A large number of residents and visitors purchased top quality sweets and delicacies in the final days of the month of Ramadan and during the ‘Eid in Dubai – Eid Al Fitr’ celebrations.
The Media Centre of Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment (DFRE), an agency of the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing and organisers of ‘Eid in Dubai- Eid Al Fitr’ celebrations, spoke to leading sweet manufacturers in Dubai to get a sense of how Eid impacts their business and the significance of the sweets industry to the economy of the country.
Lebanon-based Al Baba Sweets, who opened their first shop in Dubai in 2001, says Ramadan and Eid remains the most popular season for the purchase of their delicious baqlawa and kunfe. “We are known for using the best quality raw materials in our ingredients. We started with one shop in Dubai and now we have three. No doubt, sales witnesses a big rise during Ramadan and we start preparing a few days before Eid to cater to customers who order large quantities. Our normal sales rise by 4 to 5 times above average, while sales go up to 10-12 times above average during Eid,” says Mahmoud Abd Al Fattah, chief accountatnt, Al Baba Sweets.
The biggest clients for sweets during Eid are UAE nationals as they order in large quantities, say industry experts.
“Initiatives like Eid in Dubai, Ramadan in Dubai, DSS and the rest of the festivals and celebrations that take place during the year in Dubai have helped boost our sales thanks to the growing numbers of tourists who visit Al Baba to buy gifts and enjoy our sweets,” adds Mahmoud.
The Malatya Pazari store in Deira City Centre, which captures Istanbul’s Byzantine architecture, old spice Bazar and its little traditional markets on both shores of the western and eastern Istanbul, has been attracting large number of shoppers. The sweets shop showcases the finest fruit and nuts, Turkish delight, pasha rolls and sweet shawarmas.
“To us, sweets are not just about quality, but also about great flavours. This is why our flagship store in Deira City Centre offers a wide variety of different products and variants that are a true delight to look at and to taste,” says Randa Modad, the store’s managing partner.
“Sales dropped during the first days of Ramadan, which is normal, but we continue to run special offers all the way until Eid,” says Modad.
Jalel Ghayaza, the president of premier confectionery store Delice, says: “From Dubai to Harrods, our delicacies are now showcased as the ‘best chocolates in the world’. The idea was inspired by the tradition of homemade sweets in Tunisia but with a modern feel, people loved it and today the products are showcased at Harrods in London. We are proud of this milestone achievement and hope for more.”
Delice was established in Dubai as a result of a contemporary vision to present traditional Tunisian sweets and confectionery in a new and elegant manner. The idea was born out of a collective desire to deliver the experience of families gathering together to produce homemade delicacies during the holiday and festive season.
“Eid in Dubai is a very important time for us, as we record a sales surge that triples in value over the rest of the months of the year, and the same during Ramadan, when sales double over the month. There is a marked increase in orders in the last two weeks of Ramadan in preparation for Eid, especially from neighboring countries – including Qatar and KSA,” says Ghayaza.
A surge in sales has been witnessed at the popular sweet shops like Bateel too, which combines Arabic know-how and experience with European techniques to present its clientele with a product that is both unique and premium.
Mohammed Abu Baker, Sales Manager at Bateel, says: “Our sales have doubled in the period leading to Eid Al Fitr, with orders usually surging during the last 10 days of the Holy Month and demand for sweets, chocolates and baked items increasing.”