Children, families have fun during weekend

DUBAI—Malls and bus stations in Dubai were jam-packed during the Eid days as children and famlies had a weekend of fun before offices and schools reopen this week after the holidays.

By Lily B. Libo-on

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Published: Mon 13 Sep 2010, 10:37 PM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 4:41 PM

Rahim Saleh, a taxi driver, said he had been spending Eid days in Dubai for 12 years. “This year, the crowd is really huge because many want to go out of Dubai. They don’t mind spending up to Dh70 to travel to Jebel Ali or even Dh250 to go to Abu Dhabi by taxi.”

Redy Vajanakam, 22, said he was at the Bur Dubai bus station for an hour waiting for the driver of a sharing taxi. “The queue got longer and longer because taxi drivers were not here to take us. Perhaps, they went somewhere to dine with friends.”

Crowds also swarmed the malls during the three days of ‘Eid in Dubai’ as international character shows, carnivals, heritage tents and fireworks were on show for a busy Eid itinerary for children and families. ‘Eid in Dubai’, organised by the Dubai Events and Promotions Establishment (DEPE), concluded on Sunday but the back-to-school funfair and exhibition at Airport Expo, Dubai will be running till September 18.

Naser Hakim, DEPE Head of PR, said the Central Galleria was the hub of Eid activities at Mirdif City Centre as Ben 10, Hello Kitty and the Freej shows proved to be a big hit with children and families alike.”

Children were treated to spectacular stage settings including specialised sound and lighting. An Eid tent at the Galleria welcomed shoppers and families with coffee and dates in accordance with the traditional Eid custom of ushering in guests.

He said that DEPE, the organiser of the event, put up Eid tents across shopping malls to revive the Emarati tradition of welcoming guests. “Shoppers and families visiting malls during Eid are welcomed with coffee and dates in the tradition popularly known as ‘dhiyafat al eid’.” At the Mall of the Emirates, the adorable purple dinosaur Barney joined Baby Bop and BJ in a musical titled ‘Barney’s Beach Party’. Popular with children of all ages, the character show is famous for Barney’s Hula Dance.

On Sunday, the mall hosted stilt walkers, jugglers, and an ‘Eid in Dubai’ carnival. The Dino Live Exhibition was the highlight at Dubai Festival City. The world’s largest movable dinosaur show featured life-sized moving dinosaur models. Visitors were also treated to a stunning display of fireworks and a laser display that lit up the night sky over the waterfront.

At the Airport Expo, Dubai, the back-to-school exhibition and funfair were the main highlights. To add to the festivity, the venue also hosted an international character show, ‘Lazytown’.

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