While thousands across the country enjoyed the Eid festivities and took the chance to get some rest and relaxation, many dedicated residents were out in force working through the holiday to keep the country running smoothly.
An army of workers took to streets, stores and stations to man busy hotspots as revellers enjoyed the UAE’s Eid offerings.
Emergency services continued as usual, and police stepped up patrols to manage heavy traffic around busy malls, parks and beaches.
Waste management staff were out in big numbers to keep streets clean and waiters served rushed orders with a smile.
Security guards kept vigil over merchandise in crowded malls while pharmacists stayed back to disperse urgent medicines.
“If everyone took a break, who would be there to help you when you need it?” said Pakistani taxi driver Asghar Khan, 36.
“I chose to work the first Eid day, Friday, as people need to get around to visit friends and family - not everyone has a car.
“Besides, what would I do at home? My family isn’t here so being out on the job helps pass the day. As a cabbie, you get to talk to all sorts of people and share stories, it’s nice.”
Security guard Khalid Mahmoud, 26, was another Pakistani expat in Dubai who also volunteered to work on Friday.
“We are 16 guards and not all can be off, who will look after the shops? I chose to come in as protecting people and their property is my duty,” Mahmoud said.
“I can always take some other day off, now’s the time when the community needs us even more - although not everyone realises or appreciates that.”
Also doing his bit was Fares Al Mazroui, head of inspections and licensing at the Centre of Waste Management-Abu Dhabi. He led an army of over 3,000 cleaners and dozens of inspectors involved in waste disposal in the capital over Eid.
“I don’t mind working on the Eid holidays because my responsibility - to keep the cleanliness of public places across the emirate - is a service to the country, its people and thousands of visitors,” Al Mazroui said.
“That itself is a celebration,” he added.
The capital had other spirited workers, like Mohammad Shereef, an Indian supervisor at Tarboush Restaurant on Hamdan Street.
He told Gulf News how he received a large number of customers with smiling faces on the first day of Eid.
“When they shared their happiness of the festival it turned out to be a celebration for me,” Shereef explained.
Down the street was Mohammad Sadiq, an Indian salesman at Lulu City Store. He found his work on the first day of Eid on Friday to be easier than most other days.
“All the customers came in a festive mood so nobody bargained much about the prices. So the business on the first day of Eid was brisk, fast and easy,” Sadiq said.
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