eid.
“Our vacations are usually decided by school holidays. In December, we had my parents visiting for Christmas and they stayed back for the spring break as well. We might take our vacation in summer, but this Eid we decided we did not want to pay a higher price on airline tickets,” said Jane, who runs her business from home.
Preparing for short holidays, she said, is usually quite stressful as her boys have to race to catch up on their homework and after-school activities post-break. “Picking up on all that and getting back to the school routine can get tiring after a brief holiday so we decided to staycation.”
The Sabugueiros plan to go to the beach, take their kids to KidZania, catch up on movies, enjoy a walk in the park and invite friends home for dinner.
“Last Christmas, when my parents came to Dubai, we had a good time with the boys bonding with their grandparents,” said Jane.
The family loves Indian cuisine and they are planning to visit Bur Dubai to try out some dishes.
“There is so much to do and see in Dubai, we are lucky to be living here,” added Jane.
The Sabugueiros love taking cooking classes in exotic world cuisines. During Spring holidays, they took a class in Japanese cuisine and have booked themselves for a class in Peruvian cuisine this Eid. “Being a business woman, although I work from home, there is too much of home and work life to juggle. I am really looking forward to some quiet time without crazy early hours, emails and deadlines.”
“We are saving up for our little son’s education and avoiding expensive travel.” — Jennica Batle Ellardo
The Ellardos — Jennica, 29, and Rowell, 32, from the Philippines, both work as architects in a Dubai company, and were recently blessed with a baby boy, Daniel Bliss, who turned 11 months this June. The proud parents have decided they no longer want to act on impulse and want to put their son’s needs before theirs.
“We want our son to go to the best school and have a happy childhood, so no more extravagant holidays. We are trying to save as much as we can,” said Jennica, who thinks airlines inflate the prices during holidays and it make little sense to blow a hole in their budget for a short holiday.
“My husband and I are looking forward to spending this Eid at home enjoying time with our baby. We will spend some time at our rooftop swimming pool, invite friends home, cook some wholesome food and chat and catch up on sleep.”
The Ellardos plan to fly back home with Daniel next year in January.
“I don’t fancy living out of suitcases this Eid” — Ena Banerjee
Although a diehard traveller who just got back from a trip to Bhutan, Ena Banerjee has decided to have a quiet Eid at home with her husband Bhaskar, a business consultant. The Indian couple, who have spent over two decades in Dubai, are enjoying their time together with both their sons having moved to the US.
“I love travelling and have been constantly using my leave to visit my sons in the US and travel to India and neighbouring places. This spring, I visited Bhutan. I love my home and neighbourhood and am looking forward to enjoying it this Eid,” said Banerjee.
Banerjee, the head of primary at a British school in Mussafah who usually starts her day early.
An avid reader and gardener, she is planning to catch up on these hobbies during the Eid break.
“I want to read books, watch movies at the cinema, write my social media reviews, catch up with friends and revel in the luxury of leisure,” she added