ABU DHABI // Families eased into the Eid Al Adha holiday break by packing into the capital's Corniche area, enjoying the sunshine and getting some hard-earned rest and relaxation.
“I will be going to see some of my family in Dubai this week,” said Allah Ditta, 39, a Pakistani engineer who has lived in Abu Dhabi for six years.
“I am hoping to maybe take a trip with them to Ras Al Khaimah. It is beautiful there and I would like to go to the waterpark.
“It is good to spend time with family during the Eid holidays. I think this is important for everybody.”
Spending time with family was high on the agenda for most people.
“I will be taking my wife and children to Dubai, and probably going to Yas Waterworld too,” said Thamer Al Ghorony, a father of four from Egypt.
Mr Al Ghorony, who works as a banker at the National Bank of Abu Dhabi, spent yesterday strolling with his wife and kids at the beach.
“We are all looking forward to the holiday, the weather has gotten much better and we will be able to spend more time outside. It is a great time for the children to go and play,” he added.
“I have been in the UAE for seven years and every year we try to spend time with family. You don’t need to go far away to have a great time.”
Many people down at the beach area made use of the bike-hire facilities on offer.
“We have had a lot of people renting bikes from us. I think there will be a lot more this week because of Eid holidays,” said Abdul, a 26-year-old Moroccan who has worked at the bike-hire stand for the past eight months.
“I think it will be a good time for us, a lot of business. The weather is very good right now,” he said.
Temperatures look set to stay below 34°C for the duration of the Eid break, as the harsh summer weather finally seems to be over.
But those still looking for a bit more shade yesterday made use of the parks at the beach-front, with many people breaking out barbeques and enjoying a picnic with friends and family.
“We have just been celebrating a friend’s birthday today,” said Vesper Grabato, 37, from the Philippines. “We are all really glad it is Eid now. It is great to have the time off from work.”
Mr Grabato works at least six days a week at a local perfume and accessories shop and welcomed the holiday.
“We all have been working very hard, I think we need a break, and it is good to be with my friends.
“I will be with my friends for most of the holiday, I think we are just staying in Abu Dhabi. There is lots to do, we go to the beach or just maybe visit the coffee shops, it is nice,” he said.
Some of the city’s workers weren’t so lucky however.
Muhammed Shah, a Pakistani taxi driver who has worked in the capital for five years, said he wouldn’t be taking any time off.
“I could maybe have taken a day off for Eid, but I must keep working to reach my target. I need this to get my salary,” he said.
“My son was born just over a month ago, in Pakistan, so I must make sure there is enough money. This is a hard job, but I must do it.”