Last minute Christmas shoppers were out and about on Christmas Eve.
The malls were prepared. Opening doors until 1am instead of 10pm on December 24th night before, throngs of last-minute Christmas shoppers were welcomed.
"There are always people who need to find a present for somebody on the day before Christmas, or a dress for the party of the next day. I think it is a good idea," says Huda, who works in a fashion shop in Mall of the Emirates.
"I do not mind working the extra hours," she adds.
"It has been crowded. Much more crowded than on usual days," says Anita, another fashion shop salesperson. "People want to buy clothes for their Christmas party and for New Year’s Eve. We expect the rush to continue in the next couple of days.”
"I am looking for a pair of shoes to go with the dress I am planning to wear to a brunch tomorrow," says Lisa Taylor, a British expat frustratingly trying on several pairs; none of them suitable.
Electronic shops were busy too. "We are certainly busier than on other weekdays,” says Adham, who works at an electronic shop in Mall of the Emirates. "I think electronics are one of the favourite gift options for people.
"I am buying a mobile phone for my brother," says a customer roaming around the shop. "I know it is last minute, but I had planned it this way. I had done my research, and I know what I want. I could not come to the mall any earlier than today."
Although the extra hours of last minute shopping possibility were appreciated by mall-goers, the rush was not as much as it was last year, says Sunita, who has been working for the last two years in a fashion warehouse in the Mall of the Emirates.
"Last year it was much more crowded around this time. I think everyone has gone to finish off the day at the food court," she says, staring at the empty floor of the warehouse.