(from left) Shereen Mashkok, Ribal Temraz, and Monica Lanny Witanto Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: While couples in the UAE are spending the Eid Al Fitr break together, there are also plenty of single expats and those away from their significant other who are making the most of the holidays in their own way.

Pakistani expat Mariam Mumtaz, a 30-year old Dubai-born communications professional, said on Wednesday, the third day of Eid: “Since my entire family is here, a lot of my time was spent with my parents and family members. I have nieces and nephews, and they too have taken all my time and attention. The long weekend this Eid has added more excitement. Aside from that, we had ample time to catch up on sleep after Ramadan.”

amazing_said Mariam Mumtaz-1651670230465
Mariam Mumtaz Image Credit: Supplied

Desert beckons

Syrian national Shereen Mashkok, who is a manager at Lueur Aesthetic Clinic in Al Barsha, answered the call of the desert with her son. She said: “Having a long Eid holiday after 30 days [of Ramadan] was something I really needed to relax and spend time with my 12-year old son.”

She added: “We went to the desert and waterpark and also spent time at home doing my favourite hobby, which is reading.”

Desert beckons_Shereen Mashkok-1651670233072
Shereen Mashkok with her son Image Credit: Supplied

Getting back to normal

Mashkok also praised the relaxed environment this Eid. She said: “Honestly, seeing so many people having fun outside without [almost any] restrictions makes you feel like life is finally back to normal, and this is due to all the great efforts done by UAE government, which has always been extremely proactive in implementing series of preventative healthcare, hygiene and safety protocols, including the vaccination programme.

“All these efforts led us today to a post-COVID life without restrictions, and to maintain what we have achieved, everyone in this country is required to cooperate and be always responsible.”

TV, books and exercise

Garry Roxas Cobilla

Filipino expat Garry Roxas Cobilla preferred to relax at home. The 43-year old public relations, events and marketing specialist at Reel Dunes Production said during the long weekend, he immersed himself in catching up with his favourite series on Netflix, read his favourite book and cooked his favourite Pinoy dishes (chicken adobo and chicken curry).

He also did exercises such as walking and running in his community in Arjan, in between finishing two seasons of Bridgerton, a period drama series set in London; and reading the emotive novel ‘They Both Die at the End’ by American author Adam Silvera.

Relaxing at home

Lebanese expat Ribal Temraz, 32, also had a more relaxed time at home, after being extra busy during Ramadan working as a PR and communications professional for the UAE’s ‘1 Billion Meals’ campaign.

Ribal Temraz

He told Gulf News: “As a Lebanese expat living in the UAE for more than 10 years, I have witnessed many Eid celebrations in Dubai. Ranging from family-friendly festivities to extraordinary markdowns at the malls, and entertainment activities with the family. Each year, the UAE’s leadership brings joy and happiness to needy people from all over the world and this year through the 1 Billion Meals campaign that bought help to many needy people.”

He added: “I pray to God to continue shower blessings on Eid and beyond. May peace, safety, good health and prosperity be with us always.”

read more

Dining next to tallest tower

Long-time Dubai resident and Indonesian expat Monica Lanny Witanto had a good time with friends. She said: “I spent Eid at a fine-dining restaurant at a luxurious hotel in Downtown Dubai. It was a lovely dinner, with a fantastic view of [Burj Khalifa] the world’s tallest tower, and spectacular ambiance. I had a good time with friends, and we enjoyed sumptuous food.”

Monica Lanny Witanto (left) with friends Image Credit: Supplied

Witanto, who works at the Indonesian Consulate in Dubai, praised the multi-culturalism of the UAE. She said: “I am Indonesian of Chinese ethnicity. I came here in 2008 and I’ve never felt a stranger to this land, which is a melting pot of various cultures. I have friends who are from Bhutan, Botswana, Kyrgyztan, Eritrea and Comoros and other nationalities I have only met here. During Eid, we also feel blessed – even though we are Christians and some of us have different religions – because the beauty of this country is that it respects and welcomes everyone.”