UAE malls to operate food courts in Ramadan

Soon, it will be Ramadan and shopping tourists and newly arrived expatriates in UAE will find that most dining venues shut their doors from sunrise to sunset, out of respect for those who are fasting.

 

However, the majority of Dubai’s large shopping malls will have some of their food and beverage outlets operating during daylight hours throughout the holy month, it has been confirmed.

Mall operators said food service will be available from 12 noon onwards, although some outlets may start catering to takeaway customers from 10am. Diners, however, will still be served behind partitions and covered windows, and the service will be mostly limited to common dining areas or food courts.

According to analysts, more and more business owners are making their food and beverage outlets available to non-Muslims during Ramadan, especially since tourists are still coming in droves even during the fasting month. Many  businesses also need to keep the money coming in all day.

“The overall growth [in the food service industry] has been slow during the past year and also continues to slag this year, which can be the main motivator to keep the outlets open and cater to the demand that exists from non-fasting residents and tourists,” Rabia Yasmeen, analyst at Euromonitor International, According Gulf News.

“Many players are facing operational challenges, maintaining the margins is getting tough as food service is getting saturated and they need to keep revenue streams going in current market conditions.”

Shoppers, however, should keep in mind that eating, drinking and smoking in public are still prohibited and they’re best advised to observe proper etiquette during the holy month.

Malls with operating food courts, restaurants

Retail conglomerate Majid Al Futtaim (MAF) confirmed that several of its malls in Dubai will be serving up food to customers behind doors before sunset throughout the fasting period.

Mall of the Emirates

At Mall of the Emirates (MoE), the food court will start accepting diners from 12 noon onwards, although customers can start ordering takeaways from 10am. There are restaurants that will be available during the day, including St. Tropez, Salmontini, Apres, Karam Beirut and Din Tai Fung.

City Centre Deira

At City Centre Deira and other community and neighbourhood malls operated by MAF, food courts will be available from 12 noon.

Festival City Mall

Close to 40 dining options will be operating during the day as well in Dubai Festival City Mall. Among those that will be serving food behind partitions are Ikea Café (Bistro Café) and Restaurant, Costa Coffee, Marks & Spencer and Café, Pizza Hut, KFC, Hardees, Magic Wok, Chinese Palace, Wendy’s, among many others.

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Source: gulfnews

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