Abu Dhabi: A large number of bachelors and married men living away from their native South Asian countries fanned out across the capital during the Eid holidays to shop and sample fare at their favourite eateries.
And while the downtime was certainly a welcomed respite, many told Gulf News that they missed being away from their families on the occasion.
Working men living in the capital telephoned their wives and chatted with their children several times to share Eid greetings as Eid was being celebrated in South Asian countries.
Speaking to Gulf News, Mustafa Abubakar, 48, a land surveyor from India, said: “My family is in India and I miss them a lot, particularly my children because they will be looking for me on the occasion of Eid. But circumstances have distanced us to earn the bread for the family. On such occasions, we feel pain being away from the family.”
Abubakar has lived in Abu Dhabi for 23 years.
“I stayed with my two brothers in the city who also reside in Abu Dhabi and I celebrated Eid with them. My first day was spent with friends and relatives and the second day I am shopping,” said Abubaker who came from Al Shamkha on the outskirts of the capital. Other bachelors went out with friends and travelled to other emirates while some remained home and prepared their favourite mutton biryani to enjoy with friends gathered on the day.
Shamidullah Khan, 23, a crush-machine operator from Pakistan, said, “On the first day of Eid, we had four cars full with friends and went to other emirates. First, we went to Al Ain, then moved to Dubai and Sharjah. Our celebration was on wheels. Whenever we felt pangs of hunger, we stopped and had lunch or dinner or grabbed beverages.”
Khan is unmarried and has lived in Abu Dhabi for two years.
“Celebration for us is to catch up with friends, visit the Abu Dhabi Corniche and cook food together and go out on a long drive,” Khan said.
Bachelors also visited shopping malls and navigated items at a discounted big bazaar in downtown Abu Dhabi.
Mohammad Abul Hassan, 38, is a salesman from Bangladesh. “My children are back home and I miss them a lot but I am here to support our living. Already, I transferred money to them to buy new clothes and enjoy Eid there as they celebrate Eid today (Saturday),” he said.
“Thank God, all is good and Eid is always very good in Abu Dhabi,” said Hassan who has lived in Abu Dhabi for 12 years.
“I visited the park along with 15 friends and cooked traditional Bangladeshi cuisines together. Today I am out to roam around the city, Abu Dhabi Corniche and do some shopping,” Hassan said.
Palestinian Wajdi Al Naji, 43, is a computer engineer in Abu Dhabi who enjoyed his days off.
“Eid is for meeting friends, relatives and shopping. I love celebrating Eid Al Fitr or Eid Al Adha in the UAE. I spent Friday meeting with relatives and returned very late in the night, while Saturday was spent on shopping,” Al Naji said.