Eid Al Adha - aka Festival of Sacrifice - falls on Sunday 6 November this year. It marks the end of Hajj (the annual Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia) and celebrates the trials and triumphs of the Prophet Abraham. Even if you don’t fully understand the religious significance of Eid Al Adha, you can still enjoy the Arabic hospitality, tradition and celebration at this time of year. Here’s our pick of popular Eid holiday choices so you don’t miss out...
1. “Ooh” and “Ahh” at Fireworks
Address: Al Seef Street, Bur Dubai, Dubai, UAE
What’s happening: No one does fireworks like Dubai, and sure enough the skies will be lit up during the Eids hols as always. Wanna check it out? One of the best places to enjoy an Arabic holiday is in the old town – the areas of Deira and Bur Dubai surrounding the creek. Enjoy a stroll along the creek, making sure you arrive at Al Seef Street on the Bur Dubai side at 8pm sharp so you can “ooh” and “ahh” over the fireworks with your nearest and dearest.
2. Enjoy a Bargain Brunch
Address: Topkapi, Taj Palace Hotel, Deira, Dubai, UAE
Tel: 04 223 2222
What’s happening: Most hotels will be throwing Eid brunches ranging from budget to blow-your-salary. Topkapi at the Taj Palace Hotel is just one of many places offering the budget variety. For just Dhs105 (including soft drinks) the buffet includes Arabic and International dishes; kids get their own menu with mini pizza, mini burgers and other ickle delights, plus distractions such as toys, cartoons and a bouncy castle to keep them occupied throughout the afternoon while catch up on the gossip. Kids under the age of five eat for free while those aged between six and 12 eat for 50 per cent of the cost.
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3. Shopping at Global Village
Address: Dubailand, Dubai, UAE
Tel: 04 362 4114
What’s happening: This year, Eid Al Adha coincides with the opening of Global Village, the four-month open-air fair providing cultural entertainment and shopping galore. It’s been going 15 years and it’s a great place to take visiting rellies who want handicrafts and souvenirs to take back home. Global Village runs from 1 November 2011 to 3 March 2012.
4. Dariush and Faramarz Aslani Perform
Dubai World Trade Centre
Address: Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai, UAE
Tel: 04 332 1000
What’s happening: Well-known Iranian singers Dariush and Faramarz Aslani will help get you into a traditional spirit with their tunes on 6 November at Dubai World Trade Centre. Their show runs from 10pm to 2am and tickets are priced Dhs365 (regular) and Dhs600 (VIP).
5. Indulge in Arabic Cuisine
Address: Boulvar, Radisson Blu Hotel, Deira, Dubai, UAE
Tel: 04 205 7333
What’s happening: What better time to explore the Arabic palette than during an Arabic holiday. For Dhs145, Boulvar is offering a sophisticated Eid buffet (both during lunch and dinner), in an authentic setting created around Arabic traditions. The menu consists of hot and cold mezzeh, followed by a choice of main courses including the popular ouzi carving, shawarma and assorted Arabic grills. For desserts, try the traditional um ali – a kind of bread pudding that’s creamy and delish.
6. Elissa and Wael Kfoury Hit the Stage
Ritz Carlton DIFC
Address: Dubai International Financial Centre, Dubai, UAE
Tel: 04 372 2222
What’s happening: Lebanese singers Elissa and Wael Kfoury are set to take the stage on 7 November at the Ritz Carlton DIFC, followed by Najwa Karam and Fadl Shaker on 9 November at same venue. Tickets are priced at Dhs1,000, Dhs1,500, Dhs2,000.
7. The Lord of the Chords Live in Dubai
Address: Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai, UAE
Tel: 04 366 6200
What’s happening: Indian singing sensation - known as The Lord of the Chords - Sonu Niigam is coming to Dubai and will perform on 7 November at the Madinat Arena, Madinat Jumeirah with his 30-member troupe in a four-hour non-stop musical extravaganza! Directed and formatted by Sonu and featuring Bollywood dancers, it’s bound to get toes tapping. Tickets start from Dhs175.
8. Marvel Comic Heroes Come to Town
Dubai Festival City
Address: Garhoud, Dubai, UAE
Tel: 04 800 332 32
What’s happening: Eid is a time for the children, and as a treat for them there’s a Marvel heroes show set to be held at Dubai Festival City starring super heroes including Captain America, Spiderman, the Hulk and more. Best bit, it’s for free!
9. It’s a Barbie World
Mirdif City Centre
Address: Mirdif, Dubai, UAE
Tel: 04 800 6422
What’s happening: Anyone who was left heartbroken at the news of Barbie and Ken breaking up has something to smile about. Barbie is ready to dazzle fans in a new show named It’s a Barbie World! The musical play will see Barbie and Ken together after a long hiatus. The show will be held at Mirdif City Centre for free as a part of the mall’s Eid celebrations.
10. Hit the Mall!
What’s happening: Dhiyafat Al Eid is an integral part of Emirati tradition during the Eid days in which guests are welcomed with Arabic coffee, dates and traditional sweets .The Dubai Events and Promotions Establishment has set up hospitality tents across the region’s shopping malls and at the Dubai International Airport to welcome their guests throughout Eid holidays. So if you spot a tent, pop in and be welcomed – Emirati-style!