Eid holiday dates announced for public-sector workers in UAE

Government employees across the country will benefit from four days of holiday

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Public-sector employees are set for a long weekend break from work after Eid Al Adha holiday dates were announced.

Those working in federal entities will get four days off starting Thursday, July 30 to Sunday, August 2.

Work will resume on Monday, August 3.

The announcement was made on Twitter by the Federal Authority for Government Human Resources.

The festival is the most important of two main holidays in the Muslim world. It begins on the 10th day of Dhu Al Hijjah, which is the 12th and final month in the Islamic calendar.

What is Eid Al Adha?

Al Adha means the sacrifice. The specific sacrifice this holiday is named after is explained in the Quran, which tells of how Prophet Ibrahim dreamt that God asked him to sacrifice his son, Ismail, as a test of his faith.

At first, Ibrahim dismissed the dream but it reoccurred several nights in a row. The prophet is said to have grappled with the decision but ultimately chose to submit to God's will as an indication of his commitment to faith.

The devil tried to dissuade him, telling him not to kill his son, but Ibrahim responded by throwing rocks at him. This act is now repeated by pilgrims at Hajj who throw stones at symbolic pillars.

Just before Ibrahim went to carry out God's command, God replaced his son with a goat and told him to sacrifice the animal instead. Now Muslims celebrate Eid by eating the halal meat of a sacrificed animal.

How is it celebrated and how might things be different this year?

Eid is a time when families and friends come together to celebrate, usually over a meal.

The day begins with early Eid prayers at a mosque and it is customary for a family to have a goat or sheep butchered at an abattoir. The meat is typically shared between themselves, their relatives and the underprivileged.

Families and friends visit each other and wear new clothes. Eidieh - a gift of money during Eid - is given to children and sweets are served.

This year, because of the coronavirus outbreak, traditions will likely be put on hold. Family gatherings will be restricted to limit the spread of Covid-19.

During Eid Al Fitr, authorities advised against sharing food and giving children cash.

Places of worship opened to the public on July 1 but restrictions remain in place to keep worshippers safe.

Though mosques have reopened for the five daily prayers, authorities have said Friday prayers - which typically draw a larger crowd - are not yet allowed.

It is unclear if Eid prayers will be permitted or Muslims will instead be encouraged to be carry them out at home, as they did for Eid Al Fitr.

What is Hajj and how it is going to be different this year

What is Hajj and how it is going to be different this year

Residents urged to opt for home deliveries and avoid Eid rush at abattoirs

Residents in Abu Dhabi have been urged to opt for home deliveries when ordering meat for Eid-al-Adha to avoid a rush at abattoirs amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Butchers prepare cuts of meat for customers at the drive-through slaughterhouse in Mina Zayed. Victor Besa / The National 
Butchers prepare cuts of meat for customers at the drive-through slaughterhouse in Mina Zayed. Victor Besa / The National 

Abu Dhabi City Municipality said slaughterhouses in the capital were expecting to receive up to 25,000 orders for livestock over the coming weeks.

To align with social distancing measures, customers can place their orders using two dedicated mobile applications, My Slaughter and Al Jazeera Slaughters.

Khalfan Al Muhairbi, section head of Abu Dhabi Slaughterhouses, said customers should take advantage of the contactless payment and order options to limit the spread of Covid-19.

Residents can also opt to collect their meat orders from the drive-through centres after placing an order online or through the app.