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(clockwise from top left) Burcu Aydin, Aaliya Lala, Faheem Hoosen and Dr Asiya Nabi Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: Gold, clothes, home appliances, gadgets and toys are top on the list of Eid Al Fitr shoppers in the UAE this year.

Turkish expat Burcu Aydin, who is director of the Student Affairs Department of Gulf Medical University, is looking to pick up a new outfit and a “top brand” toaster for her home.

“Every year during Bayram - which is the word for Eid in Turkish language - I buy a new set of clothes. I am heading to a mall to shop for it. I’m super excited about the discounts,” she said.

“I also want to pick up a toaster for myself of a top brand. I have a very pricey kettle at home. The toaster will match the brand of my kettle.”

Eid shopping at Ramadan Nights at Expo Centre Sharjah Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News

Fond memories

Aydin said Eid shopping reminds her of her sister.

“When I was a little girl, for Eid my sister and I would wear matching clothes that were newly purchased and visit all our family and friends. I am not a little girl anymore and my sister does not live in the UAE, however, I still shop for new clothes and meet friends to celebrate the occasion.

“If I were home, my younger siblings would line up to kiss my hand and as their older sister, I would hand them over money so they can go and buy anything on their wish list. This Eid I am away, so I will transfer some money to their accounts and wait for that ‘thank you’ message on my WhatsApp.

“Regardless of my age, my father would still give me some symbolic amount and this year Any festive celebration around the world means so much to me and I will always make sure such traditions pass from generations to generation.”

Dresses and feasts

An Indian expat doctor in Dubai, Dr Asiya Nabi, who is Assistant Medical Director and General Practitioner at Prime Health, said Eid shopping is also an “essential part” of the celebrations.

“This Eid I bought an elegant kaftan and an Indian-style suit to wear in the evenings. My mother also gifted me a Kundan-style elegant ring. It is great to dress up and feel special on this auspicious occasion,” she added.

“One of the things I love most about Eid is festive eating. Hailing from Kashmir, we will be preparing a variety of traditional dishes like yakhni, roganzosh, and tabkhmaaz. Naturally we have been shopping for these ingredients and flavours.”

Gifts for children

South African paramedic in Abu Dhabi, Faheem Hoosen could not agree more. “Clothes and gifts for children are done a week before Eid. But as we near closer to the date, a lot of the shopping happens around the groceries, special ingredients for the special cooking that happens on Eid day. Luckily there are several discounts happening in the market and we are able to take advantage of that.”

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Outfits and jewellery

Indian lifestyle influencer and luxury realtor in Dubai, Aaliya Lala, said she has made several trips to Meena Bazar in Dubai and Sharjah markets, hunting for the perfect outfit for Eid.

“These are dedicated places where one would go for shopping if they want to get desi [Indian and Pakistani] outfits. My first preference was to get something tailor-made for this occasion but being a business woman and full-time mother, I hardly get any free time,” she added.

“When I visited the first week of Ramadan to a couple of tailors, they were all fully booked out. So then I decided to hunt for a ready to wear dress. After a couple of trips to Meena Bazar, I managed to find a good outfit in time. I found something nice for my children and husband to wear as well. I bought some gold jewellery and shoes from Meena Bazaar as well.”