A stream of visitors from neighboring countries trooped into Dubai on Friday at the start of a long Eid vacation.
First time visitors to Dubai, Spaniards Samuel Machin and his wife Fayna, were visiting from Kuwait. Armed with lists of tourist sites to discover, they checked maps on Dubai outside the World Trade Centre metro station.
“We thought we should visit Dubai since we have never been here and it is great to travel all over on the Metro though we are so new here.”
While tourists entered the city, traffic to the airport was backed up early Friday with residents departing on overseas vacations with family.
The main Casablanca road leading into Dubai airport was jammed with traffic.
“The road was blocked from 5am until 9am because so many people were going to the airport to catch flights,” said Javed, a taxi driver.
“My customer almost missed his flight although we had left his home in the Marina very early. We were stuck for more than 30 minutes.”
Malls, restaurants and retail outlets braced for customers during the Eid week with many offering extended hours until 3am, from last Thursday until October 19. Eight malls will open for a straight 48 hours on the first two days of Eid Al Adha.
Dubai Mall, Mall of the Emirates, Deira City Centre, Mirdif City Centre, Dubai Festival City Mall, Oasis Centre, Arabian Centre and Lamcy Plaza will open for two full days in a row.
“It was not very busy on Thursday night but we are expecting more crowds just before Eid,” said Shaina, manager at a fast food restaurant at Dubai Mall.
“It will be tiring but we are prepared after last year.”
This is the second year that shops and restaurants will be open for business into the early hours of the morning.
“This year things are better organised with staff shifts properly planned,” said Janet, a supervisor at an ice cream stall at the Mall of the Emirates.
“There was no major shopping on the first day but there are people in restaurants and cafes until dawn. People want to be part of something new, they want to see what is happening and post pictures about it.”
The highlights will include a performance by Lebanese pop star Ramy Ayach on the first day of Eid, at the Mall of the Emirates, at 11.30pm. Earlier that day, Ayach will meet fans at Deira City Centre at 5pm.
On day two of Eid, Ayach will perform at Mirdif City Centre at 11.30pm.
“Ramy Ayach is an un-matched celebrity to celebrate Eid with our shoppers and we are excited to have him share his talent with visitors,” said Fuad Mansoor Sharaf, a senior director at Majid Al Futtaim Properties that manages the three malls.
“The 24-hour trading hours will allow shoppers, particularly visitors from neighbouring GCC countries, to maximize quality time with family and give all visitors the opportunity to take advantage of our round-the-clock activities.”
Carnivals, bands and stage shows will continue until well after midnight with cinema halls such as Vox Cinemas screening movies through the 48-hour shopping period.
Families who opt to enjoy open spaces can see acts such as stilt walkers, traditional Emirati dance and African drumming in public parks in Dubai.
Al Mushrif, Al Safa, Al Mamzar, Creek, Jumeirah Beach, Zabeel and Zoo parks will host performances during the first three days of Eid and will remain open until 11pm, Dubai Municipality announced.
So, where are YOU celebrating this Eid? For hassle-free and quick assistance on Dubai Visit Visas, contact us right away!