Dubai: Malls across Dubai are gearing up to welcome shoppers and holidaymakers by extending business hours during three weekends this Eid, Eisa Adam of the board of directors of the Shopping Malls Group told Gulf News.

His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, had announced on Saturday that shopping malls in the emirate would remain open 24 hours during ‘Eid in Dubai’ festivities which, too, are set to be held over a longer duration than the customary four-day period.

The event is now expected to last from October 18-28, with Eid Al Adha itself on October 26.

“We welcome our brothers and sisters from the Gulf region and across the world to experience the hospitality and unique cultural experiences that Dubai will offer this Eid,” Shaikh Mohammad said.

Adam said: “The malls are welcoming the proposal and we will be able to come up with a list of the participants by next week. Dubai is always known for its ground-breaking initiatives and a commitment to fulfill those objectives with passion. As always, the city is yet again living up to its reputation of being called a shopper’s paradise bringing an all new shopping experience to its people. During the Eid Al Adha celebrations, this will mark another major step towards offering convenience for customers. Several malls have expressed their intentions to participate as they see it as a great opportunity to give maximum shopping experience to the customers.”

Participating malls will be open round the clock on the weekends between October 18 and November 2 — October 18 and 19, October 25 and 26 and November 1 and 2, he added. “During the festive period, GCC and local shoppers will have the opportunity to shop, explore and dine at their convenience. We believe this is a step towards a consumer-driven approach that sets a new benchmark in the region.”

Mohammad Al Shael, CEO of business registration at the Department of Economic Development (DED) in Dubai, told Gulf news the department will assist retailers and restaurants to operate round the clock during the Eid period. “We haven’t decided yet if these outlets are in need of permission to stay open around the clock but the DED will process any decision on the spot. We are going to liaise with the DEPE [Dubai Events and Promotions Establishment] and shopping malls to keep the city lively during Eid time.”

He added that the initiative would require a big effort from retailers who would have to reschedule staff timings.

The Commercial Compliance and Consumer Protection Division at DED will designate a team to carry out inspections and monitor malls to ensure a very high level of customer service. “Teams of inspectors will be working around the clock to monitor the implementation of the new procedures and how retailers are operating their businesses in a healthy environment. We are expecting residents and tourists to flock to the malls round the clock during these two weeks.”

Al Shael remarked that the initiative would not only boost the number of visitors to Dubai but also lift economic indicators.