Residents share the joy of celebrations

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Residents share the joy of celebrations
Some families have booked hotel reservations in the northern emirates to get a break from the Dubai city life.

Dubai - Shopping, bridal showers, anniversary celebrations, barbecue outings and staycations were some of the ways people are celebrating the long weekend.

By Saman Haziq

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Published: Thu 30 Nov 2017, 8:49 PM

Last updated: Thu 30 Nov 2017, 11:00 PM

With three public holidays - Commemoration Day, Prophet Muhammad's (Peace be upon him) birthday and UAE National Day - all falling within the same weekend, residents are making sure they make each day count.
Shopping, bridal showers, anniversary celebrations, barbecue outings and staycations were some of the ways people are celebrating the long weekend. 
Dubai resident Ameena Rafi along with eight other friends was out at a ladies park in Sharjah for double celebrations on Thursday. "Two of my Dubai friends are getting married and leaving for India next week. This long weekend we are not only celebrating the National Day with them here by decorating our cars with UAE flags but also we have organised a bridal shower for both our brides-to-be friends before they leave the UAE to settle in India."
Ameena will be celebrating the other two public holidays in a more patriotic mode by attending the flag ceremony in Jumeirah and taking part in car rallies as part of the National Day celebrations. 
Sharjah resident Zainab Khan, a homemaker, confesses she is one of those who keep checking the calendar for the next long weekend. 
"I was eagerly waiting for the National Day long weekend for the amazing sales, weekend fun activities and carnival for my one-and-a-half-year-old son Yusuf. This is the unique aspect of the UAE's National Day that the country gives all - citizens and residents - a reason to come together and celebrate. We get to spend some quality time with our families and the enjoyment has doubled as the weather is also playing its part perfectly. What a perfect long weekend before we ring in the New Year, " Zainab said. 
Filipino expat Arnel Fernandez took his family on an overnight camping in Jebel Jais. The cool weather and the long holiday are perfect recipes for a nice family bonding over barbecues, savoury foods and sharing of stories, he told Khaleej Times.
"My wife and I are busy at work and our son is preoccupied with his studies. This long holiday is really a welcome break to catch up with family and friends," he said.
For Dubai resident James Christopher Arriola, the long weekend means more time to play his favourite sport (basketball) with his dad. "It's a nice bonding and good physical activity as well," he said.
Theme parks were also brimming with activities. A Celestial who works at the Global Village said they are working overtime to accommodate the expected influx of visitors.
Meanwhile, some families have booked hotel reservations in the northern emirates to get a break from the hustle and bustle of Dubai city life. 
According to the CEO of Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority, UAE staycations are maintaining their popularity as the best way to celebrate the country's 46th anniversary.
A focus on heritage and cultural activities is strongly appealing the visitors, according to Haitham Mattar, CEO of Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Authority. He said the activities are expected to push occupancy rates at the emirate's hotels and resorts this weekend to reach high 90's. "It's obvious that the best way to celebrate an anniversary of this remarkable nation is within the nation and that's what many within the country truly feel," said Mattar.
(With inputs from Angel Tesorero) 
saman@khaleejtimes.com
 



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