Tailors in Dubai have been glued to their work stations over the past few weeks as orders for bespoke Eid Al Fitr outfits flooded their books this year.
Seamstresses and tailors in Bur Dubai have been busy day and night customising, mending and making final adjustments to celebratory outfits for Eid.
Bright pinks, nudes and purples have proved to be popular colour choices for clients this year, with organza, cotton and chiffon fabrics being snapped up for occasion wear.
“Last year was a tough time for many, with the Covid-19 situation globally, and orders were quite low for us,” said Anil Ramchandani, 31, owner of Kachin Tailors in Bur Dubai.
“This year has been great overall. We’ve seen a good flow of orders and many people are a lot more comfortable to celebrate these special occasions with their families.
“Eid is a festive season, so many of our male clients have been ordering custom-made kurta salwar kameez [Indian attire], with an average price of about Dh900.
“People also buy their loved ones great fabrics and bespoke clothing, so we’ve seen a lot of orders for gifted items.”
Mr Ramchandani said with summer drawing closer, lightweight fabrics and bright colours such as sky blue, pink and different tones of green were in demand.
Though well-wishers will be marking Eid at a social distance with immediate family this year, preparations for celebrations are in full swing across the city.
Over the past week, shop shelves started to fill with popular sweet treats such as dates and chocolates, and decorations began adorning malls and neighbourhoods across the city.
In Meena Bazaar on Monday evening, the popular shopping district had a great buzz as excited shoppers picked up custom-made outfits from tailors in preparation for the long weekend.
Niraj Makhija, owner of Dream Girl Tailors, said the shop has been much busier this year in the run up to Eid Al Fitr.
“We are making a minimum of 50 to 80 pieces a day,” he said.
“Some items are simple refits or mends, but some are full on custom-made, intricate outfits made especially for the Eid celebrations.
“This year we have high demand for Indo-western wear and Arabic mix, anything from salwar kameez to embellished abayas and niqabs."
With five master cutters and 45 tailors in store, he said they have been working split shifts, morning and evening, in the lead up to Eid.
The most requested fabric for outfits this year have been organza, voile and cotton, with pinks and nudes a popular colour choice for female clients.
Depending on the type or work required and length of time to sew, Mr Makhija said a custom-made piece starts at about Dh150 but the intricate ones can cost hundreds and even thousands.
Najma Salman, 41, only took over a tailoring business in Meena Bazaar last year and said things have picked up significantly since 2020.
“We definitely have a lot more orders this time around because there is no lockdown,” she said.
“Most of the requests we get are for outfits from the Asian subcontinent – pieces like salwar kameez, chudidaar and kaftans.
“My master tailor, Abdul, has had a lot of orders for formal dresses too.
"Even though people have been urged to celebrate with just immediate family at home, they are still choosing to dress for the occasion, which is good for us.”
Like most tailors in the area, Ms Salman said bright colours have been on the top of most clients’ lists this year, from pinks to yellows and purples.
She said the lead time for an order depends on the type of item requested, where some can be turned around within 24 hours and more intricate designs within three to four days.
“It’s been great to have a bump in orders again. Between this Eid and the upcoming Eid Al Adha, there is a real feeling of optimism for the fashion industry.”