Daoud Khalaf with his wife Sawsan and his daughters. Image Credit: Supplied

For most, Eid is the culmination of everything learned during Ramadan. It is a day when everyone is equal, the old and the young put aside their differences, fences are mended and everyone comes together.

Many spend this time with family, flitting from place to place spreading goodwill, but for those far from home, Eid can become "a very individual affair".

This is the case for Dubai-based director of contracts and procurement Daoud Khalaf.

For the native Jordanian, although Dubai is his family's home, during Eid they are "strangers" as they are far from the rest of their family and friends.

He said: "[Eid here] has limited our social abilities. It's become more of an individual family function and options are quite limited."

Khalaf explained how different Eid is here compared to in his home country.


He said: "Back home it was more family interaction, but here it is about the individual and feels like superficial happiness. Instead of family coming together, playing, talking and enjoying each other, it's [about] people spending money and eating." Kalaf also explained that back home you were given more time to celebrate than the two days allowed here.

He said: "Two days is very [short]. If we had more time, we could plan a holiday to go somewhere else for a change."

However, even in a place where the Khalafs' options are limited, they keep the spirit of Eid alive through tradition.

One such tradition, Khalaf explained, is making sure the house is stocked with particular items.

He said: "At home, we always have Arabic sweets and chocolate. We usually offer a cold sweet juice and cold coffee whenever guests drop by."

Another Khalaf tradition is treating themselves to a nice meal and entertainment.

Kalaf said: "We splurge and go out to have a meal, then we try to go somewhere where the kids will be entertained. However, the kids are different ages and have different interests. It's a very individual affair."

For the Khalafs, family is the most important thing and while they may be far from their loved ones, they have each other and are able to celebrate the true meaning of Eid together.