The Department of Economic Development last night sweetened the deal for retailers by allowing around 6,000 outlets and 50 shopping malls to remain open from 10am to midnight during the Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF).
"Retailers are automatically able to extend their working hours during the festival with no need to [go] to the DED for permission," said Mohammad Al Shael, CEO of the Business Registration and Licensing Division at DED.
He added that the hours not only allowed more shopping, but also more shows and events in the malls.
"Shoppers can witness entertainment and parades with performances by renowned international artists, as well as shows by acrobats, percussionists, dancers and more."
Kurian Chacko, showroom manager at Hadi Enterprises, said that DSF was a significant boost for his company's sales. "We never witness any decline in our sales during DSF. In fact, it increases," he said.
"This could turn out to be especially true this year, with the increasing number of tourists to Dubai."
Saher Gharaibeh, general manager of Al Madani Group, said that the weekends were always the busiest time for sales, and the extended hours were sure to enhance these figures.
He said a challenge was to ensure that inventories and staff levels were up to appropriate levels to deal with the increased footfall. Chacko agreed that the popularity of the festival necessitated more stocks and staff.
"We manage this with appropriate staff and by constantly refreshing our stocks," he said.
He added that it is paramount that customers do not feel let down by inadequate staffing levels during DSF.
"We strictly follow labour rules with respect to work hours for our staff and we pay them overtime for the extra working hours.
"We will continue on a normal basis to ensure our customers are not inconvenienced," he said.