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So was the 24 hour weekend shopping a good idea?

MAF Mall of the emirates

Despite being skeptical about the imitative, Kipp sees considerable promise in the turnout during the graveyard shift at local malls.

October 30, 2012 11:52 by

When the 63 hour long weekend on either side of Eid Al Adha were announced, Kipp was skeptical. We asked whether there really was a need for such an indulgence. Would the staff be compensated? Could retailers afford the allowances for the additional resources needed to support such an initiative?


Late September Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum announced plans for all major malls and shopping centers to stay open around the clock during the three weekends before, during and after Eid. The initiative was promoted as the ultimate experiment in retail; if it was successful it would provide a source of attraction for the incoming crowds of the GCC who perhaps have more nocturnal shopping habits.



Two 63 hour long shopping weekends on, there is only one more ‘shopping extravaganza’ remaining. So how successful was the endeavor? It is still too early for retailers to reveal real figures but the reports thus far are looking rather positive. Gulf News reports that though “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 revelers.”


In fact, The National credits the shopping extravaganza to be the reason several hoteliers enjoyed a full house this Eid: “The 24-hour shopping experience played a key role in energising Dubai’s key economic sectors, with the [Armani] hotel experiencing booking lead time of at least 10 days prior to the kick-off of the celebrations” Jason Harding, the regional general manager of the Armani Hotel told The National.


Despite thinking otherwise, Kipp did find ourselves in Dubai Mall at three in the morning and true to reports the food outlets and cafes were enjoying a significant share of customers. Retail stores, on the other hand, perhaps unsurprisingly did not boast of a comparable share of customers. The difference between the two is instructive for future such shopping extravaganza-perhaps it will be advisable to keep retail outlets open until midnight. Entertainment avenues including the cinemas, ice rinks and arcades, in addition to food outlets and cafes, should probably stay open till 4 or 5 in the morning.


It remains to be seen whether the additional sales will justify the extra costs involved to support the graveyard shift. Yet there is an impressive lesson to be learned over here and that is the customer base here are definitely interested in spending the later hours of the evening in shopping malls, socialising if not anything else. Regardless, it is worth noting the novelty of the city’s first ever 63 hour long weekend is likely to attract the crowds if not for anything other than to see what the fuss is all about.


  1. chaz on October 31, 2012 6:00 am

    is this serious?
    People will go to the mall at 4am to do some shopping?
    What sort of lives are they leading?
    Even on holiday I cannot imagine anyone sleeping during the day so they can go to the mall in the early hours of the morning to see what the fuss is about. Mad.

  2. mandarin on October 31, 2012 11:23 am

    @Chaz… I guess you have not lived here long enough… forget the 24-hr weekend, check the malls around 11 past on any holiday and the nocturnal habits of the residents and visitors are evident. Not to forget – fast food joints which offer 24-hour service.

  3. alice on October 31, 2012 11:29 am

    The concept of shopping all night long is s a great idea! I actually woke up at 4am to be at the mall early. It was awesome! I hate the crowds in the malls and being able to shop early in the morning where there’s less people is a relief. Besides, I don’t have to hurry anymore, since I’ve got all the time in the world to shop! When you work until 7pm, it’s impossible to finish all the shopping before closing time. Being very picky, I need at least 5 hours to find what I want (shoes with the right fit, clothes with the perfect style for an occasion, etc.). Thanks to the UAE government for introducing this idea.


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