With Christmas Day less than 24 hours away, thousands of expatriates living around the Middle East are preparing themselves for the traditional festive feast of assorted global cuisines arranged in containers on a series of long tables in a hotel.
“There’s many of us out here who, for whatever reason, haven’t made it back to our native countries this Christmas. But it’s very important that, despite being thousands of miles away, we keep the same celebratory rituals alive,” said Winnie Kumquat, a Scottish civil engineer living in Abu Dhabi.
“And for my friends and I, this celebration involves several servings of roast beef, chicken biryani, eggs benedict, spring rolls, duck pancakes, tandoori chicken, tempura prawns, shish tawouk, pasta, baked beans and sushi, plus a few trips to the mojito station in the corner.”
Over in Doha, South African metals trader Gunther Swamp and his friends are planning to turn the time-honoured festivities up a notch on Christmas Day.
“Obviously, many of us wanted to return to our families over the holiday period, so to make up for this we’ve booked ourselves in for the Platinum VIP Christmas Brunch, which includes traditional unlimited Moet and house spirits.”