Let the world converge in Dubai for Eid! That is the message one would get if one goes by the latest initiative of the Dubai Shopping Festival Office (DSFO).
Following the tremendous success of the Dubai Shopping Festival, usually held in January-February every year, and the Dubai Summer Surprises that draws intra-Gulf tourists during the summer vacation months, this west Asian metropolis is now gearing up to host a third major shopping festival - two events actually - to draw tourists from across the world.
Called Eid in Dubai, the new festival is proposed to be held in the days around Eid-ul-Fitr and then again around Eid-ul-Adha a couple of months later.
“Eid in Dubai is another pillar initiative that will further support our relentless efforts towards achieving the larger aim of positioning Dubai as a year-round premier tourist destination, thus adding another important step in our path to reach the 15 million mark of tourists in Dubai by the year 2015,” Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, chairman of the DSFO supreme committee, said while announcing the new festival this week.
According to a DSFO official, the new festival will comprise two events.
“We are looking at having two festivals actually, each of two-three days’ duration. The first will start on Eid-ul-Fitr and the second we are planning for Eid-ul-Adha,” the official told IANS.
The first of the two events will start with the sighting of the Shawwal crescent of the moon, which marks the first day of Eid-ul-Fitr.
Stating that Eid In Dubai will showcase the unique way in which the festival is celebrated in Dubai, Laila Suhail, DSFO chief executive, said: “We will be highlighting some of the true traditions of celebrating Eid in addition to presenting a comprehensive festivities programme to attract celebrating families locally and regionally.
“Eidakom Mubarak, which is wishing a blessed Eid for every one, will be used widely in the service and hospitality sectors for welcoming all visitors to further spread the Eid spirit among all.”
Among the major attractions of Eid in Dubai is a series of concerts by Arab and Asian artistes, including India’s Shaan and Pakistani band Strings, dazzling fireworks displays, exclusive events at Dubai parks and heritage centres and a host of children’s activities.
“Whether in Dubai Airport, shopping malls or the main venues of the event, visitors will be greeted with a warm Eid welcome and a wholehearted smile while being offered Arabic incense and sweets in addition to Fuwallat-Al-Eid,” a DSFO statement said.
A local custom spanning many generations, Fuwallat-Al-Eid is centred on welcoming guests on the day of Eid-Al-Fitr with Eid food and sweets.
The business community too is a happy lot.
“Shopping malls in Dubai witness constructive competition during this festive period and draw in a diverse range of shoppers through demand for goods such as garments, perfumes and cosmetics,” said Eesa Adam, head of the Dubai Shopping Malls Group.
“With such buoyant retail activity existing during Eid, the new initiative will significantly contribute in increasing the visitor base by attracting tourists from around the world during Eid-ul-Fitr and Eid-ul-Adha, which are celebrated occasions in the Islamic calendar,” he said, adding that Eid in Dubai would further push retail sales and increase the volume of business done during Eid.
According to Tawheed Abdullah, managing director of the Dubai Gold and Jewellery Group, the gold and jewellery sector would be one of the most positively affected entities by the new initiative.
“Gold retail outlets will decorate their facades in celebration of Eid-Al-Fitr besides launching special promotion campaigns to attract shoppers,” he said.
So, when it is time for Eidakom Mubarak, think about saying it in Dubai.