New Year in UAE: Calm, joy on first day of 2021

Photo by Shihab/Khaleej Times
Photo by Shihab/Khaleej Times

Dubai - Worshippers across the UAE on Friday gathered for their first Jumuah of the year.

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By Dhanusha Gokulan and Ashwani Kumar

Published: Fri 1 Jan 2021, 11:56 PM

The New Year’s Eve excitement lulled to a peaceful hush on the first day of 2021. Residents relished the joy of welcoming a new year and embracing the chance to start afresh — after all that happened in 2020.

For the faithful, what better way to begin 2021 than with a quiet moment of prayer? Worshippers across the UAE on Friday gathered for their first Jumuah of the year. Residents were all wearing masks as they attended the congregation with their own prayer mats and copies of the Holy Quran. Social distancing was also maintained, with some taking their spots in the courtyards of mosques.

Beyond the Friday prayer, a number of families headed out to enjoy the winter weather under a clear, blue sky. In Sharjah’s Buhaira Corniche, kids were seen marvelling at a breath-taking skyline view whenever they take a break from prancing around.

Some couples in different parts of the country were still on cloud nine because as they rang in the new year, they also welcomed their precious bundles of joy.

Filipino parents Jay and Leizl were over the moon because, finally, they have been blessed with their first baby after a wait of eight years. Their baby girl Shiloh was born at Danat Al Emarat Hospital for Women and Children in Abu Dhabi at 3.59am.

“We almost lost our hope after many years of trying both naturally and with medical intervention. However, in May 2020, my wife got pregnant naturally. It was a surprise for us as it’s something that we did not expect especially during the time of the pandemic,” said Jay, the proud father. Their baby’s name Shiloh means ‘God’s Gift’.

The UAE’s first 2021 baby was born at the stroke of midnight at Aster Hospital, Qusais in Dubai. Indian nationals Ibra Khan and Yasser Khan welcomed Baby Ibrahim at 12am sharp on Friday.

“I was very nervous while bringing my wife here for my first child. I would like to thank the Aster team for the care given to us in the labour room,” said Yasser Khan, the baby’s father.

Baby Ibrahim, the couple’s firstborn, was delivered in a C- section.

“The entire world is looking forward to 2021 as a new beginning and I am happy that my new year night was spent helping a couple welcome a new born baby. Hope this year brings everyone as much joy and we now become a healthier happier more empathetic, kinder world,” said Dr Suchita Mehrishi, the gynaecologist who delivered the baby.

There were a number of other New Year babies across the country. At Danat Al Emarat Hospital for Women and Children in Abu Dhabi, a total of seven babies were born in the first eight hours of January 1.

The first was baby girl Salama born at 1.11am, to Emirati parents. “Waiting for her is her brother Jassem who was also born at Danat Al Emarat three years ago. My wife’s due date was on January 9 but with Allah’s will we welcomed our daughter to our lives today doubling our celebrations,” said the baby’s father Ahmed Jassem Al Yamahi.

Also, by 7.44am, Emirati Mohammed Faisal Al Hashimi welcomed baby girl Jouri, the second female child in the family. And at 7:47 am, Syrian family of Hamoud Al Hussain was blessed with a second boy.

NMC’s Bareen International Hospital in Abu Dhabi welcomed baby Mohammed Hamdan Tanweer Ahmad at 1.28am on January 1. Weighing a healthy 2.95 kg, Mohammed was born to Pakistani nationals Nighat Ghaffar Tanweer Ahmad and Tanweer Ahmad Muhammad Yousaf.

“Allah blessed us with a baby boy and multiplied our happiness by rewarding us with a blessed son as we welcome the new year. We feel immensely blessed and extremely grateful as we embrace the new addition to our family,” Tanweer Ahmad said.

In Dubai, Indian couple Fairusa Tharayil and Sunil Kuttaseri had their second baby at 4.28am. The baby girl weighed 3.36 kg at birth and, according to Dr Fathima Safa, Specialty gynaecology at Aster Hospital, Al Qusais, the baby was born after a normal delivery.

The baby’s father Sunil Kuttaseri said: “It was fortune to having a New year baby and for all the best support from aster hospital members thank you very much and thanks to God.”

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