From left: Syed Abdul Qader, Muhammad Mudassar Aziz and Najam Saqib.
Tanvir Usman, Rlixa
After accumulating the virtues of the Holy Month of Ramadan, the faithful in the UAE are geared up to celebrate Eid Al Fitr with religious ardour, thanks to the authorities for effectively curbing the coronavirus which led to easing of the restrictions.
As the Holy Month draws to a close on Sunday, the festive mood can be witnessed in every nook and corner of the country, which is home to more than 200 nationalities.
Expatriates belonging to different walks of life have always been an integral part of the festivities and this time too they are celebrating Eid with traditional and religious zeal.
Some of the expats shared their thoughts and Eid holiday plans with Rlixa.
Syed Abdul Qader, Sales Director at Infoserve Technologies, said, “Eid is a very special event for our family. Being born and brought up in Dubai but originally from Pakistan, I am very lucky to have most of my family settled here. During Eid Al Fitr, we decorate and light up our house. We all get together on lunch and have a big feast.
“My brother, sister, aunts, uncles and the kids come along together for a big gathering, sharing gifts and delicious home-cooked food. The remaining Eid days are spent visiting extended family and exchanging sweets. We also make sure the kids value Eid by remembering the needy, distributing food and giving charity.”
Muhammad Mudassar Aziz, who works for a real estate firm in the UAE, said, “Eid is celebrated with much enthusiasm which is a gift from Allah Almighty, a reward for our patience, reflection and fasting in Ramadan. So, whilst we are preparing ourselves for Eid this year, let's spare a thought for those who are in need.
“Let’s get together, do something nice for our fellow Muslims, and give them the opportunity to smile and enjoy this Eid with us. Let’s follow the Sunnah of our Prophet (PBUH) and share the Eid Al Fitr joys with those who are waiting for our help.”
Noor Danish Ahmad, a resident of Oud Metha in Dubai said, “Dubai is home away from home. Being a Pakistani, we never missed our Eid back home, as it is so lively and colourful here.
“All nationalities come as one and celebrate the bounty given to us in the end of Ramadan in the form of Eid. Ethnic wear, colourful bangles, endless rounds of scrumptious food, what a blessing to be in this part of the world where we don't feel left out.”
Najam Saqib, a businessman residing in Dubai, said: “Eid holidays are a great opportunity to spend quality time with family. In working days, it is really hard to spare time for my kids, so we will surely make the most of these holidays. Friends gathering, park visit and dining out are among the activities we have planned so far.”
“Ramadan teaches us to feel the pain of the underprivileged, the pain of those who don’t have enough resources to feed themselves and their loved ones. As we celebrate these joyous moments, we should not forget our brothers who struggle to make their ends meet,” Saqib added.
Aroosa, a freelancer based in Sharjah, said: “For girls, Eid is something more special. New dresses and outing with friends remain always on top of the Eid plans list. This time too, we have plans to visit Jebel Jais on the second or third of Eid Al Fitr.
“One of my friends, who recently bought a new car, will give us the joy ride to the beautiful mountainous area. The first day of Eid is dedicated to my cousins.”
Ahmad, who lives in Sharjah, told Rlixa, “Though most of the coronavirus restrictions have been lifted this time, we should follow the guidelines issued by the UAE authorities. I thank Allah Almighty who gave us this opportunity to offer Eid prayers in mosques unlike the previous few years.
“We need to remain vigilant as the pandemic is not fully over yet. We should not forget the teachings of Ramadan once Eid is over, in fact we all should strive to be as virtuous as we were during Ramadan throughout the year.”
The private sector in the UAE has a five-day Eid holiday.