Sizzling BBQ parties, shucking corn, loads of food: American expats in UAE gear up to mark Fourth of July

Few restaurants in Dubai join the celebrations and have planned special menus, free games and other attractions


Nandini Sircar

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Photo: Natalia Miranda
Photo: Natalia Miranda

Published: Sun 2 Jul 2023, 4:59 PM

Last updated: Sun 2 Jul 2023, 11:09 PM

American expats in the UAE are gearing up to celebrate the US Independence Day, the Fourth of July. Residents and families will mark the 246th Independence Day by planning barbecues parties, picnics, and in an authentic American fashion with loads of foods, such as hamburgers, hot dogs, corn on the cob, and apple pie.

Some families took advantage of the extended Eid Al Adha holidays to travel. UAE resident Naeema Zaki travelled to Egypt the day after schools closed for the Eid holidays. She says: "This year, Eid fell just before July 4. So, we are celebrating the festival overseas at an Egyptian beach resort because my husband is from there."

Naeema Zaki with family. Photo: Supplied
Naeema Zaki with family. Photo: Supplied

Zaki said their entire family could be together due to the extended holidays, which is rare. She added, “Normally, on July 4, we get together and watch the fireworks. I usually stream it on YouTube. I call my mom, and she goes to the pier (in the US), takes some pictures and then sends it to us. But this year is different as Eid has fallen around the same time, and the entire family is together.”

Expat in the UAE have made plans according to their schedule. Natalia Miranda, who is in the country this year as her son is yet to finish the academic term, said, "Nothing is more American than shucking corn and drinking sweet iced tea. Even in the Dubai heat, we can still enjoy a little slice of the USA."

Photo: Natalia Miranda
Photo: Natalia Miranda

She added, "Last year, we were back home, and the air was filled with the mouthwatering scents of popcorn, sizzling BBQ, and freshly harvested sweet corn, accompanied by the refreshing taste of sweet iced tea. The 4th of July is one of our most treasured holidays."

American expat Aaron Snyder will be working on that day. He said, “I will be going to work as usual, like many others. I also understand a lot of families are travelling to the US this year, as residents got a long Eid Al Adha break that lasted for almost nine days. I am sure many are making the most of it as they may want to catch the celebrations back home.”

Aaron Snyder
Aaron Snyder

Snyder works in the Al Ruwais area, located some 240 km west of Abu Dhabi, with limited activities. But in the evening, Snyder could pack in a quieter celebration, "perhaps some friends and I will go to a local café for Shisha and dinner.”

Some may head to restaurants in the city that are offering meals and sweet treats to mark the day, with a few celebrations starting early and restaurants eager to deliver.

A few restaurants in Dubai also joining the celebrations and have planned special menus, free games and other attractions.

CLAW BBQ, Hilton Dubai Palm Jumeirah is promising to offer from July 1-4 for an authentic Independence Day extravaganza. “Feast on traditional American dishes, compete in crazy games, enjoy live music and immerse in our unbeatable CLAW BBQ atmosphere! That’s not all! Indulge in our special 4th of July menu, featuring a BBQ feast platter and Shellfish Shebang. Participate in our Hotdog eating contest and Beer Pong games with awesome prizes up for grabs. No game will be missed with our 50 screens showing all sports around the world.”

A customer executive at Weslodge Saloon, Business Bay, Dubai, told Khaleej Times that the venue is hosting an indulgent feast to celebrate the upcoming 4th of July. Their meaty spread of a set menu of a three-course meal will be priced at Dh245 from July 3 until July 9. Guests can start coming in by 5.30pm.


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