One of the main attractions to London is not only its quintessential Britishness, but the fact that it transcends a nation and becomes something else entirely. The kaleidoscope diversity of England’s capital has meant that the city has evolved into its very own being with its own unique character, incorporating other cultures into the architecture, the restaurants and the voices heard within the city. What’s more, the city embraces this and hence attracts even more visitors from across the world, including a wealth of visitors and inhabitants from Arabic nations such as UAE and Saudi Arabia. The historic economic deals that the UK has with these nations and many more has meant that their cultural influence on the city has grown over time. This means there are many attractions and events that will ring true with Arabic visitors in London. Whether you’re living in the city, staying in a hostel or in a London Boutique Hotel, these events during the upcoming Eid Festival will cater to all ages.
Eid Festival in Trafalgar Square
Eid al-fitr festival is the celebration of the end of Ramadan, a period of fasting for those of Islamic faith. The Eid al-fitr celebration usually consists of giving gifts as well as the preparation of a large feast. With just under 5 percent of the UK population being Muslim, it’s not surprising that somewhere as iconic as Trafalgar Square would put on a celebration for the festival. On the 2nd July this year, any and all can indulge in food markets, live music, calligraphy lessons, storytelling, henna and art exhibitions. This free and non-ticketed event runs from 12 pm till 6pm on the 2nd July and is open to all members of the public.
London Central Mosque
The London Central Mosque is also known as the Islamic Cultural Centre and is located near Regent’s Park. The stunning gold dome was part of a design by Sir Frederick Gibberd, whose traditional design can house up to 5000 worshippers and was aided by donations from the president of the UAE in 1969, the work being completed 9 years later.
Muslim History Tours
Runners up in the 2015 World’s Best Halal Tour Operator awards and catering to foot, bus and car based tours, the Muslim History Tour Group and is a great tour for any interested parties staying at the Montcalm Chiswell Street. The tour focuses on exploring the Muslim heritage in London and beyond, whilst also exploring the Islamic links that many well-known British sites have, such as Stonehenge, Windsor and Bath.
Edgware Road is located in North West London and runs for 9 miles between Marble Arch and Barnet. The road is famous for being very straight, having started its life as a Roman Road but is also famous for being influenced by Middle Eastern Culture. This is due to the influx of Arab Migrants during the 19th century, ainly down to the increased business done with the Ottoman Empire at the time. The 1970’s also saw an influx of Middle Eastern influences from Egyptian immigrants and this led to the present day mix of Middle Eastern bars, restaurants, kebab and shawarma takeaways and Shisha bars.
The two modern and intricately designed Westfield Shopping Centres in London are a great place to visit for a bit of shopping and gift buying from some of the best high street retail brands on the market. A handy stop over before or just after your flight, Westfield Stratford is close to London City Airport making it a great place to stop off for some last minute souvenirs. If you can make it down to Hammersmith, the White City Westfield shopping centre is also very popular.