Shoppers bag bargains and share in Eid spirit at Dubai Mall

Visitors enjoy opportunity to gather with friends during extended public holiday

Brothers Saeed, left, and Ahmed Al Marar at Dubai Mall on Thursday. Photo: Patrick Ryan / The National
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Shoppers were out in droves on Thursday to spend the afternoon at Dubai Mall, some keen for a bargain while others were eager to sample the Eid spirit.

Tourists mixed with UAE residents and locals to take in the occasion at the sprawling shopping centre. For some, it was all about the Eid Al Fitr shopping, while for others it was enough simply to be there to take it all in.

Workers in the Emirates are enjoying a week-long break to celebrate the religious festival.

As far as Emirati Saeed Al Marar was concerned, it was all about catching up with friends while keeping an eye open for a bargain.

"I'm really just here to hang out friends in the cafe because it's Eid," said Mr Al Marar. "The mall is the place to be during Eid. Everybody's on holiday, so there is a different atmosphere than usual."

He said he arranged to meet friends at the mall for coffee then dinner.

"Eid is always special at the mall. You can feel it and everyone's more relaxed and celebrating after Ramadan," said Mr Al Marar. "It's the right time to be with friends and family."

While Mr Al Marar was eager to be with those he holds close, he also planned on some retail therapy while he was there.

"I am also here to see what deals they have for Eid on electronics," he said. "I would usually buy online, but I like discovering things too."

Spending time with family

Emirati Omar Al Ahmed travelled from Ras Al Khaimah to spend his Eid afternoon in the mall with relatives.

"We're here to socialise, have some coffee and then maybe buy something. I don't have anything in particular in mind though," said Mr Al Ahmed.

"We would often come here every month or two, but there are really special vibes around the place because it's Eid. It's a nice atmosphere that you don't get anywhere else."

Mariam Mohamed, an Egyptian, was all about the shopping on Thursday afternoon. "My friends and I are going to have a quick brunch and then go shopping," she said.

"I am looking for new clothes and shoes but I'm not convinced the Eid sales are that different [from any other time of the year].

"It's a good time of the year to go to the mall though. People are more relaxed [than usual]. They are more upbeat because everyone's on vacation."

For Paul Armstrong, a Dubai resident from the UK, it was important to come early and beat the evening crowds.

"We came early because we definitely wanted to beat the rush," said Mr Armstrong.

Another Dubai resident getting her mall time in early was Rasha Fouad from Egypt, who was there with her daughters.

"We had to get a prom dress, so I definitely wanted to get here early before it got crazy busy," she said.

"I still thought it was going to be 10 times busier than it is this afternoon. It meant I had time to get a few bargains as well."

Updated: April 13, 2024, 6:12 AM