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Eid Al Fitr

Eid Al Fitr 2017 and 2018

Eid Al Fitr, literally translated as ‘festival of breaking the fast‘, is the first day of the Islamic month Shawwal and the first day after the month-long fasting and prayer during Ramadan.

201725 Jun to 27 JunSun to TueEid Al Fitr *
201814 Jun to 17 JunThu to SunEid Al Fitr *

* Subject to change.

In UAE, as in other Muslim countries, there is an official government-appointed, moon-sighting committee that declares Eid Al Fitr upon the sighting of the crescent moon. The dates for Eid Al Fitr varies every year.

In UAE, Eid Al Fitr is an official public holiday – both government and private employees typically receive two paid off-work days. Businesses will often have adjusted hours if they are open, and there will be big crowds surrounding the mosques and causing congested traffic.

Many Emirati Muslims will go to mosques on Eid Al Fitr for prayer, to hear a sermon called a khutba, and to give away food as an act of charity. Sometimes, these prayer sessions will be held in sports arenas or other large-capacity public gathering places. Local communities may also hold communal meals and children’s events. Private families may also hold festive meals and share the food with the poor, and it is common to wear fine, new clothing to these events. Many will also visit the homes of friends and relatives, give candy and other gifts to children, and send greeting cards to one another with the words “Eid Mubbarak!”, meaning “Blessed Eid!” printed on them.

It is customary, and of religious significance, to give gifts of food to the poor during the month of Ramadan. Those who fail to do so or who just want to be “extra generous,” however, often give it on Eid Al Fitr. The food given is often such items as raisins, dates, flour, or barley. Money of equivalent value to such food gifts is also sometimes donated.

Some events and activities to consider engaging in during Eid Al Fitr Weekend include:

  • Have a look at the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque of Abu Dhabi. If you are a Muslim, you may wish to join in the services, which mark the breaking of the month-long fast of Ramadan. Otherwise, the mosque itself is an impressive piece of architecture, and you may wish to view the crowds gathered around it- keeping a proper distance if the locals insist!
  • Visit Yas Mall or another UAE mall. At Yas Mall, there are often major Eid Al Fitr events that all can take part in. You may see things like a 3D “Mall of Fortune” board game, competitions with prizes involved, and cultural events in the Hamdan bin Mohammed Heritage Center.
  • Watch the Eid fireworks displays. You may see fireworks in many parts of UAE for Eid Al Fitr, but one of the best displays takes place over the beach in the Dubai community of Jumeirah Beach Residence (JBR).
  • Concerts with singers from all over the Islamic world. There are many concerts to attend during the weekend, including those held at such locations as the Du Forum on Yas Island, in the city center of Fujairah, and in the Dubai World Trade Center.
  • Numerous Kids’ shows. You can entertain your children at the Circus Fiesta in Mercato Mall, at the shows held in the Al Ain Zoo, or at the kid’s events that take place in the
    Al Montazah Amusement and Water Park in Sharjah.

If you visit the U.A.E. around Eid Al Fitr, you will catch a glimpse of the way the Emiratis celebrate what to them is an important religious and cultural event. There will also be much to do of a more “secular” nature, however, such as entertainment and shopping.