Business | Retail

Eid 24-hour shopping: opinions split on mall hours

Dubai’s Eid al Adha round-the-clock shopping gets mixed responses as stores adapt to extended trading hours

  • By Alexander Cornwell, Staff Reporter
  • Published: 17:42 October 16, 2013
  • Gulf News

  • Image Credit: Virendra Saklani/Gulf News
  • Shoppers, especially from those GCC countries, at Dubai Mall at 3am. Several shopping centres including Dubai Mall have been open since 10am on Tuesday.

Dubai: Dubai’s Eid al Adha round the clock shopping has generated a roaring trade for food and beverage outlets in Dubai Mall while some retailers complain of stores being “dead”.

Several shopping centres in Dubai including Mall of the Emirates, Deira City Centre, and Dubai Mall, have been open since 10am Tuesday with some continuing to remain open until 3am Friday.

The “24-hour” Eid Al Adha shopping, now in its second year, gives shoppers and outlets ample opportunity for purchases and sales over the holiday period.

Unlike last year when round the clock trading took place over three consecutive weekends it is only for this week this year.

Ashish Panjabi, Chief Operating Officer at electronics retailer Jacky’s, said the time of Eid al Adha and 24-hour shopping had boosted the usual post Gitex shopper slump.

As expectedly smartphone purchases have driven sales at the electronics retailer spurred by revised Gitex offers and recent launches.

But the 24-hour shopping might not have had the impact retailers were after. Several outlets have said that the malls are “dead” after 3am with business not picking up until 10am.

“It hasn’t been as active this year as last year. So we haven’t seen the uptake during the early hours of the morning,” Panjabi said.

He added that he didn’t think customers would be looking to purchase electronics at from 3am but expected the food and entertainment outlets were popular.

An employee at Paris Gallery in Dubai Mall, who requested not be named as they weren’t authorised to speak to the media, said the store had been extremely busy throughout the day. The employee said the Dubai Mall store was up to “eight times” busier than normal trade.

But during the quiet 3am to 10am trade employees are left to “sit and wait for customers”.

Marjorie Melicor, day supervisor at clothing outlet Splash in Dubai Mall, said that whilst retailers were not busy during early morning trade the ice rink and cinemas crowded after midnight.

The extended trading has also allowed shoppers to be more flexible when they made their purchases.

Melicor said that the store was not significantly busy because customers were coming and going throughout the day. She did, however, say there was a large amount of foot traffic in the store and through Dubai Mall.

But things are looking better for food and beverage outlets located next to the Dubai fountain.

Wildon Lacro, General Manager at California Pizza Kitchen, said the Dubai Mall restaurant was “getting good business” from the Eid holiday trading hours.

Shoppers, tourists and just those looking for something to eat, are heading to California Pizza Kitchen and neighbouring restaurants because of its proximity to the Dubai Fountain and Burj Khalifa.

We have the entire week of great sales compared to last year when Eid was on the weekend, Lacro said.

He said the restaurant was seeing customers all through the night and into the early hours of the morning with customers at times having to wait up to 40 minutes for a table.

Ramone Aiken, Assistant Manager at Texas Roadhouse at Dubai Mall, said it had been busier than expected but there had been no impact on the customers. “We staff pretty well,” he said. Texas Roadhouse was busy until 12 midnight on Wednesday morning and then had a lift in trade at 3am with a “few large parties”. Aiken said the restaurant managed to have diners on three to four tables during the slower early morning trade. Both Aiken and Lacro said they were seeing lots of groups and families come through their restaurants.

Christine Verona, Assistant Manager at Haagen-Daaz in Dubai Mall near the outdoor restaurants said the store had been busy until 3am and then trade picked up at 11am.

Comments (4)

  1. Added 11:06 October 17, 2013

    With the malls promoting a culture of late night shopping and eating, we all wonder why there is a high percentage of the population suffering from Hypertension, Diabetes, etc etc. Although, its more of convenience, at a certain point it just goes beyond convenience to intrude into our personal lifestyle thus ultimately affecting our health.

    Felix Philip, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  2. Added 10:46 October 17, 2013

    Its not us who should complain and give comments about this issue; let the employees in the retail shops give their opinion. Most of the big names dont want to employ more staff; these guys are working very bad timing, extra hours without a day off. I feel really bad about them. The labour office should take a close look on this force the companies to give days off. If somebody needs 2 days off, it should be these people who stand 10 hours per day smiling for people

    Daniel, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  3. Added 10:45 October 17, 2013

    Its seems madness to spread the staff so thinly. There are no additionally employees. The same amount of staff are now spread around the clock to accomodate this initiative. Staff that could be more effective during the peak hours are now hanging around from 3am-10am. Less staff during the peak hours means longer queues and lower customer satisfaction!

    Phillip, Lewis, United Arab Emirates

  4. Added 09:24 October 17, 2013

    in my opinion, the malls should be open till 2:00 am in holidays not more than that, i went yesterday about 8:00 am to dubai mall and try to have an early breakfast and enjoy the burj view but i felt shy to enter the restaurant until 9:00 as i felt that the restaurant guys are not yet ready, and there was very few people roaming around at that time.

    karma, dubai, United Arab Emirates

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