Avoid celebrations, residents told; follow these rules if you must.
UAE officials have asked residents to avoid celebrating Haq Al Laila this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority (NCEMA) urged residents to forgo celebrations this year unless they are within the same household.
Haq Al Laila is usually celebrated in the middle of the Islamic month of Sha’ban, the month that precedes Ramadan. It falls two weeks before the holy month of Ramadan.
Children usually visit Emirati neighbourhoods with the message “Aatona Allah Yutikom, Bait Makkah Yudikum”, which in Arabic means “Give us and Allah will reward you and help you visit the House of Allah in Makkah.”
Children are given sweets as they go around singing.
“As mid-Shaaban approaches, we advise community members not to hold gatherings to celebrate Haq Al Layla. Public health is a priority and a social responsibility; community solidarity is an indispensable necessity. Observance of instructions is a national duty that guarantees safety and leads to recovery,” the authority said on Twitter.
However, the NCEMA said family members living in the single household could celebrate.
Vulnerable groups, such as the elderly or people with chronic diseases or disabilities, have been asked to avoid gatherings of all kinds.
“If around this category of people, please wear face masks and maintain physical distance. Also, refrain from distributing sweets and gifts to non-family members,” the authority said.
In 2020, Dr Farida Al Hosani, the spokesperson for the UAE health sector, had said, “Having our children go out and to other people’s homes and share food is not safe right now.
“For the safety of everyone, we should avoid exchanging gifts and sweets.”