Holidaymakers make most of Eid break

Travel agents say many UAE residents are taking advantage of their Eid holiday and planning short getaways abroad.

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Many residents are taking advantage of their days off and planning short getaways abroad, travel agents said.

Srilatha Reddy, manager of corporate travel at Orient Travel in Dubai, said her team had been kept on its toes during the past few days.

"Our holiday section has been busy preparing a lot of last-minute bookings," she said. "There has been an uptake recently and a bit of a rush in the last week because people have got a good break and schools are off, so they want to make use of the holiday."

But, as the week-long Eid holiday begins, spare a thought for those who will be working overtime to cater for the needs of holidaymakers.

An engineer with Emirates Airline said he would be at work as usual. "Some departments at airports have to function normally during holidays," he said.

In Dubai, Deira City Centre, Mirdif City Centre, Mall of the Emirates and Mercato have extended opening hours to midnight during Eid.

Abu Dhabi Mall has scheduled festive activities, which will start tomorrow and continue until Saturday. The mall celebrations will begin at 5pm daily and will include magic shows, juggling, face painting and musical performances.

Ihab Ahmad, the operations manager of Al Baba sweets, which has two branches in Dubai, said the shop was always open during Eid.

He said: "The first day is normally our busiest as people come and buy mamoul [shortbread pastries filled with dates or pistachios and walnuts]."

Al Wahda Street in Sharjah was choked by shoppers yesterday, all taking advantage of festive discounts on offer.

Museums in Sharjah will be closed today, but the emirate's Museum Department is planning activities for the second and third days of Eid al Adha. Sharjah Maritime Museum will host folk art shows and poetry evenings, while a number of family activities will be organised at the Sharjah Science Museum and Sharjah Discovery Centre.

The Dubai Events and Promotions Establishment is also organising a series of special events for its Eid in Dubai celebration, including concerts and fireworks displays along The Walk in Dubai Marina.