Over 300 retail outlets have been set up at the Ramadan Night Market, with an array of activities aimed at the young and old alike including a henna majlis for ladies and a host of play activities for children. Image Credit: Arshad Ali/Gulf News

Dubai: Residents made a beeline for the Ramadan Night Market as it opened on Thursday evening, with around 1,000 visitors streaming in within the first 30 minutes.

The event is all geared up to entertain children and adults alike, with a host of attractions for all, particularly families, to enjoy a night out. Over 300 retail outlets have been set up and an array of activities are on offer.

Want to get a selfie with the Mirror Man in all his radiance. Wonder what it is to stand next to a living statue? The night market has a number of such sights that arouse curiosity and amazement in equal measure. There is even a stall offering handwriting analysis.

A henna majlis for ladies and a host of play activities for children promise to be top draws. Apart from these, there are over 50 food outlets serving cuisines from different cultures through the night.

And then there are shopping avenues. Jewellery, garments, cosmetics, furniture — there is a huge selection of goods on sale.

Merry laughter and music from the kids’ corner besides the voices of visitors bargaining for curios fill the air, giving it a truly bazaar-like feel.

“The beauty of the festival is not just the memorable shopping experience, but the fact that it is made so much more enjoyable courtesy the entertainment provided to all groups of people,” said Sunil Jaiswal, President of Sumansa Exhibitions, the event organiser. “This is a place where visitors can come to relax, hang out with friends and take in the amazing environment.”

There is one stall that offers visitors an array of original products rarely found in the market — recycled furniture.

Jad A. Hosn, executive manager of spacesaving.co, explained, “This chair and couch is made from 100 per cent recycled paper and can go from 20 centimetres in size up to four metres when you stretch and expand the paper. This recycled couch can withstand up to one tonne and can fit six to eight people on it.”

Visitor Sarah Ganem, a 27-year-old Dubai resident who hails from Kuwait, said that the Ramadan Night Market this year is better than its previous editions, particularly in terms of the variety of food choices on offer.

“This is the ideal place for a family night out because every member will find something that interests them — from shopping merchandise to food,” said Sarah.

Samira Ahmad, a 49-year-old from Yemen, brought along her children and daughter-in-law to enjoy a night out. “It is a brilliant idea to have such markets; however, I would love to see more countries participating in this bazaar-like event,” she said.

“I found the henna tent set up as a majlis area very interesting since henna plays a big role in the culture of the region.”