How to Celebrate Eid-al-Fitr in Abu Dhabi

Head on down over to Yas Island this Eid weekend to witness Abu Dhabi's incredible firework display
Head on down over to Yas Island this Eid weekend to witness Abu Dhabi's incredible firework display | © Thomas Nilsson / Flickr
Eid-al-Fitr, a three-day celebration at the end of the holy month of Ramadan, marks the end of this period of fasting for Muslims. There are various events and traditional practices that characterise this religious holiday. Read on to learn how the UAE’s capital celebrates this traditional event.

Immerse yourself in tradition

Thanks to the Department of Culture in Tourism, a series of activities will be hosted across Al Ain’s museums to entertain families while highlighting Emirati traditions. There will be exhibitions displaying Emirati Eid clothes such as jalabia (for women) and deshdasha and ghutra (for men), as well as workshops teaching children how to sculpt clay using ancient Emirati tools.

Pamper yourself and get glammed up

As women flock to salons and henna parlours to look their best for Eid celebrations, this is a perfect time to get a fresh new trim, a relaxing manicure, a pampering spa treatment or a beautiful henna tattoo. Go all out this weekend at one of Abu Dhabi’s many great salons, which are open until late to help you look your best for Eid. Be sure to book in advance, as it can get very busy at this time of year.

Getting intricate henna designs on your hands is a famous Eid tradition  © Catana / Flickr

Travel and explore a new country

Quickly becoming an Eid tradition over the years, many people take advantage of the extended weekend and take a short trip to a new country. From Turkey, Oman and Jordan to Georgia and the Maldives, Eid is a perfect opportunity explore the culture and heritage of nearby countries. Plus, most airlines offer exclusive Eid discounts, saving you hundreds on flights and hotels.

Abu Dhabi’s residents also often enjoy a weekend away by planning adventurous trips to Dubai, relaxing retreats to Fujairah or Ras Al Khaimah or cultural tours courtesy of the UAE’s desert resorts.

Visit Abu Dhabi’s main attractions

Many families take advantage of the long weekend to visit some of Abu Dhabi’s most famous hotspots, from Ferrari World and Yas Water World to Bounce (an indoor trampoline park) and Al Forsan (where you can experience go-karting, paintballing, shooting and other exciting activities). Other iconic locations such as the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque welcome many visitors as Abu Dhabi’s residents turn into tourists for the weekend.

Usually, you can also take advantage of exclusive Eid deals that allow you to save on ticket prices for some of Abu Dhabi’s most popular attractions.

Take this opportunity to visit Abu Dhabi's most iconic attractions, from the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque to Ferrari World © goldbug / Pixabay

Visit family and friends

As Ramadan draws to a close, many Muslims take this time to celebrate with family and friends. With lavish banquets and parties lasting several days, Eid is a perfect time to get together with your loved ones.

Pick up some great Eid bargains

The traditional custom of Idiya involves giving children a small sum of money on the morning of Eid. Many people also choose to give gifts. Another traditional on Eid is to wear new clothes before going to visit family, friends and neighbours. Whether you’re looking for presents or searching for the perfect outfit, Abu Dhabi’s residents and visitors to the city can enjoy amazing discounts across all of the city’s malls, so enjoy some great bargains courtesy of your favourite shops.

Watch Eid fireworks displays

Abu Dhabi’s Eid fireworks are a definite must and the city is famous for its unique and extravagant fireworks display. Yas Island will be hosting a stunning fireworks show starting at 9 pm every night during the Eid weekend. What better way to top off the Eid celebrations after spending the day at Ferrari World and Yas Water World?

Head on down over to Yas Island this Eid weekend to witness Abu Dhabi's incredible firework display © Thomas Nilsson / Flickr

Experience an Eid brunch

Various hotels and restaurants will be hosting exclusive Eid brunches with a range of delicious traditional dishes, from manakesh and ouzi to shawarma, as well as offering international cuisine. Many brunches will also feature live-cooking stations and entertainment for children.

As well as brunches, many eateries will be serving lavish feasts to celebrate the holiday. Be sure to check out some of the capital’s most opulent banquets at hotels such as Rosewood Abu Dhabi and the Hilton Abu Dhabi.