x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Workers extend Eid break

Many take the whole week off, instead of following Eid dates.

DUBAI // Many workers have chosen to extend the three-day Eid break to a full week.

Rush-hour traffic was lighter than usual yesterday, Dubai Police said, with no major crashes reported.

"The decrease could be felt on all the main roads in the morning," said Col Omar Al Shamsi, the director of the command and control room.

"I think the decrease is because some people have taken these two additional days as a holiday and many have travelled abroad."

Ebbi Chacko, an employee relations manager at Dubai Bank, said some of its workers had asked in advance to take the whole week off.

"We do not have people who have reported sick but many have taken the whole week off as they have travelled abroad during the holidays," Mr Chacko said. "About 5 per cent of our employees are off these two days."

Premjit Bangara, a general manager at Sharaf Travel, said a significant number of vacationers had chosen full-week trips.

"About 40 per cent of clients have booked holidays for the whole week," Mr Bangara said. "Families with children at schools have booked short holidays in accordance with the official holidays."

With so many people off work, some restaurants and cafes were unusually busy yesterday.

"There is still a bit of a holiday mode today," said Mai Espinosa, a server at a coffee shop. "It is busier than a normal working day but still not as busy as yesterday or the day before. The majority of the clients were residents and not tourists."

Staff at a nearby shop, however, said they noticed little difference.

"We have not had it more busy today than any other working day. It is not like the holiday or the weekend," said Carol Pano, a server.

wissa@thenational.ae