ABU DHABI // Families took advantage of the three-day weekend by heading to the public parks and beaches to spend time with relatives and friends over leisurely picnic lunches. Today is a public holiday to commemorate the birth of the Prophet Mohammed. "The weather is perfect to spend time outdoors; it's not yet too hot and humid and it's good for the kids to get away from the TV and the computer and run around outside for a change," said Um Mansour, a Palestinian, as she prepared skewers of meat to place on the makeshift barbecue grill next to the family's picnic spread.
"We are always thankful for long weekends, of course, because we get to spend time as a family and get a change from the daily routine," she said. Um Jafar, who lives in Madinat Zayed in Al Gharbia with her family, headed to the capital early yesterday morning with 12 other relatives. "It was a 2½-hour drive, but it is worth it to spend some quality time with the family and enjoy the beautiful parks of the capital," she said. "The kids are all playing in the bowling centre nearby while we prepare the food; we plan to spend the entire day out in the fresh air and make the most of the weekend."
Abdulati Ali from Sudan also brought his family outdoors for a picnic. "We decided to spend the day in the park to let the children play and wear themselves out," he said. "We'll have a good weekend, getting some shopping and errands done, and heading to the mosque tonight to celebrate our dear Prophet's birth with our community." email@example.com