UAE streets, mosques and leisure spots came alive on Wednesday, as crowds gathered in faith and festivities.

For the faithful, the day started soon after sunrise, with morning prayers offered at large open spaces called Eid musallahs.

Many then trooped to loved ones' homes, malls, restaurants and hotels, spending time with friends and family.

"During this long break I intend spending quality time with my family. That really is high on my agenda," said Dubai resident Khloud Waleed.

"I went to Abu Dhabi earlier with my parents and my sister. But the whole idea of Eid is to enjoy some downtime with the entire family. Otherwise, life is very busy, and people are caught up between the office and their daily chores at home. Eid al Adha is a wonderful time to come together and enjoy meals with friends, family, and loved ones."

Eid is also a family affair for Bhavya Rao, who lives with her husband and two kids in Dubai. However, she admitted that big discounts at supermarkets have turned her into an avid shopper during the holidays.

“I am generally quite careful about my purchases. But yesterday when I went to a supermarket, I saw that special poultry items were being sold at half the price. I frankly had no plans of preparing biryani. But the deals were so tempting that I ultimately bought quite a few items and I have nearly spent half the morning preparing a special chicken biryani for the festive occasion."

Felizze Faye Flores Navarro, an Abu Dhabi resident, expressed her anticipation for a relaxing day with her family in a hotel, followed by a visit to Dubai Mall's newly opened Chinatown. She also mentioned upcoming sales, adding: "But I am more excited about the hotel experience and having a relaxing day with the family and maybe watching the fireworks."

Fireworks will be lighting up the night sky until July 1 at Dubai Parks and Resorts. A spectacle is also scheduled at 9pm on June 29 at Dubai Festival City.

Eid celebrations in Sharjah

In Sharjah, families seeking a rich cultural experience during Eid Al Adha can head to Al Qasba and Al Majaz Waterfront, where the recently reopened Sharjah Musical Fountain awaits visitors.

Traditional bands like Al Harbiya, Al Madhyama, and Liwa will delight audiences with lively performances, infusing the celebratory atmosphere with energy and joy. From June 28 to June 30, two shows will be taking over the stage every day,

Sharjah resident and Egyptian expat Nora Hakim has no plans of driving out during the holidays.

"I don’t want to go to any other emirate as the traffic situation could be bad. We could lose a lot of hours travelling from one emirate to the other. So, I’ve been checking the Sharjah live pages to plan my evening with a lot of buzz here itself. My friends might also come over for some time," she said.

"We may also go out shopping, but we are yet to decide on that. However, whatever we do, we’ll do in Sharjah since the emirate has a lot to offer especially during festival time," she said.

Pakistani expat Aafiya Malik’s relatives will be visiting her in the emirate.

“I made Kaleji, Roghan Josh and Paye and have been cooking since morning. My children and my brother’s children especially love the dishes I prepare for Eid Al Adha every year. We all will sit and eat together and then we all may go out in the evening to some of the popular places here, though I do suspect it’s going to be crowded.”

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