Many UAE residents took to the outdoors as temperatures dropped, with the open-air activities once again becoming more appealing.
Crisp air, clear skies, and the changing colours of leaves are once again making outdoor activities especially enjoyable, as many tried making the most of the extended weekend on the occasion of Prophet Mohammed's (PBUH) birthday.
Speaking to Khaleej Times, residents share that whether it’s hiking in the mountains, having a picnic in the park, or simply taking a leisurely stroll, there are plenty of ways to appreciate the beauty of nature as the weather cools down in the country.
Egyptian expat, Nora Hakim, said she thoroughly enjoyed the three-days off before she gets ready to resume the new workweek on Monday.
Hakim said, “I went to the Mamzar park the other day with my family. We had a barbecue outing. The parks in the UAE are beautiful and I could see a lot of people visiting them by evening. I really wait for this time of the year when I can simply go and enjoy a good inexpensive day out with my family or friends, especially at parks like Mamzar, which have a provision for barbecue."
"We grilled chicken, vegetables and pineapple. I love the smell of barbecue which has an enticing aroma that I find so appealing. It is not only associated with outdoor gatherings, and delicious food but also a sense of community which I savour during this time of the year. We spent the entire Saturday there.”
“I have also started waking up early and started walking around the Al Khan area these days,” added Hakim.
Hiking was up on the cards for some
Offering a respite from the daily hustle and bustle and driving to the mountains was Madhulika Chatterjee who reiterated this downtime was important for "family bonding".
“My family and I did the Shawka trail, near Al Khari, Ras al-Khaimah. We started the climb around 6.30am and we climbed for about 10km. We were done by 9.30am. We had gone with a few others. Obviously, these are activities that one would typically enjoy when the weather is better as climbing can be exhausting. But you feel much less tired if the weather is by your side.”
Hiking is not only a great form of exercise but also a wonderful way to connect with nature, explore new places, and clear your mind, explain residents.
She added. “It also allows you to breathe in fresh air, enjoy beautiful scenery, and experience the great outdoors. So, we eagerly wait for these activities in the winter months, and it’s become an annual affair now.”
But that’s not the only thing Chatterjee did. She also indulged in a lunar yoga session as the last supermoon of 2023 appeared during the three-day break.
She added, “I also went for an open-air supermoon meditation on 29 September. It was organized by a meditation group that I am associated with. Meditating under the moon is a deeply calming and spiritual experience and it’s got a different vibe when many others are doing it with you…collectively. These activities crop up when the mercury gradually starts declining. I really cherish these months of the year here.”
Some hit the beach
Similarly, Farouk Dalhatu who has been in the UAE for 13 years said with the intense heat and high humidity receding, he decided to hit the beach along with his friends.
The Nigerian expat said, “The UAE is known for its several pristine beaches. I went to the Kite beach last night, after sundown. It looked so beautiful under the moonlight. After walking along the beach with my friends and chatting and talking about work and life, we also dipped our feet in the ocean to cool off. The sensation of the sea breeze brushing against our faces was so invigorating.”
He highlights for those in the country throughout the summer months, there is a noticeable decrease in temperature.
“The UAE beaches are the perfect place to enjoy the company of friends and loved ones while listening to the soothing sounds of the waves. It’s so calming. I wanted to make the most of this extended weekend because you hardly have long weekends, maybe only a few times across the course of a year. We then went to this famous tea stall called Filli café on the Kite beach. We lounged around for some more time over there. Being outdoors, once the temperature drops, is something that we all look forward to,” he added.
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