x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Business as usual for private sector workers during Eid

Officially, the Eid holidays for the private sector are from today until Wednesday. However, many companies, especially those that cater to the influx of tourists, are gearing up for a busier than normal few days ahead.

While the private sector keep on working, many public sector workers are enjoying up to nine days off for Eid Al Adha. Silvia Razgova / The National
While the private sector keep on working, many public sector workers are enjoying up to nine days off for Eid Al Adha. Silvia Razgova / The National

DUBAI // Private-sector staff, especially in the tourism business, are gearing up for a busy few days.

The official Eid Al Adha holiday is from Monday until Wednesday but for many it is business as usual.

Staff at Dubai Dolphinarium, in Dubai Creek Park, are adding an extra show to the usual twice daily performances during Eid.

“These are the busiest three or four days in the year,” said general manager Steve Preston. “There is a massive increase in footfall, sometimes four times what we normally have.

“We always ask our staff nicely if they’ll work that time, and 99 times out of 100 they do. We let them take the days off in lieu, which they’re happy to do since they use those days whenever they want.

“Ultimately it comes down to an issue of cooperation.”

Marmum Dairy Farm, one of the UAE’s largest producers of milk, will close its administrative office during the official holidays. However, production and distribution will continue to meet increased demand over the holidays.

“We are a dairy company and we can’t just stop,” said Ram Tirth, deputy general manager.

“In fact, we have to produce more during Eid since the consumption is higher. People are on holidays, so they tend to eat more, or go to restaurants. Our juices and yoghurt production also increases during this time.

“We alternate staff in the production so everyone gets some time off, but we can still produce.”

Dubai’s current property market boom also means real estate agents can’t afford to take a day off either.

Craig Plumb, head of research for the region at Jones Lang LaSalle, said although the company would be officially closed on from Monday until Wednesday, sometimes the need to complete certain projects takes precedence.

“It’s pretty much business as normal,” he said. “There will obviously be some work that needs to be continued, particularly around deadlines for individual projects.

“It will be something of a skeleton crew in the office during that time, or people will work from home.

“Others will just be keeping in touch via BlackBerry where necessary.”

Sam Sayadan, from the Cycle Hub in Motor City in Dubai, said the company was closed just for Monday but would be open for customers looking to take advantage of the dip in temperature.

“We’re closing on the first day of the holidays as a respect to the culture,” he said. “But we will be open the rest of the days. It’s the beginning of the season so we want to be available to the market.”

He said he hoped many people would consider taking up cycling as a recreation during the Eid break.

“Eid means more leisure time for people. When you have time off, sometimes you don’t know what to do with yourself. So maybe people will get out and start cycling.

“We would certainly encourage people to be active.

“Hopefully people will get out more during Eid, as opposed to sitting on the sofa watching TV.”

Manchester Clinic, a private surgery on Jumeirah Beach Road, is officially closed on Tuesday and Wednesday, but a member of staff will still field calls from patients and a doctor can be contacted in cases of emergencies.

“It’s normally very quiet this week,” said Dr Nabil Mitry, medical director at the clinic. “People are mostly shopping, eating or visiting friends during Eid.

“But emergencies still happen, and diseases don’t take holidays.”

mcroucher@thenational.ae