Dubai: Doors thrown open to all and cinema trips for all the family, were just some of the suggestions UAE residents had in mind when it came to celebrating the Eid holidays.
Dr Raza Siddiqui, group CEO of Arabian Healthcare Group, said: “Every year my wife Niloufer and I, along with our daughters, Maria and Sara, have thrown open the gates of our home to numerous people I work with at RAK Hospital.
“Not everyone has the good fortune to have all members of their family living with them, and we feel it is important to share hospitality and happiness with others as well.”
On the evening of the first day of Eid the Siddiquis welcomed 60 to 70 guests.
“This includes family, friends and co-workers. Eid is a unique festival that brings in so much happiness and plenty after a period of calm and slow down and austerity. That is why the Eid banquet and the joy of meeting people acquires so much importance for all of us,” added Dr Siddiqui.
Danube founder Rizwan Sajan had similar plans.
“Eid celebrations begin on the eve,” he said. “A day before we all are rushing to shop for last minute things. The shervanis and kurtas (ornate tunics) are either bought or alterations are made, the ladies have the henna sessions at home and buy their beautiful bangles. So the excitement is palpable at the Sajan home,” he said.
Sajan’s mother Gulbano even comes over from Mumbai for the occasion.
“Whenever, My mother is in town, Eid automatically becomes more special,” he said. “We begin our day early morning when my brother Anees, his two sons and my son Adel all go to the mosque to offer Eid prayers.
“After that the entire family meets at my home for a noisy, fun filled breakfast, where we all exchange Eidiya gifts, laugh, share banter and enjoy. A little later in the day, it is Brunch time again at a friends place. This year we all had a large brunch gathering at my friend Hanif Merchant’s place with nearly 70 people. Every Eid we go for a family outing to the cinemas. This year it is for Salman Khan’s movie ‘Bharat’. We have booked 40 seats in the cinema and after that we plan to wind up with dinner at a restaurant,” he added.
Abu Bakr Shuaib, from India, said: “I’m going to spend my Eid holidays with my family and friends, it’s a long holiday so this is the perfect time for all of us to catch up with each other and to have a good time. During the day when it’s hot we will go to each other’s homes for lunch, and then at night we will go out visiting the shopping malls and walking along the Corniche.”
Kholoud Abdullah, from Jordan added: “I’ve planned a road trip with the family during the Eid holidays to Fujairah. I’ve never been there before so I’m looking forward to it. A lot of people like to travel abroad for Eid but there’s a lot to explore here in the UAE. This road trip will be full of new discoveries. What makes it all the nicer is that I will be with my family, which I think is what Eid is all about.”
Yuni Budi Pramudyo, from Indonesia, agreed: “The Eid holidays are going to be a relaxing occasion with family and close friends. My eldest son is having his final exams next week and it’s his last year of school, so we haven’t really planned anything big as we want to help him focus and be ready for next week. We will visit some friends just like we do in Indonesia, there will be a lot of traditional Indonesian food and so it will feel like we are celebrating back home. During the evenings we will go to the malls, there’s a lot of good discount deals at the moment so it’s good time for shopping. We also want to catch the fireworks, they always put on a nice display for Eid.”