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Sharjah residents ditch special New Year plans, opt for quiet family time – News

A view of the Sharjah Almajaz seafront. KT Photo: Muhammad Sajjad

Published: Sunday, December 31, 2023, 5:24 p.m.

With all fireworks and celebrations canceled in Sharjah, many residents have decided to abandon the New Year’s Eve festivities. While some choose to stay home and enjoy quality time with their families, the evening holds no special meaning for others.

On Tuesday, Sharjah announced a ban on all New Year celebrations and fireworks displays as a “sincere expression” of solidarity with the people of Gaza. Israeli bombings have killed more than 20,000 people in the narrow Strip since October 7. The emirate has deployed more than 1,200 security officers in various areas to enforce the ban.

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Spending time with family

Anum Noor will observe New Year’s Eve with her family, including her mother, who is visiting from Pakistan. “We’re planning to go to the mall and have a family dinner,” she said. “We have no special plans this year.”

anum noor

anum noor

The expatriate, who has lived in Sharjah for more than seven years, expressed that this is the first time they have refrained from celebrating New Year’s Eve. “We normally get together every year to watch the fireworks to celebrate with friends and family. We stay up all night with music, good food and festive decorations. However, this year I will not watch fireworks and will avoid the celebrations due to the ongoing war in Gaza.”

For Syrian expat Ahmed Deeb, New Year’s Eve has always been a time to spend with his family. “I’m staying home with my parents, my best friends and my family,” he said. “This has been a tradition of ours. We spend quality time together and enjoy each other’s company. This year, it is especially important with everything going on in the world. I am truly grateful for the opportunity to have my family close to me and welcome the new year with them. I know that many people around the world do not have this luxury.”

Ahmed Deeb.  Photo: Exterior

Ahmed Deeb. Photo: Exterior

The United Arab Emirates has been among the most vocal on the international stage in calling for a ceasefire in besieged Gaza. Recently, the United Nations Security Council adopted a resolution written by the United Arab Emirates calling for substantial and concrete measures to increase the flow of life-saving humanitarian aid to Palestinians in Gaza.

Another Sharjah resident, Fazla, said she would be heading to Dubai to spend time with her family in the New Year. “We stay on the Al Majaz ledge, so every year we look forward to the fireworks,” she said. “This year it was canceled and I think it was the best thing to do considering the situation in Gaza. We will spend time at a relative’s house for the New Year. This year has really reminded us of the need to keep our friends and “I’m close to my family and spend time with them. “So I’m looking forward to a peaceful evening with all my loved ones around me.”

Manju Sreekumar with her family

Manju Sreekumar with her family

Heading to the desert

For Indian expat Manju Sreekumar, New Year’s Eve is a time when she can do what she loves: drive in the desert. “We headed to the desert on the border between Umm Al Quwain and Ras Al Khaimah with other members of our 4×4 Nation UAE off-road club,” he said. “We will leave in the afternoon and will probably arrive at 8 at night. At this place we will be able to see the fireworks on the island of Marjan. Normally, tours through the desert are accompanied by music and singing. However, this year we will do a quiet barbecue. and camp there for the night.”

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