Qatar - The retail sector in Qatar got a further boost prior to and during the Eid al-Fitr holiday, as many residents and visitors spent time shopping and dining at souqs, malls and shopping centres across the country, it is learnt.

Families also thronged hypermarkets and supermarkets, which witnessed a huge demand for both food and non-food items even before the start of the Eid break on April 21.

Speaking to Gulf Times, LuLu Group International regional manager Shanavas P M said LuLu’s promotions on apparel (halfback) and other items attracted a large number of shoppers, both residents as well as visitors from neighbouring GCC countries and elsewhere.

He said people started to shop in big quantities for groceries, meat, fish, vegetables and other food products during the last week of Ramadan, and the rush continued throughout the Eid holiday.

While many residents in Doha prefer to spend the holidays abroad, it is learnt that quite a big chunk of the population has stayed in the country and opted to roam around, shop, dine and experience the Eid celebrations at various locations in Qatar.

“We hope to see a similar trend during the next Eid holiday (Eid al-Adha),” Shanavas added.

Several retail outlets at malls and shopping centres have also seen an increase in footfall since Day 1 of Eid al-Fitr, with many shoppers coming from Saudi Arabia in addition to residents of Qatar.

An employee of a popular apparel chain, operating mostly at malls, said their sales surged during the first three days of the Eid holiday due to the influx of customers.

“Even our old collections for men, women and children – dresses, shirts and accessories – were all sold out. Most shoppers buy in bulk,” she said. “I presume that our other stores in Doha also had record sales.”

The windfall experienced by several restaurants across the country, including those in hotels, during the Ramadan period also extended until the Eid holiday, it is learnt.

“We received a lot of people who mostly came from road trips or long drives, visiting different places such as Dukhan and Al Ruwais during the Eid al-Fitr holiday,” said an employee of a popular restaurant in Al Khor.

Like other restaurants in Al Khor, he said he was happy to see an increasing number of visitors from Saudi Arabia and other GCC countries, including Kuwait and Oman, who are exploring the area.

“We hope to see more travellers from different countries in the future, with the new Hayya system in place, and share our rich culinary scene here. Of course, we hope to do good business and contribute to the economy” he added.



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