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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 17 December 2018

Christmas spirit endures at Dubai beach celebrations

Expatriates took to the beach with Santa hats affixed to celebrate Christmas in 27°C temperatures

American expatriates Matt Hubbard with his children Olivia, 8, left and Gage,10, with a camel on the JBR beach on Christmas Day. Christopher Pike / The National
American expatriates Matt Hubbard with his children Olivia, 8, left and Gage,10, with a camel on the JBR beach on Christmas Day. Christopher Pike / The National

While a beach may not be the conventional setting for a Christmas celebration, the holiday spirit was still felt by those celebrating in Dubai on Monday.

For Timothy Musisi, from Uganda, celebrating Christmas day on the beach – in balmy temperatures of about 27°C - with his three friends who are his family away from family, is the highlight of the festive season.

“Look at the water, there is no stress that this sight wouldn't be able to wash off, and here, you forget all your worries and get out of your usual routine Christmas.

“You forget your daily routine in life and work. It’s the perfect place for peace and quiet, for change and for feeling not alone,” said the 28-year-old, who took to the beach with his Santa hat firmly in place.

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Mr Musisi, who works at a private company in the city, celebrates Christmas with his three closest friends, James Kibuka, 27, Noah Mwesigwa, 29, and Paul Kagolo, 35, differently every year but this year they sought out the peace and quiet of the seaside.

“We are away from our families were we used to gathering and feasting, so here we are each other’s family, if something bad happens at least I know I have a family here,” said Mr Kagolo.

“Christmas is a time when no one should be alone, and here, as you can see, we are together and surrounded by happy people, so we are not alone, what a better Christmas do we seek,” said Mr Kibuka.

Sam Maguire from the UK, is visiting the UAE with her husband and three daughters aged between eight and 11 to celebrate Christmas and New Year.

“It’s brilliant, a couple of hours of sun and sand, the girls are having a great time digging and playing,” said Ms Maguire, who is on her second family visit to the country.