Abu Dhabi: Bakeries across the nation's capital are gearing up for the rush that occurs whenever Eid rolls around the corner, as customers rush to buy the traditional sweets that are only created during the season.

The sight of sweets, such as ma'amoul, which are made with shortbread and stuffed with walnuts, pistachios or dates and then molded into a variety of designs or baklawa, that are made from fine pastry sheets, usually filled with nuts, and soaked in syrup, are tempting enough to make even the most budget-conscious shopper indulge just a little bit more.

Buying time

"Approximately one tonne of ma'amoul is baked because of its high demand, whereas approximately 1,500 kilogrammes of baklawa are made. Tonight [last night], many customers will start buying sweets and since we are a 24 hour bakery, the rush will most likely not ease until dawn," Kahlil Esmail El Homsi, manager, Al Sa'ada Bakery, explained. In order to ensure that there is enough to meet demand, many bakeries begin preparations ahead of time, and not just for the sweets.

"Some of the items we sell, such as the petit fours, are prepared up to a week in advance, but for ma'amoul and bakalawa, we only prepare them one to two days before Eid," H.S., manager, Lebanese Flower Bakery, said.

Because these traditional sweets are only available during Eid, there are some who will go to great lengths to make sure they have enough, not only to present as gifts, but also for their own personal enjoyment.

"We have two customers who regularly buy their Eid sweets from us, and each one spends up to about Dh1,500 for their order," H.S. said.

"But generally, our prices are approximately Dh40 to Dh50 per kilogramme, depending on what you buy and how much."