Dubai becomes choked with GCC nationals over Eid-ul-Fitr break – a four day celebration to mark the beginning of the Islamic month Shaw’waal, and thus the completion of Ramadan. Think of it like a true Thanksgiving for those who ‘believe.’ During Eid Muslims show their joy for the health, strength and opportunities of life which are bestowed upon them from yon high, as a reward for fulfilling their obligation of fasting and other good deeds during Ramadan. Oh, and they travel, extensively.
While staying at Atlantis Hotel on the Palm in Dubai, I was almost trampled by chirpy, thoroughly modern and well-travelled (not to mention well-heeled) Arabs suffering wonderlust: Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia all represented. It seems the entire region ups sticks and makes its way to the relatively liberal Emirate of Dubai, where someone like me is likely to bump into a bunch like this and make instant friends…
We greet one another with a heartfelt Eid Mubarak! And according to Islam, everyone is to hug. Distribute the hugs! Many hugs to be given out freely! Eid has a feeling of brotherhood in it. All people hug each other regardless of caste or creed.
Now, being visibly pregnant and rather slow of foot, the ladies of this crew had something to coo over, and hug: my bump. What an affectionate lot they are, the Kuwaitis (especially now, that they are no longer fasting; fancy that: an entire month of fasting. Better humans them, than I…)
And as can be gathered by the top image, children are embraced and encouraged to be involved in fun, games and family outings during Eid. Eid-ul-Fitr: a most wonderful time to be pregnant in Dubai.