What you need to know about joining Eid celebrations
One of the easiest ways to get into the spirit of Eid in Dubai is to simply wish people in the city an “Eid Mubarak,” which translates to “blessed Eid”. But beyond that, there's plenty of opportunity to take part in the celebrations and join the community in marking this important Islamic holiday.
What is Eid?
First off, there are actually two Eid holidays during the year: Eid Al Fitr and Eid Al Adha. A hugely important date in the Islamic calendar, Eid Al Fitr – translated from Arabic as "the festival of breaking the fast" – is celebrated by Muslims all over the world as it marks the end of Ramadan and signals the beginning of Shawwal (the tenth month in the lunar Islamic calendar).
The second, Eid Al Adha, occurs later in the year following the Muslim pilgrimage of Hajj, and is considered the ‘Greater Eid’ of the two. It lasts for four days starting on the tenth day of Dhu Al Hijjah (the 12th and final month of the lunar Islamic calendar).
When is Eid in Dubai?
Because Eid dates are dependent on the lunar cycles, the dates change every year in the Gregorian calendar. Eid Al Fitr celebrations took place from 23 - 26 May 2020. Eid Al Adha celebrations in Dubai will take place from 30 July - 2 August 2020.
What happens during Eid in Dubai?
Families usually start the day with an early wake-up and morning prayers inside their home or at a nearby mosque. This is then followed by a lunchtime feast to reflect on the previous month of Ramadan. It's also customary to exchange gifts with your loved ones and donate to the less fortunate during this time.
1. Eid is a time for celebrating with amazing food
Sharing food with family and friends is central to Eid celebrations. In the UAE, ouzi, a local dish of slow-cooked succulent lamb or goat mixed with rice and topped with fried pine nuts is one of the signature dishes, as is chicken machboos (chicken thighs cooked in tomatoes, onions and herbs, served with basmati rice). Luqaimat, sweet, donut-style dough balls dipped in honey, are also a ubiquitous (and delicious) addition to the Eid holiday.
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2. Eid ushers in new festivities
Eid in Dubai brings with it a great deal of buzz and excitement. Much of the entertainment goes online this year, giving the whole world a chance to get involved in Dubai's extravagant festivities. Join regional stars perform their most popular tracks at virtual concerts, while local artists shed a bright light on culture. The city's favourites malls and brands have brought their latest collections and most sought-after products online, so you can have holiday gifts delivered to your doorstep. And for a touch of local heritage, visit Etihad Museum and stroll the sikkas – alleys – of Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood on virtual, 360-degree tours on Dubai360.
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3. There are great bargains to be had
Gift-giving is an important part of the Eid holiday and the city's boutiques become hotspots for flash sales and bargains leading up to the long weekend. From discounts at department stores and big-name brands to seasonal Eid collections, the majority of Dubai's shops get into the spirit of the holiday one way or another. Make sure you order online quickly to get everything delivered in time to surprise your friends and family.
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