Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large
Srene Aylouche plays badminton at the Mushrif Children's Garden in Abu Dhabi yesterday.
Srene Aylouche plays badminton at the Mushrif Children's Garden in Abu Dhabi yesterday.

Families make the most of Eid holidays

Many residents of the capital made the most of their Eid holidays here at home, in parks with picnic baskets and surrounded by friends and family.

ABU DHABI // Hussein Melhelm was glad for a quiet night.

While the Jordanian-born Abu Dhabi resident sipped tea with his friend on a park bench at Mushrif Children's Garden last night, his wife lounged on a blanket nearby and his kids played games with friends.

"Mostly Eid is not as much for the adults as it is for the kids," said Mr Melhelm, 38. "It's good to have this long holiday, so our kids can leave the pressure of studying and school. It's nice to do something different."

Mr Melhelm and his family were just some of the thousands who flocked to the capital's parks Friday night, as the relaxation of the Eid al Adha holiday wound down and people prepared for a return to work.

Traffic around Dubai and the capital returned as people travelled back from weekend breaks around the Emirates.

At the Ghweifat crossing with Saudi Arabia, immigration officials processed more than 12,795 pilgrims returning from Haj yesterday, while a further 3,000 pilgrims came back by air through Abu Dhabi International Airport, the official news agency WAM reported.

But for many people already in the city, parks were the place to be.

Tamara al Hassan and her friend Rihab Elfil, both 29, spent a quiet Friday night at Al Khubeirah Garden enjoying dinner with a large group. As smoke from dozens of grills and shisha pipes rose into the quickly darkening sky, fathers pushed their daughters on swing sets and women gabbed in small pockets. Adults gathered for barbecues and conversation, while kids played a casual game of football or volleyball in the grass.

"This is a time for fun and enjoyment, so we are out here today," said Jareer Alzoubi, a 35-year-old Jordanian. "But it's almost time to get back to work. Sometimes you feel bored, so it is good to feel like it is time to go back."

At Mushrif Children's Garden, vendors sold kites and light-up toys to the hundreds of residents whiling away the hours under the shade of palm trees.

Children on bicycles whizzed past couples playing badminton, while a rousing game of football elicited cheers from a crowd gathered at one end of the park.

Mohamed Aylouche, 39, a Lebanese-American father of four who has lived in Abu Dhabi for four years, met up with two other families at the park and spent the day playing volleyball and Frisbee with his three older children.

"We've been looking forward to Eid for so long, and now it's almost over. But I can't complain because it's been a great five days," he said, before heading off to play badminton with his wife, Srene.

The week's mild weather made the time off even more enjoyable.

"After last weekend, at Yas Island with the Formula One and the concerts, it's been nice to relax and just be in the sun," said Ms al Hassan, who grew up in Abu Dhabi.

Government offices will reopen tomorrow.

 

jthomas@thenational.ae

Back to the top

More articles


Editor's Picks

 Rolling out the structure for the set. Mona Al Marzooqi / The National

Star Wars: Episode VII evidence in Abu Dhabi desert

After more than a week of speculation, The National has what are believed to be the first photos of a Star Wars shoot in the Abu Dhabi desert.

No words can describe this April 17, your captions will

Have a catchy caption for this picture. Share it with us and we might publish it and reward you.

 The year-long project aims to create a form of social autobiography — the story of Dubai documented by those who know it best, the people who live there.

Zoom in! This is your Dubai in a single image

On our sixth birthday, we are all about pictures. So here is our #mydubai offering. Using zoom.it, explore the city.

 Amir Khan, during a workout at the Gloves Community Centre on March 24, 2014 in Bolton, England, says his fight will be the real main event in Las Vegas on May 3. Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Amir Khan says bout with Luis Collazo ‘will steal the show’ in Las Vegas on May 3

British-Pakistani boxer Amir Khan says his fight with Luis Collazo will be the main attraction on same fight card led by Floyd Mayweather Jr and Marcos Maidana, writes Omar Al Raisi.

 This Dh17,000 Miele system can prepare your choice of coffee - from capuccino to espresso - at a touch of a button. Pawan Singh / The National

In pictures: Miele puts art in coffee making

Miele has devoted itself to the art of preparing the black liquid with its beautifully designed coffee machines, living up to its mantra of turning kitchens into cafés.

Events

To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National