Eid Al Adha, also known as the Festival of Sacrifice, is one of the most important Islamic holidays. It is observed by Muslims around the globe for three days, after the conclusion of the annual Hajj pilgrimage in Mecca. The festival is celebrated with early morning prayers, exchange of greetings and gifts, family gatherings, animal sacrifice and distribution of meat among family, friends and the community. If you are planning to stay in the country during the Eid break, here’s all you need to know about the Eid Al Adha holidays in the UAE:
When is Eid Al Adha in the UAE?
The Federal Authority for Government Human Resources (FAHR) announced on Thursday, 1st August, on its official Twitter account, that the Eid Al Adha holidays for the private and public sector would fall on 10th, 11th, 12th and 13th August (which will be 9th, 10th, 11th, and 12th of the Islamic month of Dhu Al Hijjah, the last month of the Islamic lunar calendar). This includes Arafat Day, which will be observed 9 Dhu Al Hijjah 1440. The Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation further confirmed the holiday dates (MOHRE), via an announcement in a circular issued by Nasser Bin Thani Al Hamli, Minister of MOHRE. The UAE banking sector will also be closed on these dates. Hospitals and clinics will be open for specific hours while all emergency rooms will operate on a 24 hour basis throughout the holiday.
Things to do over Eid Al Adha in the UAE
The UAE has a lot to offer in terms of entertainment, especially for special holidays like Eid. The much-awaited long weekend will be packed with Eid offers, family feasts, cultural events, live entertainment, firework displays, and many other attractions. Below is a list of some special things you can do over the long weekend to unwind and have some fun:
Watch the Eid Al Adha fireworks
Fabulous fireworks mark most of the big events and festivals in the UAE. The Dubai Festival City Mall will be holding a fireworks display on 11th and 12th August, at 8 pm and 10 pm on each day. The four shows will comprise a combination choreography of fire, laser and water along with the fireworks.
Yas Marina, Abu Dhabi, will also light up with some great fireworks, on all three days of Eid. Visitors have free access to the marina but can also enjoy the display from the deck of Captain Tony's Eid Fireworks Fun Cruise, while taking a tour of the marina. The cruise will start at 8:30pm and will cost AED 100 for adults and AED 50 for children (6 to 12 years).
Witness the Light Show at Legoland Dubai
Legoland Dubai at Dubai Parks and Resorts will be featuring an 8-minute light show every evening at 7:45 pm, between Thursday, 8th August and Friday, 16th August. The Lego replicas of the city’s famous towers -- made from more than 15,000 Lego models and 439,000 Lego bricks -- will be lit up by huge light beams. The cost of entry at Legoland Dubai is AED 245.
Shop and Dine for Longer in Dubai
Shopping malls in Dubai will be open for longer hours over Eid, until 1-2 am, giving you more time to benefit from bargains and also have something to eat at the restaurants within the malls. From 8th to 17th August, Mall of the Emirates, City Centre Deira, City Centre Mirdif, Dubai Festival City Mall and Ibn Battuta Mall will all stay open until 1 am, while The Dubai Mall will be open until 2 am.
Participate in Family-Friendly Activities at The Galleria Al Maryah Island, Abu Dhabi
From Thursday, 8th August to Monday, 12th August, families can enjoy various activities between 3-9 pm. These include an Arabian hospitality tent, arts and crafts, sand-bottle art, calligraphy, henna, etc. You can also visit a photography exhibition presented in collaboration with the National Archive to mark the Year of Tolerance, which will include images of historical moments from 1965 to 1990 that commemorate Sheikh Zayed.
Enjoy Live Performances in Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi Mall will be hosting live performances from 9th-13th August, with stage shows from 3-10 om daily, including music and dance performances as well as bubble and magic shows. Yas Mall will also host live entertainment and roaming performances from 11th-14th August. You can also head to the cinemas within the malls to watch movies like Fast & Furious: Hobbs & Shaw, The Lion King, Spider-Man: Far From Home, The Secret Life of Pets 2 and The Queen’s Corgi.