Eid Al Fitr 2021: things to do in the UAE during the long weekend

Here's a round-up of family-friendly activities to keep you busy and entertained

From left: The View at Palm Jumeirah, Atlantis Aquaventure Waterpark and Fujairah Adventure Park. Antonie Robertson / The National, Reem Mohammed / The National, Pawan Singh / The National 
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The conclusion of the holy month will soon usher in another important festival – Eid Al Fitr.

This year, UAE has announced holiday dates for the private sector from Tuesday until Shawwal 3 (which is expected to fall on May 15, but will be confirmed by the moon-sighting).

Here, The National shares a list of fun, family-friendly activities to try out during the break, from a new adventure park to a pirate-themed cruise ship that's sure to delight the children.

Atlantis Aquaventure Waterpark

Splashers Cove & Lagoon at Atlantis Aquaventure.
Photo: Reem Mohammed / The National

With the temperatures on the rise, one way to cool down is to head to a water park. If you're looking to try something new, Atlantis Aquaventure has recently unveiled some record-breaking waterslides and towers as part of its expansion.

Some new attractions to check out include Trident Tower, a 34-metre structure with 12 slides, Splashers Lagoon and Splashers Cove.

Open daily; 8am-6pm; Dh350 for adults and Dh295 for children; and for UAE residents with a valid Emirates id, Dh285 for adults and Dh265 for children; 04 426 3000; Atlantis, The Palm, Palm Jumeirah, Dubai; www.atlantis.com

Black Pearl Sightseeing Cruise by Tour Dubai

Have little wannabe pirates at home? Tour Dubai has launched a one-hour Black Pearl Sightseeing Cruise that combines all the fun of exploring Dubai via the water with some swashbuckling adventure.

The guided cruise takes guests from Dubai Creek Harbour through the mangroves, passes by the flamingos of Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary and goes into Dubai Canal before returning to port.

Children are sure to be enchanted by the uniquely designed ship.

Open daily; several times available; Dh39 for adults and Dh29 for children with the UAE residents offer; www.tour-dubai.com

Fujairah Adventure Park

The park recently reopened to the public with a bunch of new offerings for adventure enthusiasts.

There’s a climbing wall and a children’s play area, while real adrenalin junkies can try the dirt jumps.

After you’re done, stop for a cuppa at the cafe, complete with views of the mountains from all angles.

Fujairah Adventure Park has also launched outdoor movie nights in the evenings, as well as guided night walks.

Daily10am-8pm on weekdays and 7am-8pm on weekends; Dh10 per vehicle or Dh5 per person for walk-ins; 09 222 2252; Fujairah Adventure Centre, Fujairah; www.fujairahadventures.ae

Emirati Cuisine Programme

Balaleet. Photo courtesy Frying Pan Adventures

Abu Dhabi residents looking to celebrate Eid with delicious Emirati food are in luck. The Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi has launched the Emirati Cuisine Programme, which makes traditional Emirati dishes more accessible in restaurants across the capital.

Led by Emirati chef Khulood Atiq, chefs from 13 restaurants so far have been trained to serve Emirati food to guests. You can now sample some truly authentic luqaimat and ghouzi from Anantara Eastern Mangroves Abu Dhabi Hotel, balaleet and harees from Sofitel Abu Dhabi Corniche, and fish and chicken machboos from Centro Al Manhal, among others.

Prices, times and locations vary. More information is at www.visitabudhabi.ae

Hive Board Game Cafe

May 24, 2013, Dubai, UAE:
The Tea House Junction, a cafe in Oud Metha, is home to the city's better teas and also to its gamers. Not video gamers but board gamers. 

Seen here is one of the cafe's Scrabble boards.

Lee Hoagland/The National

Take family board game night to a whole new level with a visit to this quaint cafe located at The Greens.

From world building adventure games such as Catan to family favourites including Taboo, they have it all, alongside a wholesome menu of sandwiches, pizzas, pastas and beverages.

They also have “game masters” to help clue you in on a game and ensure there’s no cheating involved.

Sundays to Wednesdays, noon-midnight, Thursdays and Fridays, noon-2am; Dh15 for an hour, Dh25 for two hours and Dh35 for unlimited time; Onyx Tower, The Greens, Dubai; www.hiveboardgame.com

House of Artisans

Khaled bin Mohamed bin Zayed has opened the House of Artisans, which pays tribute to and celebrates UAE artisans. Courtesy Abu Dhabi Media

Why not use this long weekend as an educational experience, to teach the children a little bit more about Emirati culture and handlooms?

House of Artisans has recently reopened inside Abu Dhabi's Qasr Al Hosn as a permanent exhibition that honours UAE artisans. The exhibits shed light on traditional Emirati crafts and embroidery.

After viewing the exhibits , you can stop by the gift shop and pick up memorabilia that supports UAE artisans.

Open daily, 10am-9pm; complimentary with Qasr Al Hosn’s Dh30 entrance fee; 02 697 6400; Qasr Al Hosn, Abu Dhabi; www.qasralhosn.ae

Louvre Abu Dhabi

Artist Diaa Allam will be creating colourful calligraffiti out of Eid greetings. Courtesy Louvre Abu Dhabi

If you haven't already been to the museum, here's your chance. Not only can you view the exhibits, grab a cup of coffee from the cafe or kayak around, the museum has also put together a special initiative on Friday, May 14. On the day, from 7pm to 9pm, calligraffiti artists Diaa Allam and Michael Ang will be combining calligraphy, graffiti and urban media art to transform the museum’s walls with colourful Eid greetings and messages. Guests who are there at the time can share their Eid messages with the artists and watch as they are transformed into art in real time. While the permanent galleries will close at 6.30pm, the Abstraction and Calligraphy exhibition will remain open until 8.30pm.

Friday, May 14; complimentary access to the dome starting 6.30pm; Louvre Abu Dhabi; www.louvreabudhabi.ae

Museum of the Moon by OliOli

The Museum of the Moon gallery is back at OliOli for the Eid weekend. Courtesy OliOli

Wow wanna-be astronauts with a trip to edutainment centre OliOli which is bringing back its popular Museum of the Moon experience for a limited time only. The gallery will be on display from Tuesday to Saturday, May 15, during which guests can check out a five-metre accurate replica of the moon. The replica has been created by artist Luke Jerram by fusing imagery from detailed Nasa pictures of the lunar surface. With a surround sound composition created by award-winning composer Dan Jones, this promises to be a one-of-a-kind experience for the whole family.

Tuesday to Saturday, May 11 to 15; 10am-6pm; Dh126 for two hours for children between the age of 2-16, Dh63 for two hours for those between the age of 12-23 months, One parent enters free with each child admission, additional adults pay Dh42 each; 04 702 7300; www.olioli.ae


People doing roller skating at the RollDXB roller disco which opens at Shed 3 Marina Cubes Street, Dubai Maritime City, Port Rashid, Bur Dubai on April 25,2021. (Pawan Singh/The National). Story by Sophie Prideaux

Just roll with the good times over at RollDXB, a cool new roller skating rink that has opened in Dubai.

With retro vibes, this edgy skating experience packs in fun for all ages. Each session is 90 minutes long, and you can bring your own skates or rent them there and skate around with the family.

Open daily, times vary; prices start at Dh85; Dubai Maritime City, Port Rashid, Bur Dubai; www.rolldxb.com

Snow Cinema at Ski Dubai

Ski Dubai is bringing back its Snow Cinema experience for the summer months. Courtesy Ski Dubai 

If you're looking to beat the heat, Ski Dubai, the largest indoor ski slope in the world, is bringing its Snow Cinema experience back because of popular demand. Starting Monday, Snow Cinema will be hosting several screenings a day during the summer months so guests can enjoy their films and popcorn in sub-zero temperatures. Some family-friendly films playing include Raya and the Last Dragon, Tom & Jerry, and Maya the Bee, and there will also be big-budget blockbusters such as Godzilla vs. Kong and Mortal Kombat to watch out for.

Throughout summer; Dh100 inclusive of a food and beverage package and rental clothing; tickets can be booked via www.voxcinemas.com or www.skidxb.com

The Pointe

The Palm Fountain comes alive to the theme of Oman National Day on 18 November. 
(Photo: Reem Mohammed/The National)


From Thursday, May 13 to Saturday, May 15, visitors at The Pointe will be treated to Disney-themed fountain shows. The Pointe will be debuting a new song, Starting Now, written for Disney's year-long Ultimate Princess Celebration, which the fountains will dance to. The new Princess anthem will join The Palm Fountain's existing line-up of Disney hits such as Aladdin's A Whole New World, Frozen's Let It Go and Mulan's Reflection, which will play every hour from 7pm. Many of the Pointe's restaurants will also be having special Eid deals, and free shuttle buses will be provided from Nakheel Mall to The Pointe every 20 minutes from at 5pm until midnight.

Thursday, May 13 to Saturday, May 15; free; www.thepointe.ae/en

The View at The Palm

DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES. 5 APRIL 2021. The View observation deck with 360 degrees of views of the Dubai Skyline situated on The Palm. (Photo: Antonie Robertson/The National) Journalist: Nick Webster. Section: National.

For a glimpse of Palm Jumeirah like you've never seen it before, you can head over to the palm-shaped island's newest attraction. The View at The Palm offers views of the island, the Arabian Gulf and the Dubai skyline from its 52nd floor vantage point.

It also features an aquarium tunnel and educates visitors about the history and creation of Palm Jumeirah.

Sundays to Wednesdays, 10am-11pm, Thursdays to Saturdays, 10am-midnight; Dh100 for adults and Dh69 for children; www.theviewpalm.ae

Wavebreaker Beach and Grill

Wavebreaker Beach Club and Restaurant, Hilton Dubai Jumeirah. Courtesy Hilton

Take advantage of the daycation offer from Hilton Dubai Jumeirah's Wavebreaker Beach and Grill. A whole day of beach and pool access for adults costs Dh99, while children aged 6 to 12 get a 50 per cent discount and those under the age of 5, enter for free.

There are water sports, a volleyball court and a children’s playground to keep everyone busy, although you can also just spend it lounging on the beach or by the pool and filling up on Wavebreaker’s barbecue dishes.

Wednesday to Sunday, May 12 to 16; 8am-7.30pm; Dh99 per adult, 50 per cent discount for children 6-12, free for children under 5; Hilton Dubai Jumeirah, JBR, Dubai; 04 318 2319; www.hilton.com


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