Tailors deliver Eid finery as holiday approaches

Tailors across the city were well-prepared for an onslaught of customers who were arriving to pick up their special orders.

Tailors work on embroidering abayas for clients to be finished before Eid in their Deira shop near the Gold Souq. Antonie Robertson / The National
Powered by automated translation

ABU DHABI // As some tailors were busy preparing stacks of packaged jalabiya orders, others took advantage of the lull to get in some rest before the Eid rush. A woman calmly took back her change after paying the fourth tailor she visited that day before Eid to pick up her orders.

“From here I got six jalabiyas for me and my mother ... but I have placed orders in other shops as well,” said Fatima Al Houssani, an Emirati accountant.

On Sunday alone, the 24-year-old went from her house in Khalifa City A to Baniyas to pick up orders from some shops. She then went to Al Qadeem Tailoring in Bein Al Jesrain to conclude her rounds.

But not all customers were so calm.

A woman wearing a burqa came into the shop, eager to pick up her four jalabiyas in the right form. After the tailor placed them on the counter, the woman started to unwrap each one, taking it out of the plastic for inspection.

“Why is this without a belt?” the woman yelled.

The tailor tried to explain that the particular design did not come with a belt, but the woman remained unconvinced.

“I know you do this because you have too many orders,” she said before moving on to argue about the stitching of the third jalabiya. The voices of the tailor and woman continued to rise in a seemingly endless quarrel.

The shop’s neighbour, Gharnata Tailoring, had stacks of about 25 jalabiyas on the floor, ready for pick up.

“There is an extra congestion of orders for Eid,” said Khaliq Dad, a 35-year-old Pakistani who has been in the business for eight years. “Only for three months do we have many orders, the rest of the year nothing. And the rent keeps increasing but we cannot increase our prices.”

The shop receives orders for Ramadan and Eid before the holy month even begins.

“Once Ramadan starts we do not accept any more orders so we can deliver in time,” Mr Dad said.

At the Al Ghazala Abayas shop two salesmen were resting on the floor.

“We do not receive many customers to place orders, most send their desired design by WhatsApp and ask us to do same,” said Pakistani Suhail Ahmad.

The 25-year-old said Ramadan and Eid were high seasons five years ago, but not anymore.

“Now there is no high season, we receive random orders any time of the year.”