UAE citizens prefer ‘small traditions’ to make Christmas celebrations special.
Many UAE citizens will still embrace the norm as holiday events and gatherings conflict with regular Christmas celebrations due to the novel virus coronavirus disease (Covid-19).
Although given the Sharjah churches
permission to organize a Christmas mass while following strict anti-social policies this year, many dedicated Christian places of worship in Dubai are expected to host the event online.
St Mary’s Church in Dubai has informed its brethren that permission has been granted to hold two prayers on Thursday, including one this morning and one Christmas Eve.
Likewise prayers will be held on Christmas Day on Friday while all forms of vigilance are maintained in order to detect infection.
The guidelines stipulate that those planning to attend church services must take an RT-PCR test and follow other safety measures.
“As we do not have time to consider all of these requirements before December 24, it is determined that we will have online services only, as usual at 6:30 a.m. and 7 p.m. on Christmas day,” said a statement from St Mary’s Church. .
UAE citizens are eager to wish their loved ones more, as social isolation is common in these Covid-19 times.
Celebrations ‘not canceled’
However, Christmas celebrations are not ‘canceled’. Citizens are busy choosing ‘small rituals’ rather than large celebrations to keep the event important.
Mary Moussa, a resident of Dubai, said, “Our home is beautifully decorated at Christmas time by family members. Usually, we have a festive feast prepared by our mother for Christmas that follows where we cry out in the Yuletide spirit by gathering around the Christmas tree with old-fashioned joy and fun. Probably, this is one of the few times a year I meet my siblings, who live all over the world. ”
Sylvia Sarkies, who lives in Dubai and is an Egyptian citizen, stated: “I celebrate Christmas on January 7 every year, as part of our Coptic religion. I am in a unique position to enjoy this festival twice a year. A few of my friends have entered into a secret Santa contract this year. We are planning to meet under the Christmas tree on December 25 to exchange gifts. On January 7, I will be returning home to Egypt to celebrate this happy occasion with my family. ”
He added: “Unfortunately because of the outbreak in the home, there will be no large family reunion. But I’m looking forward to a family reunion for the first time in a long time. This is what made the event so appealing. ”
Sharon Sunner, director of public relations (PR) for Leeds, United Kingdom (UK), said, “Usually, I would go home at this time every year, as I am incredibly close to my family. However, I did not want to take any risks this year. I decided to stay in Dubai over Christmas time. I am going to brunch with my friend for Christmas. Later, in the evening, I will go to a quiz with my family tonight. ”
Alexia Lawrence-Jones, Director, Client Services, Middle East and North Africa (MENA) in the region of a public relations company (PR) headquartered in Manchester, UK, said: “I was determined to return home (to the UK). at Christmas, but it changed my mind. Work was one of the reasons why I lived in Dubai. Also, I realized that I might have to pay after the discovery of a new type of SARS-CoV-2 Muts, the old Covid-19, which was discovered in the UK last week. ”
He added: “It will definitely be a different Christmas. But I am lucky enough to have dear friends in Dubai, who take care of me. I will be going to Maine at JBR (Jumeirah Beach Residence) on Christmas Day. We are lucky to be in the vast UAE in terms of safety and we are also given amazing Christmas feasts. ”
Not surprisingly, the decision of many UAE residents to spend their Christmas holidays in Dubai turned out to be a good thing in the end.