As one of the most important events in the Islamic calendar, Eid Al Adha is a moment for spiritual observance. But the festival also draws attention to the importance of family values and spending time with your loved ones.
Thankfully, there’s no shortage of family-friendly Eid Al Adha activities in the UAE. From fireworks to shopping events, our curated guide to the best experiences this year will help you make new memories over the eight-day holiday.
1. Dubai Summer Surprises
The highly anticipated Dubai Summer Surprises (DSS 2023) coincides with Eid Al Adha this year, so expect a wide range of activities and offers across the entire emirate. Performers Hussain Al Jassmi, Kadim Al Sahir and Mohammad Abdo are bringing their music to the Coca-Cola Arena on DSS opening weekend.
But there are shopping specials, thrilling competitions and daily surprises all over the city. Special Eid promotions are running until July 9 at the city’s major malls, from Dubai Mall to community shopping centres, with retailers offering up to 75% off normal prices as well as buy-one-get-one-free offers. To take advantage of extended opening hours, also look out for the Glittering City of Gold promotion, with a raffle of Dh100,000 in prizes, a complimentary gold coin from its exclusive Eid collection, and diamond and pearl pieces priced at up to 75% off at Dubai Jewellery Group’s 150 outlets.
Additionally, the Eid Al Adha raffle offers the chance to win Dh200,000 on a spend of Dh200 at participating malls. Finally, there are plenty of opportunities to meet Modhesh.
2. Dubai Parks & Resorts
For five nights, beginning July 1, the skies over the Dubai Parks & Resorts will light up with awe-inspiring fireworks as the clock strikes 9 pm. Go a little earlier to catch the venue’s famous Dino Mania parade at Riverland Dubai at 8 pm and round out the evening with a bite. The Summer Family Deal at Viva Ristorante is just Dh149, while kids eat free at Al Mashowa Restaurant for annual pass holders.
3. Al Seef
Tradition and modernity come together in a giant Eid market at Al Seef on Dubai Creek, making it ideal for families seeking an enjoyable experience. Besides a wide array of dining options, the vibrant souk has plenty to offer, from handmade Eid gifts to dhow cruises to family selfies at Al Seef's Museum of Illusions.
4. Souk Madinat Jumeirah
Madinat Jumeirah offers the chance to lose yourself in a true Arabian wonderland at any time, but there’s even more going on at Souk Madinat over Eid Al Adha. Besides an array of traditional food options and the bustle of local crafts, there will be street performances around every corner, from traditional falconry displays to sonorous tunes from bagpipes, drummers, and hand pan players.
5. Dubai Festival City
Festival Bay will be illuminated with a pyrotechnic show at 9 pm on June 29. Throw in a visit to Dubai Festival City Mall’s new Vox Cinemas multiplex and stay for the Imagine show, a record-breaking immersive laser, light, and water event. Over the Eid weekend, the mall will also come alive with roaming entertainment all day long.
6. Abu Dhabi Summer Shopping Season
Some 25 malls across the capital are offering elevated shopping experiences and deals as part of the 2023 Abu Dhabi Summer Shopping Season, with a special focus on Eid Al Adha. Besides deals across more than 3,500 brands, there will be fashion partnerships and specially curated events with magazines such as Grazia and Esquire Middle East for the latest insights into fashion, beauty, styling, and beyond.
7. Yas Mall
Get your fill of culture at Yas Mall this Eid Al Adha. Traditional Ayallah and Harbeyah folk dances are being performed three times a day, offering a new way to learn about Emirati society. Later, head to Town Square for live oud music, henna art and arts-and-crafts sessions for kids, before taking in the fireworks at Yas Bay.
8. Makani Al-Ain Mall
It’s worth making a special trip to Makani Al-Ain Mall over the next few weeks. Beginning during Eid and running until July 16, six shows of world-class street theatre will run every Saturday and Sunday, including performances ranging from juggling acts to clown comedy turns.
9. The Galleria Al Maryah Island
Level 3 of Galleria Mall will become an Eid play zone where kids can delight in activities such as face painting and life-sized board games like Jenga and snakes-and-ladders. Admission to the play area is free when you present a receipt of at least Dh200 from any mall store. There are also interactive exhibitions, a hunt for valuable Eid prizes, and more.
10. Deerfields Mall
An Arabian-themed puppet show this Eid Al Adha will teach valuable life lessons on friendship, mutual understanding, and love for the nation. Head to Deerfields Mall to meet Grandfather Hakim, a wise camel, and his grandson, Hamadi and his animal friends. From June 27, the mall also has big discounts across various stores while the venue’s mascots, Reem and Rashid, will randomly distribute Eidiya to a few lucky customers.
11. Al Naeem Mall
Head to Ras Al Khaimah for a spot of kayaking, or opt for a more sedate activity, such as traditional henna application, balloon bending, face painting and DIY playdough this Eid. In addition, a mega raffle draw all summer offers the chance to win a Geely Coolray 2024 Cruise Control.
12. Eid Al Adha Mega Sales Fair
Sharjah’s annual family shopping event is back for just 10 days. Until July 2, the event at Expo Centre Sharjah offers discounts up to 80% on well-known brands.
(Reporting by Karim Mansour; editing by Seban Scaria)