From long drives to farmhouse stays, how UAE residents are spending 9-day Eid Al Fitr break

Families and friends are seizing every opportunity to travel to newly opened destinations in the country


SM Ayaz Zakir

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Hanging Gardens. Photo: File
Hanging Gardens. Photo: File

Published: Thu 11 Apr 2024, 6:27 PM

Last updated: Thu 11 Apr 2024, 11:46 PM

UAE residents who are not travelling abroad during the long Eid break are making the most of it within the country, celebrating in the pleasant weather with various leisure activities, ranging from farm stays to adventurous road trips.

Embracing the charm of domestic travel, families and friends across the country are immersing themselves in the beauty of the surroundings, seizing every opportunity to travel to newly opened destinations in the country.

Mohammed Najar, an Egyptian expat, has been planning to visit the newly opened Hanging Gardens in Kalba for a long time. “And now it is the perfect time. We are here with all our friends and relatives,” said Najar.

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“With the weather so nice, I just had to hit the road. The Hanging Gardens in Kalba is amazing. You can either climb to the top or drive up. We chose to climb, and it was so peaceful. I am really glad I did not delay it further,” Najar added.

On Friday, Najar is planning to visit the Al Hefaiyah Lake, which is also close proximity to the Hanging Gardens. “I want to spend a few hours to explore the serenity the lake has to offer. We will also be barbecuing later in the evening, near a Wadi. So for the next few days, our schedule is filled with road trips,” said Najar.

Hiking in Fujairah

For Anthony Balos, a Filipino expat, gearing up for an adrenaline-fuelled adventure is on the agenda. “For the next two days, the open road is calling us for great excitement and exploration. We are currently in Al Ain, exploring the vast lands and hills,” said Balos.

On Saturday, Balos, along with his friends, will be undertaking a thrilling hiking expedition. “We have got all our trekking and hiking gear ready. This time, many of our friends are joining us for a day of hiking in the hills of Fujairah,” said Balos.

For some, quality time with family and extended family is a preferred activity during the break, as they have planned a staycation amidst nature, away from the hustle and bustle of the city.

Family get together

Basit Bafaqui, an Indian expat and a businessman, has reserved a farm stay in Ras Al Khaimah for a blissful day of relaxation for his entire family and extended family. “Every Eid celebration, we invite over our extended family. We book a farmhouse and undertake recreational activities together. From cooking meals, cleaning, swimming, games, and having food, makes it a perfect family bonding for us,” said Bafaqui.

Photo: Supplied
Photo: Supplied

“At the farmhouse, it's not just Eid for over 25 children, it's a whole world of fun for them. Every moment is filled with joy and laughter,” added Bafaqui.

Photo: Supplied
Photo: Supplied

Snarling traffic

Several residents reported encountering heavy traffic on their way to Kalba, which shows the popularity of the destination during the Eid holidays as eager travellers sought to experience the beauty of the Hanging Gardens and other attractions in the area.

Ahmad Akrami, along with his family, was en route to Kalba around 4pm when they faced heavy traffic upon taking the exit to the Maleiha road. “Initially, we considered altering our plans and heading to a different location. However, upon checking the maps, we observed only a half-hour delay, so we decided to proceed with our journey to Kalba,” Ahmed said.

Photo: Supplied
Photo: Supplied

“After a few kilometres, we encountered bumper-to-bumper traffic, suggesting that reaching our destination might take longer than expected,” added Ahmad.

Football tournaments

The African community in Sharjah are making the most of the nine-day long break by organising football tournaments. From friendly matches, residents are coming together to showcase their skills on the field in Al Nahda, Sharjah.

These African expats are enthusiastically participating in the competition, proudly representing their countries by naming their teams after their respective nations.

Photo: Supplied
Photo: Supplied

"We wanted to host a tournament for a long time between our friends. With the perfect weather, we couldn't resist during the holidays," said Abdul Rahman, an athlete representing team Uganda.

"With all the football tournaments happening over the next few days, time will just fly by. Cheering for our teams and playing on the field will make each day exciting and fun for us," said Michal Eze, a Nigerian expat and a resident of Sharjah.


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