Thousands of shoppers are flocking to a Ramadan night market in Dubai, looking to buy gifts and other essentials for the upcoming Eid al-Fitr holiday.
The market, which is taking place in Dubai's World Trade Center halls, opened its doors to the public on Thursday (August 1) and will run during the last week of Ramadan and throughout Eid - the three-day festival marking the end of the month-long fast.
With many exhibitors offering exclusive discounts, organizers hope it will be a one-stop destination for those stocking up for Eid.
“There isn't a market like this in Dubai during this period, so we came up with the idea of making all the Eid necessities available in one place at the Ramadan Night Market,” said organizer Nader Saleh.
When it first launched in 2012, the event attracted 50,000 visitors. But this year, Saleh said many more were expected to attend.
“We have more than 400 stalls at the market and we're expecting 8,000 to 10,000 people to be visiting here daily, so about 80,000 to 100,000 people visiting over the course of the market”; he said.
Hundreds of exhibitors are displaying goods ranging from clothes and accessories to artwork.
Perfume in particular is big business and perfume-seller Adil said it was a popular gift choice for many.
“Over the first couple of days, people have come to buy, especially the closer it gets to Eid. You know that, as Arabs, we have to go out and buy things for Eid, we have to buy gifts for the children and sometimes even for adults, this is the culture in the Arab world - we have to buy at Eid,” he said.
He said perfume sales typically went up by as much as 75 percent in the run up to Eid.
Eid is also a time for visiting friends and family and it is customary to buy new clothes for the occasion.
“People are getting ready for Eid, whether by [buying] clothes, accessories or jewellery,” said exhibitor Nadia Dababneh.
Sales of abayas - the traditional Emirati dress for women - also soar during the Ramadan period, when people tend to dress more conservatively.
“This is the buying season so we get a lot of...maybe the sales go up by 200 percent,” said abaya designer, Jun Rocaforte.
The indoor market includes a children's play area, restaurants and an Arabian-styled 'majlis' where people can sit and have henna artists tattoo their hands.
Eid this year is expected to be celebrated in the United Arab Emirates on August 9.