Dubai: Today, August 12, marks the Hijri New Year — a public holiday in the UAE, ushering in yet another long weekend. Gulf News spoke to some residents to find out how they are spending the extended weekend. Here’s what they have to say:
New British expat mum Linda Middleton-Jennings, 36, said her husband Steve, a lawyer based in Dubai, surprised her with a staycation. The couple and their children — Lochlan, nearly two years old, and Callan, just three months old — will be at Anantara The Palm for a night. “Initially we were planning to do a quiet long weekend with the kids. Steve’s a lawyer and only took one day off when Callan was born. So I thought he would be looking for a quiet time at home. But when he called to say about the staycation I was super excited. I will cherish our family time over the long weekend.”
Time for a performance
Armenian expatriate Joseph Terterian, 34, an artist and musician in Dubai, is going to use the long weekend to give the finishing touches to an album he will be releasing soon. The album, Transcend, consists of seven numbers — two in Armenian, and one each in French, English, Spanish, Italian and Arabic. “They are folk songs from around the world. I will be working with my producer to finalise the album. I will use the weekend to also get in touch with a marketing team to help me prepare a launch campaign,” said Terterian.
Besides, he will be performing in Palazzo Versace and Armani Hotel. He added that the weekend will give him time to finish other pending errands as well.
Chill-out time at home
Sri Lankan expat Joan Lenehan, 51, working as an office support manager, said she would take the time off to chill at home.
“I will watch Netflix, go to the gym and rest a lot at home. I am in love with Suits. So I will be watching several episodes of the serial. I love my workouts too. I will be spending quite a bit of time at the gym. I will use the holidays to work out harder and come home to chill.”
Road trip and long drive
Pakistani expatriate Zainab Riaz, 27, a dentist in Dubai, said she is going on a long drive to Ras Al Khaimah with her family. “We want to spend some quality time with family and friends. Keeping the COVID-19 precautions in mind, we are planning a road trip to Ras Al Khaimah. We are visiting my paternal uncle’s family and will spend a day there.”
Riaz will also visit a mall with her friends. “We have a lot to catch up and unwind. I am looking forward to some relaxation,” she said.
Business as usual
Filipina Mary Kris Lagura, 31, works in Ibn Battuta Mall, Dubai. She is a sales consultant working for an optical shop. She will be busy at work during the extended weekend.
“I will be spending the long weekend at my workplace. The good thing is that a lot of people visit the malls during these long weekends. So I am sure this means more business for us. There are always positive things to look at. Plus, I like people and love to attend to my customers. Working during a long weekend means I get to serve more people, which I am really excited about.”
Indian expatriate Dwayne D’Souza, 20, will also be busy at work as usual.
“This weekend, I will not be off because I work at an entertainment facility and so we are open during public holidays. So for me, the routine does not change much, but it’s nice to see families come in to our establishment.”