Muslims in the UAE will celebrate Eid al-Adha (Feast of Sacrifice) this year beginning Thursday, July 30, and running through to August 2. Both public and private sector workers will receive four days off during this time, with work resuming on August 3. UAE authorities stated on Wednesday, July 22, that prayers during Eid al-Adha will be undertaken at home while the prayer calls will be broadcast via audio-visual means amid continuing efforts to limit presence at mosques due to the ongoing coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. Furthermore, Saudi Arabia's Grand Mosque in Mecca will reportedly be closed to worshippers on the upcoming Arafat day and Eid al-Adha as part of COVID-19 restrictions; this is inclusive of pilgrims. During the festivities, many government offices, foreign embassies, and local businesses will be closed.
COVID-19 measures are to be adhered to at all times. A heightened security presence is possible in the vicinity of places or worship and other possible gathering points. Significant disruption to public sector services should be expected throughout the celebrations.
The UAE announced last month plans to gradually reopen mosques and places of worship starting from July 1 with a maximum of 30 percent capacity. Friday prayers in mosques remain suspended until further notice.
Eid al-Adha is one of the most widely observed holidays in Islam and coincides with the Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia. According to Islamic customs, worshippers usually slaughter a sheep or goat to share the meat with their family and neighbors.
Individuals in UAE are advised to adhere to local cultural customs, allow for additional travel time, remain vigilant, avoid large public gatherings, and obey all local regulations.
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