Dubai retailers expect business boom during Eid Al Fitr

Festival is typically a busy period for traders who are confident despite the challenges of the pandemic

Retail staff in Dubai are braced for a bumper Eid Al Fitr with shoppers expected to turn out in force in search of holiday bargains.

The festival is typically a busy period for traders as people make the most of a break from work to scour the aisles for gifts for family and friends.

Workers are primed for an Eid Al Fitr rush after a quiet Ramadan, despite the ongoing challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic.

I think it will be very busy over the Eid break for sure

Mohammed Mazhar

“It’s always busy at Eid and inshallah this year will be no different,” said Mohammed Mazhar, who works at the Rasasi perfume shop in Dubai’s Festival City Mall.

“It tends to be Emiratis who come out in big numbers to celebrate Eid and I expect it to be the same this year.

“It’s been quiet over Ramadan, which you would expect, but it’s starting to pick up and I think it will be very busy over the Eid break for sure.”

Money, clothes and jewellery are usually the most popular items purchased during Eid Al Fitr, as revellers seek to celebrate with loved ones.

Will shoppers turn out or buy online?

This year, shops face tough competition from online retailers with people spending significantly more time shopping on the web than last year, as a result of the pandemic.

Amazon and Noon have Eid themes on the home pages of their websites in an attempt to entice last-minute shoppers to click and buy.

Kashif Mohammad, who also works in Festival City Mall, said he expected it to be busy over Eid but thought the numbers could be down on previous years for several reasons.

“Obviously it will be busy because it’s Eid but this year has been quiet because of the pandemic,” said Mr Mohammad, who works in the SH Collection clothes shop.

“People are spending more money online than ever before because of the pandemic so it will be interesting to see how busy Eid is this year.”

Jano Colet, a member of staff at The Cheesecake Factory at Festival City Mall predicted a busy Eid for restaurants in the emirate.

“It’s definitely going to be busier than last year despite the pandemic still affecting so many,” he said.

“That’s because people are more confident about going out and about because so many of us have been vaccinated.

“People like to spend time with friends and family during Eid and this year will be the same.”

He also predicted social distancing restrictions would make this a unique time for restaurants and diners.

“We have been getting bookings for big groups but social distancing means we can’t have more than seven people at a table,” he said.

“A lot of people have booked tables for big groups and we’ve had to tell them they won’t all be able to sit together."

He said they would try to put tables alongside where possible, while sticking to the rules.

“I expect we will have queues outside restaurants over Eid and we will have to make sure they are managed safely.”

Shopping in preparation for Eid in Mall of the Emirates on the last day of Ramadan, May 10th, 2021. Antonie Robertson / The National. Reporter: Patrick Ryan for National.
Shopping in preparation for Eid in Mall of the Emirates on the last day of Ramadan, May 10th, 2021. Antonie Robertson / The National. Reporter: Patrick Ryan for National.

Another retail worker in the mall said he expected Eid to be especially busy in the evenings if previous years were anything to go by.

“It usually gets a lot busier at night time as more people come out then,” said Ray Elbie, who works in the Tamjin clothes shop.

“We tend to have fewer customers in the daytime and it’s at night when people spend more.”

Sameer Jabar, who works for perfume company Dehnee, said a busy Eid would give the retail industry a much needed boost after the impact of the pandemic.

“I think everyone would like to see a busy Eid this year,” he said.

Omar Farij, from the Make Up Forever shop at Festival City Mall, was also eager to see a busy Eid period.

“You can never say for sure the way the world is now but it should be really busy,” he said. “I am hoping it is busy and people are able to enjoy themselves.”

Updated: May 12, 2021 02:15 PM

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