March, Not May: How the UAE Celebrates Mother’s Day

MothersDayOver last couple of weeks I have seen and heard TV and radio ads boasting the best way to celebrate mom. Everything from lavish brunches at the Ibn Batutta Gate Hotel in Dubai to relaxing spa days has been suggested. Initially I thought, Wow, Morher’s Day is such an occasion here that they plan for it months in advance. Then I realized that my timing was off and that Mother’s Day is celebrated in March throughout the UAE.

Mother’s Day is celebrated on March 21st in the UAE and several other Gulf countries to include Bahrain and Kuwait. I saw a post on social media and mistakenly thought it was today. In the Middle East, the day dates back decades and possibly further. Perhaps as far as the ancient Egyptians who dedicated a day in the year to celebrate the mother of Pharaohs, Isis.

Mother’s Day is celebrated on a number of different days throughout the rest of the world. In the USA, a national holiday to honor mothers was proclaimed as the second Sunday in May by Woodrow Wilson, who was President at the time, in 1914. In the UK, “Mothering Sunday” is celebrated during lent.

I mentioned the Mother’s Day ads I’d seen to my husband weeks ago. I informed him this morning that today was the day of maternal celebration but I was mistaken. He replied, “Happy Mother’s Day!”, with annoyingly artificial glee. He then, in a more serious and empathetic tone said we would celebrate Mother’s Day alongside the US in May. I guess I won’t be double dipping this year. LOL

Credit: “Mother’s Day in the UAE Celebrated Today”, The National, March 21, 2011

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