The chocolate stores on Muroor Street offer residents with everything from Belgian chocolate to traditional Arabian delicacies such as Halwa. Image Credit: Abdul Rahman /Gulf News

Abu Dhabi: If you have a sweet tooth or consider yourself a diehard chocolate lover, a certain section of Muroor Road in the capital is sure to keep you spellbound. Decorated in luxurious fabrics with vibrant colours, the stores in the area specialise in luxury chocolates for all occasions.

Dozens of companies favour the chocolatiers opposite the bus station to place large chocolate orders, and Abu Dhabi residents have also become familiar with the area as the place to frequent for sweet treats.

“I come to these shops all the time, no matter what the occasion. We love chocolate as a family, and there is just so much choice here. Besides, two of my favourite chocolatiers are also located here,” Wafa Salah Al Deen, an Egyptian teacher, told Gulf News.

Wafa said that she had stepped out to buy a chocolate arrangement for a colleague who had taken ill.

“Most of the time however, there is something to celebrate when I visit these shops, such as a wedding or Eid,” she added with a smile.

The development of the area as a chocolate hub is however rather recent, and store owners said that just five years ago the locality looked very different.

“We opened up shop in this neighbourhood about four years ago, and at the time, there was just one other chocolate store here. But business has been good and we serve nearly 200 customers a day, especially during festive seasons,” said Moeen Al Kathir, partner at Le Chocola.

The brand, which has ten other stores in the capital, finds the Muroor Road branch to be one of its busiest.

“The chocolate we offer is Belgian, and we specialise in elaborate arrangements. One of the biggest individual orders we catered consisted of chocolates worth Dh10,000 served on a golden trolley,” Al Kathir said. He added that most customers placed orders when a new baby was born into their families.

Other occasions during the year are also busy for chocolate stores in the area, such as National Day, Eid and Ramadan. Naema Al Katheeri, an Emirati mother, owns one of the biggest chocolate shops in the vicinity, known as the Chocolate Boutique.

She said that her outlet sees a 200 per cent increase in sales over Eid.

Variety of chocolates

The boxes of chocolates range from Dh150 onwards, and an intricately arranged basket or gift could set you back Dh3,000 or more, depending on its size and quality of chocolate. The popularity of the area as a focal point for chocolate purchases has led to many smaller shops also moving there.

The manager of a store that opened up just two months ago said that customer numbers were increasing every day.

“Our speciality is Belgian chocolate with Arabian halwa filling. The sheer volume of customers who love our chocolates, however, means that we now need a bigger store, so we are setting up next door at a facility that is twice as big,” said Abdul Rahman Al Saeed, operations manager at Halwa & Gahwa.