Graveyard shift at malls slow during Eid weekend

Food and beverage outlets have their plates full into the late hours of the night

Dubai: Sales were sluggish during the graveyard shift at shopping malls over the Eid weekend while food outlets had their plates full with an influx of hungry night revellers, according to retailers.

Shopping malls in Dubai remained open for 24 hours for the first time this year as part of the Eid festivities.

“It was so busy, there were a lot of customers and we had good sales. But from 10pm to 10am the next day sales were very rare at that time,” said Restina, a saleswoman at Souvenirs @Dubai, a kiosk in Dubai Mall.

According to Orogold Cosmetics, a kiosk specialising in gold-based facial products, sales went up by 15 per cent during the Eid weekend but the late shift was slow.

“On Thursday to Saturday there were a lot of people in the mall, especially for Eid. On Thursday and Friday there were a lot of sales unlike regular days. It was mostly Saudis and other Gulf tourists. Our best seller was the Oro Gold deep peeling with 24 karat gold,” said Melody, a saleswoman at the stall.

“But in the graveyard shift, there were less people from 2am onwards,” she said.

On the other hand, food and beverage outlets at the malls remained busy at night, they said.

“We were very busy during lunch and dinner over Eid. It is very fascinating that even from 1am, to 4am we still had guests coming in. They were mainly tourists, mostly from the GCC and some Europeans transiting in Dubai,” said Don Magno, the manager on duty at Noodle Factory.

Café Nero achieved record-breaking sales during the Eid weekend, staff said.

“We got very, very busy. We broke sales records from last year during Eid. Many people just kept coming and coming. Saturday was busier than Friday. The morning was quiet but starting from lunch until 10pm it picked up,” said Maya Umayah, the store-in-charge at Café Nero in Dubai Mall. “The graveyard shift was smooth, it was not that rushed.”

Improved weather, a long weekend and an influx of tourists from the GCC have increased retailers’ optimism for higher sales and footfall during the Eid festivities.

Retailers are running promotions and discounts valid for late night and early morning hours during this period to encourage shoppers to buy.

The Dubai 24 Hours shopping scheme will last on the weekends until November 2.

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