Dubai: Eid in Dubai kicked off on Thursday with a host of events as the city turned into a round-the-clock shopping and leisure destination.
With events running until November 2, Eid in Dubai — Eid Al Adha 2012, will feature many family events and activities, including prize giveaways, raffles, live shows, concerts and fireworks.
This Eid features a number of firsts — the first water fight, first time malls will be open for 24 hours and the first time Global Village’s opening will coincide with Eid Celebrations on October 21.
More than 10 malls will be participating in the 24-hour shopping mall initiative, which was approved by His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice-President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai.
Shopping centres that have confirmed participation are Mall of the Emirates, Dubai Mall, Deira and Mirdiff City Centres and Festival City among others.
Some, such as Al Ghurair City, Al Bustan Centre, Burjuman Centre and Oasis Centre, will not open for 24 hours every day but have extended their regular hours to accommodate shoppers.
Fouad Sharaf — Senior Director of Asset Management of Shopping Malls at Majid Al Futtaim Properties, said that their properties are fully equipped to offer the support, infrastructure and added security to ensure that all customers, retail partners and suppliers will be provided with safety and security as a priority.
“The malls are actually already operating 24 hours, with security and soft services like cleaning and maintenance operating in the mall 24 hours seven days a week, throughout the year.
“With this in mind, the additional costs are related to utilities expenses and ensuring that our customer service staff are compensated appropriately for their overtime,” he explained.
And eager shoppers told how they can’t wait to shop until they drop.
Emirati national Ahmad Al Kaitoob said: “I think that it is awesome because I usually stay at home in Eid. Maybe now I can go at 4am and not worry about the traffic and the crowds.”
Mohannad Shaath, Palestinian, agreed: “I think it is cool, I want to try going at 4am just to try it.”
Dalia Al Badrawy, an Egyptian, said: “It would be great for those of us who love shopping and spending a lot of time at the malls. However, I doubt you will find people in malls at 3 or 4 am. Mall timings might change but not our biological clocks.”
Elsewhere, on the second day of Eid, Zabeel park will host Dubai Water Bash, the first outdoor water fight in Dubai. It is on Saturday, October 27, from 10.30am — 5.30pm, and will also feature traditional dancing, games, music and more. Participation is free.
As Dubai joins Muslims of the world in celebrating the holy occasion of Eid Al Adha, Dubai will be decorated with lights, banners and flags, adding to the festive atmosphere.
Thursday saw a display of fireworks over Dubai Creek, which will continue at 9pm every night can be best viewed from Al Seef Street.
Eid in Dubai has this year been extended to more than 16 days following a directive of Shaikh Mohammad to help provide an unforgettable holiday experience for thousands of families who are expected to be in Dubai during Eid.
For an Eid with a touch of heritage, head to Khor Dubai (Dubai Creek), where folklore bands will perform several traditional songs and dances live at Al Seef Street, floating restaurants will have special promotions, kiosks of various products will be spread across the street, in addition to a dedicated funfair area.
There will be also be activities at the Heritage and Diving Village reflecting the country’s rich heritage.
Emirati hospitality will shine during Eid, as special tents are set up across the city, welcoming all with Arabic coffee, dates, incense and perfumes. Tents will be located in Dubai International Airport, malls including Dubai Mall, Mirdiff City Centre, Al Ghurair, Mercato, and Dubai Festival City, in addition to main streets such as Jumeirah Street, The Walk, and the 2nd of December Street.
On the first day of Eid, Dubai Events and Promotions Establishment, will also offer Eid treats to people in the mosques across Dubai.
Depe will dispatch a special committee to Dubai hospitals on the first day of Eid to offer gifts and congratulations to mothers with babies born on this special day. Depe will also present gifts to employees of its strategic partners, and a number of government agencies.
The Eidiyat Dubai promotion will offer shoppers who spend Dh200 at participating malls the chance to enter a raffle and win prizes of up to a million dirhams. Shoppers who spend Dh200 are entitled to four coupons that will be entered into four raffles. A total of 20 shoppers stand a chance of winning a prize of Dh50,000 each at the four draws, which will be held on October 25-26 and November 1-2.
Malls that are participating in the Eidiyat Dubai campaign are Bustan Centre, Al Ghurair City, Arabian Centre, Burjuman Centre, Century Mall, Ibn Battuta Mall, Lamcy Plaza, Oasis Centre, Palm Strip, Reef Mall, Sunset Mall, Twin Tower and Wafi.
Other shopping centres have their own raffles and prize giveaways.
A number of concerts and events will coincide with Eid this year. The Gulf Bike Week, running from October 18 -20, will showcase the latest bike and cruiser models as well as the latest accessories and products in Dubai Festival. Two concerts featuring Megadeth, Daughtry, Juliana Down among others will run on the sidelines of the Gulf Bike Week on the October 18-19.
Enrique, 50 cent, Eva Simmons will also be performing in Dubai during Eid in Dubai.
The Indian Artist Shreya Ghoshal will perform on Friday, October 26, in Madinat Arena Dubai, Jumeirah and Ehsan Khajeh Amiri, will perform on Thursday, October 25, in Zabeel Hall, Dubai World Trade Centre.