Dubai: “Eid this year will be different from all other years.” These were the words of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai as he sent out Eid greetings through his official Twitter account.
But what exactly should you be doing during Eid and how will Eid traditions be different? Also, what can you do to retain the spirit of Eid without compromising on public health and safety? Here is all you need to know.
Eid prayers – pray at home
According to the Emirates Fatwa Council, Eid Al Fitr prayers should be performed at home.
As Gulf News reported earlier, Sheikh Abdul Rahman Al Shamsi, spokesperson of the General Authority of Islamic Affairs and Endowments, said: “Taking all precautionary measures to protect yourself and your family is a religious and national commitment.”
Eid gatherings – no big gatherings allowed
While people most look forward to meeting family and friends for Eid, this year UAE authorities have urged people to stay away from big gatherings, with fines announced on hosting and attending Eid gatherings. You are only allowed to celebrate Eid with members living in the same household and avoid meeting family and friends, especially the elderly and those suffering from chronic diseases.
During his Ramadan majlis on May 21, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, urged citizens and residents to use technology to share Eid greetings and connect with relatives and friends, to not undo all the achievements made by the country in the past few months.
On May 18, UAE’s authorities had announced a new set of fines for violations during the disinfection drive. These included a fine of Dh10,000 for hosting a party or gathering for the host and Dh5,000 fine for attendees.
Also, if more than three people are found travelling in a car, or not wearing face masks, they will be fined Dh3,000.
Eid greetings – send a virtual hug
Don’t greet one another by kissing, hugging or shaking hands. Rely on virtual greetings to spread the cheer.
No catering – make sure you eat healthy
Dubai Health Authority also asked individuals to not book catering services as big gatherings have been prohibited during Eid, to ensure public health and safety. Even when enjoying your Eid meal at home, the DHA advised people to avoid lavish meals and stick to smaller potions to prevent bloating and hyperglycemia – high blood sugar. After a month of fasting, it is best to gradually ease into a regular eating pattern and not shock your system by overindulging in sweets and fried foods.
Going outside? Time your trips and stay safe
The Ministry of Health and Prevention (MOHAP) issued the following guidelines for people going outside during Eid:
• Avoid crowded places and keep physical distance – at least two metres – from others.
• Shopping trips should not be longer than two hours.
• Clean your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use a hand sanitiser with at least 60 per cent alcohol.
• Wear masks and gloves in shopping centres.
Avoid visiting the elderly or those in the vulnerable group
MOHAP also advised people individuals against visiting the elderly, pregnant women, children and those with chronic diseases and everyone who is susceptible to infection, for their and everyone else’s safety.
Don’t forget to exercise
Exercises such as walking, running and cycling should be performed near the house for a maximum of two hours, with no more than three people together, taking into consideration all safety precautions such as keeping physical distance such as keeping physical distance and wearing masks.