Hundreds of thousands of UAE residents began Eid Al Fitr celebrations on Sunday with prayers in mosques across the country.
UAE residents were outpouring in their gratitude and wishes for the leaders of the country, praying for and sending their best wishes to President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and to Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.
The people also wished and thanked General Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, Their Highnesses Supreme Council Members and Rulers of Emirates, Deputies Ruler and Crown Princes on the occasion of Eid.
A day of family gatherings and sharing of Eid feasts beckoned as the UAE wore a festive look.
Several family hotspots across the country were also reparing for a deluge of visitors later in the day.
Malls and other entertainment centres announced extended timings.
Paying homage to the region’s traditions and culture, the Dubai Mall will host hospitality tents providing coffee and dates to visitors in the Arabian Court and The Souk, while passers-by can indulge in customary henna painting in designated tents.
Combining traditional Eid customs with carnival-like festivities appealing to kids, The Dubai Mall’s celebrations will encompass parades and crowd favourites such as balloon benders, face painters, stilt walkers, and clowns.
Children can participate in the various workshops at the Star Atrium, or join in the challenge at the ‘Big Boys’ stations. The celebrations will be taken to the next level with the Hamleys Parade featuring Freej characters and roaming Build-A-Bear mascots located on the second floor.
Dubai Mall has extended the daily operating hours from 10am-1am.
Children’s City has prepared an intensive programme under the slogan ‘Angry Bird Carnival’ in Creek Park for three days.
Naila Mansouri, head of Children’s City, said the celebration programme will continue for three days from the second day of Eid (Monday) from 10am-7pm.
The city is well prepared to provide maximum entertainment and fun, including a new area for recreation in a family setting.
“The programme, which has taken into account all types of tastes and age groups, includes Bouncing Castle, Snakes and Ladders, Magic Show, Arts and Crafts, Traditional Greeting, Murshid and Angry Bird Characters, Photo Shooting, Carnival Booth Games, Angry Bird Face Painting, Electronic Games, Glittered Workshop and other items,” Mansouri said.
Earlier, Minister of Justice and Chairman of the Committee Dr Hadef Al Dhaheri said, ''The Committee established, after observation and verification of all recognised methods of sighting the Shawaal crescent and after contacts with neighbouring countries, that Saturday, 18th August 2012, will be the 30th day of Ramadan 1433H and Sunday, 19th August 2012, will be the first day of Eid Al Fitr,'' he added.
On this glorious occasion, the minister offered best congratulations to President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Their Highnesses Supreme Council Members and Rulers of Emirates, General Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, and Crown Princes.
Al Dhaheri also congratulated the UAE people, expatriate residents and Muslims across the world on the happy occasion.