Dubai: Government and private sector employees said they were very happy that they will be getting five days off for Eid from December 18 to 22.

Residents across the UAE said they were happy that for the first time both sectors are getting an equal number of holidays and that the holiday notice came early this year and that they can now plan for their days off.

Some unfortunate few said they will be working during the holidays, but most companies usually give leave-in-lieu when their staff works on official holidays.

Fatima Eisa, an Iranian student in Abu Dhabi, said she was very excited about the long weekend. "Visiting relatives and family tops the list," she said, followed by eating out, spending more time out in the great weather, bowling and taking her brother out to the park.

Fodil Announ, a French expatriate in Abu Dhabi, said he would love to visit Dubai and try out the slopes in Ski Dubai.

But Ahmad Shahin, an Egyptian salesman, said he was happy as he would be working over Eid. "We will get one day off which will be for shopping of course," he said.

Visiting friends

S. Pricilla Deepthi, an Indian student in Al Ain, said she loves holidays. Her father works for a private firm and the long weekend would give him more time with the family, she said. "We will visit some friends and invite some others home," she said.

Mounir Ahmad, a Pakistani expatriate, was happy that the private sector is getting an equal number of holidays for the first time. He said he would have gone to see his family back home in Pakistan, but Eid is two days later in Pakistan.

"This is an Eid gift," said Fahad Al Rahma, a government employee from Dubai and father of three. He said he plans to take his family to Tehran.

"They want to see snow and I hear the weather there is very pleasant," he said. The holidays will give a chance to spend more time with the family, he said. "I get to meet them at night as I work late," he said. "The long holidays are also a chance for the children to get refreshed, specially after the exams. They will be better prepared for school after this break," he said.

Abdul Rahim, a private sector employee in Dubai, said: "I will make the most out of these holidays and will spend more time with family and relatives, as well as friends because I do not get to meet them often."

Hesham Al Sisi, Managing Director of a Sharjah-based consultancy firm, said: "I am happy that we will be having this many days off because I will have the opportunity to spend time with my daughters while they are off from school. I will be spending the Eid holidays with my brother and his wife, and I am looking forward to having a fun barbeque at Al Mamzar Park," he said.

Nayyar Ansari, Senior Sales Manager at Radisson SAS Resort in Sharjah, said he will take the days off to spend with his family as much as possible. "I will probably have to work on one of my days off because the hotel will be full of visitors during the Eid holidays," he said.

Abdullah Al Shahin, who heads the Ras Al Khaimah Medical District, said such vacations could easily create disturbance to the flow of the work and that will never be accepted. He said that the key factor in deciding on leave application was the total guarantee that there would be no work disturbance at all.


Al Shahin said that the RAK Medical District has already issued an internal circular banning any leave of staffers that could harm the work flow.

He said many employees have already approached their management for two days leave to spend the Eid Al Adha vacation in their homeland with families.

Sa'ad Al Dahmani, an Iraqi national, said he was extremely happy with the holiday which he will spend with his family, relatives and friends. The good weather in the UAE makes it possible to travel within the UAE, he said.

Bahaa Uddin Jamal Mohammad, a Jordanian operations coordinator in Fujairah, said employees at the private sector await such holidays because they do not often get extended time off. "I think long Eid holidays are great, as long as they do not impact negatively on work. They are like a breath of fresh air and when they come ... they can be a real important time for the family, he said.

Ahmad Mohammad Salama, an Egyptian civil engineer in Fujairah, said: "I think I am going to enjoy this holiday more than most because I just got married recently back home in Egypt, but unfortunately I had a short honeymoon before I was back at work, so for me this long Eid holiday could not have come at a better time."

- With inputs from Aftab Kazmi, Al Ain Bureau Chief, Dina El Shammaa, Rayeesa Absal from Abu Dhabi, Mariam M. Al Serkal, Alia Al Theeb from Dubai, Nasouh Nazzal from RAK, Fuad Ali from Fujairah, Staff Reporters

Inspection campaigns

Sharjah Municipality has planned to increase inspection campaigns to monitor markets, especially livestock and food shops, during the Eid Al Adha holiday to ensure the safety of the public.

Atef Abdullah Al Zarouni, Director of the Public Health Department, said a work programme has been prepared to increase inspection campaigns during the holiday, and a team of vets has been set up to supervise work at cattle markets and the safety of slaughtered animals.

He added that sudden inspection campaigns would also take place at fish and vegetable markets and restaurants to ensure they meet health requirements. The municipality will also crack down on illegal butchers who usually slaughter animals at cattle markets, which is against the municipality's regulations.


Your comments

It is really a gift to all the people in UAE that the holidays are equal this time for everybody.
Posted: December 12, 2007, 11:58

It's God's Eid gift. I am so happy that I can spend more time with my children and I will cook their favourite food.
Posted: December 12, 2007, 09:41