Eid Al Adha 2020: UAE private sector holiday announced

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Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - Private sector workers are set for a long weekend break at the end of July after Eid Al Adha holiday dates were confirmed on Thursday.

Those working private companies will get four days off starting Thursday, July 30 until Sunday, August 2. Work will resume on Monday, August 3.

The break for private sector employees is in line with the holiday announced for public sector staff on Wednesday.

The festival is the most important of two main holidays in the Muslim world. It begins on the 10th day of Dhu Al Hijjah, which is the 12th and final month in the Islamic calendar.

Eid is a time when families and friends come together to celebrate, usually over a meal. The day begins with early Eid prayers at a mosque and it is customary for a family to have a goat or sheep butchered at an abattoir. The meat is typically shared between themselves, their relatives and the underprivileged.

Families and friends visit each other and wear new clothes. Eidieh - a gift of money during Eid - is given to children and sweets are served.

This year, because of the coronavirus outbreak, traditions have been put on hold.

All Eid prayers should be performed at home, Saif Al Dhaheri, the spokesman for the National Emergency, Crisis and Disasters Management Authority (Ncema) said on Wednesday.

But mosques will be able to accommodate more worshippers after the Eid holiday.

Decorative lights have been set up along the Corniche in Abu Dhabi. Victor Besa / The National

Mosques have been operating at 30 per cent capacity since they reopened on July 1, but this was raised to 50 per cent this week. Friday prayers are not yet allowed at mosques.

Worshippers will continue to stay two metres apart from one another, said Mr Al Dhaheri.

The period between the call to prayer and the start of prayers will be extended to 10 minutes, except for maghrib prayer, which will be five minutes.

The Emirates Council for Sharia Fatwa recommended that donations and sacrifices should be made to official charitable causes in the country.

“We recommend that you donate during this time to the official charitable bodies in the country with sacrifices and donations, through smart applications concerned with sacrifices or through slaughterhouses outlined by the local authorities that guarantee the application of precautionary and preventive measures and provide remote services without the need to enter livestock markets or slaughterhouses,” the authority said on Twitter.

Mr Al Dhaheri said people should avoid visiting family and friends over Eid.

He said people should avoid giving gifts and money to children as eidiyah. They should instead use electronic alternatives to minimise the risk of spreading the virus.

Coronavirus outbreak

No one should visit pregnant women, children or those with chronic diseases and underlying health conditions.

They should also avoid going out to public places, said Mr Al Dhaheri.

He said maids and domestic helpers should not be allowed to meet anyone outside the home.

Employers should provide their domestic staff with personal protective equipment such as face masks and gloves when dealing with deliveries or receiving goods.

Updated: July 23, 2020 03:18 PM

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