Festive fervour

Festive fervour

Dubai is gearing up for Eid-ul-Fitr, one of the most important days in its social and cultural calendar, writes Sameer Bhat

THE FESTIVAL OF Eid-ul-Fitr, celebrated across the globe with much pomp and flourish, is upon us.

The day marks the culmination of Ramadan, the holy month of fasting. Literally meaning festivity, Eid falls on the first day of the Islamic month of Shawwal. Signifying the common goal of unity and harmony, it is one of the most important days in the social and cultural calendar of the UAE.

Dubai, true to its stature, is expecting an increase in the number of visitors, particularly from the GCC. The mood in malls is heady as retailers expect record footfalls over the four-day festival weekend.

This year marks the fifth anniversary of a special initiative launched by the Dubai Government to promote the emirate as the region’s foremost festive destination during Eid celebrations.

‘Eid in Dubai’ run by the Dubai Events and Promotions Establishment (DEPE) has been successful in attracting families in Dubai and the GCC by organising various entertainment events held during the festival.

Dubai’s grand and unique style is being brilliantly showcased, thanks to effective brand promotion, providing further impetus to sales. Not surprisingly, this year also everyone appears to be headed to Dubai.

“During Eid, I am going to chill out at the Mall of the Emirates (MoE) and enjoy a hearty meal with my friends besides spending quality time in the Ski Dubai,” Omar Quereshi, a young HR executive told City Times. MoE, one of the largest shopping malls in the Middle East, is already decked up with festive embellishments and decorations for Eid.

This Ramadan, Kate Spade New York, the firm that revolutionised the global fashion accessories market, was launched with much fanfare in the mall. Eid shoppers will get to choose from the word’s best handbags, ready to wear, fashion accessories, tech accessories, jewellery, shoes, eyewear and legwear.

Market watchers say that those with higher incomes were expected to spend more on expensive items like jewellery and electronics on Eid, while lower income groups will most likely go for consumer appliances as gifts.

Various Eid promotions are also going to influence shopping choices.

Other malls are also gearing up. Dubai Mall, the world’s largest shopping mall is planning theme-based Eid décor. Exploring the region’s rich traditions, Dubai Mall will set up hospitality tents offering coffee to visitors in the Arabian Court and The Souk.

Also targeting the young crowd, the mall’s celebrations will include colourful parades and face painters, stilt walkers and clowns.

Children will get a chance to explore their artistic talents with a wide range of workshops and game stations for the young and happening. During Eid, the daily operating hours at Dubai Mall will be extended from 10am to 1am.

Dubai, home to people from more than 200 nationalities, has a diversity unlike any other city in the region. With many people heading out to dine during the long weekend, the city offers a plenty of al fresco options.

The Boardwalk on Dubai Creek is one such hangout. Famous for its fish and chips and other best-selling items like chicken caesar salad, it is a great place to dine after sundown. The Irish Village in Garhoud and 360° at the Jumeirah Beach Hotel are offering fine outdoor dining experiences this Eid, the night sky, gentle sea breeze and festive spirit being add-ons.

“We are planning to go for a sumptuous Eid brunch at the Taj Palace Dubai. They have a promotional offer on Arabic, Mediterranean as well as international dishes, with a selection of seafood, chicken and steaks. At night we will watch the display of fireworks at the Al Seef Street and Dubai Creek Park,” revealed Suzzane Barr, a relationship executive with a top British firm in Dubai.

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