All Dubai malls were opened around the clock during Eid al-Adha to welcome residents or tourists, in an unprecedented event in the UAE. The decision by Dubai ruler, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, encouraged more tourists to head to this Emirate, with Saudi tourists exceeding 100,000 tourists.
“We really did not expect this to happen in the malls. Even if you came to the mall at 3 am, you will see that there were plenty of shoppers. We hope that opening the malls around the clock will be all year long not just during the Eid,” a salesperson said.
Jumping on the Gangnam Style bandwagon, young men and women imitated the popular “horse dance” after midnight in the world’s largest shopping center, Dubai Mall.
“The Gangnam dance was new and entertaining. The audience and kids have participated in it too,” a young shopper said.
Around-the-clock shopping in Dubai enabled this Emirate to get a leg up on the tourist influx. The Arab Spring and the political chaos in the Arab region, in addition to the site of attractions in this Emirate, have shifted the usual destination of the Saudi tourists this year.
Hotels in Dubai and in the neighboring Emirates had been fully booked since last week. Airline companies warned of the difficulty in finding available seats in any flight heading to Dubai.
Eight shopping malls across Dubai will witness 60 consecutive hours of shopping on Thursdays and Saturdays, until Nov. 2, 2012.