x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Shoppers fill Dubai Mall’s Eid all-nighters into the witching hours

The Dubai Mall was filled with people in the witching hours of its two-day Eid all-nighters, retail workers said.

The Dubal Mall opened for 24 hours only for two days during the Eid holidays, down from six days last year. Jeffrey E Biteng / The National
The Dubal Mall opened for 24 hours only for two days during the Eid holidays, down from six days last year. Jeffrey E Biteng / The National

It was 3.30am at The Dubai Mall but the ice rink was full.

The biggest mall in the Arabian Peninsula scaled back its Eid all-nighters to two days this year from six last year, but what that lacked in duration it made up for in volume.

Traffic at the mall’s entertainment spots was flourishing, said a worker during a witching hour of yesterday morning.

It was the second of the two nights on which the mall was open all night.

“It has been really busy, we had really high footfall and are expecting it to continue for the next three days,” he said.

“The ice rink is usually busy during the weekend but we still had four Kuwaiti guys on the ice at 7.30am this morning, which is special.

“There have been a lot of GCC visitors coming and enjoying the mall. It’s like a lot of them don’t want to go home [because] they are having so much fun.

“I think a lot of them are staying in hotels nearby, so it is easy for them.”    

Most of the mall’s cafes and restaurants reported strong demand for tables. Even at 4.30am, many people were looking to enjoy the gastronomic delights on offer.

“It is crazy, we have been busy all day and all night,” said a waitress at Switch restaurant. “We have had people waiting for tables at 2am. Most of the customers have been local but a lot have come from Saudi Arabia and Qatar.”

However, many people appeared to be at the mall in the early hours for leisure rather than for shopping.

Several employees of homewares, jewellery and fashion shops said most visitors were merely window-browsing. Their shops became empty of patrons after 3am, they said.

Some children were enjoying the extended hours at the mall. Seven-year-old Khaled appreciated having an early-morning chocolate bar. Fatimah, his mother who is from Oman, said: “Once a year it is good to enjoy the holiday. It is a special time and we act in a special way. I think it is a beautiful experience for the family.” 

Mall officials could not be reached for comment.

ascott@thenational.ae