Planning a trip to the mall over Eid? You may want to leave the car at home

In fact, we recommend taking advantage of the last weekend in Ramadan to get your retail fix. Dubai’s many shopping malls are likely to remain relatively quiet during daylight hours as those observing the holy month complete their fasting.

Eid Al Fitr is expected to be called for Sunday 25 June and once it is, things are going to get busy, quickly. How busy?  Well, the RTA is expecting in excess of 300,000 people per day to descend upon Dubai Mall and its surrounding area. Yep, per day.

That’s roughly a population the size of the city of Newcastle, squeezing into what is, yes, arguably one of the largest malls on the planet, but it’s still going to be more than a little cramped.

The authority plans to install directional signs to help guide traffic  these will help access to the area via Al Asayel Street and Al Saadah Street, and through the roads connecting Sheikh Zayed Road and Al Khail Road through Business Bay. But be warned that they are expecting the area to still be frequently congested.

*Dubai International Airport is about to get really hectic…*

If you absolutely must visit Dubai Mall during the Eid break then you’d do well to heed the following advice:

Take the metro. The Red Line drops you off within walking distance of the mall, and the tunnel is air-conditioned the whole way there. Sure, it’s technically more convenient to go in your own car, but you’ll be cursing yourself when you end up spending most of your day stuck in traffic.

Take a cab. The RTA has said that taxis in the pick-up and drop-off zones around the mall will be increased by 5 per cent in preparation of the massive crowds.

Go early. The bulk of the crowds won’t be expected to hit until later on in the day, so if you get there early enough (remember, the Dubail Mall is open from 10am) you’re likely to not get caught as badly. Same goes for leaving – do it as early as possible, that means no dawdling between shops.

Park at Souk al Bahar. The Dubai Mall carpark is already a bit of a nightmare to navigate on the regular, so you can imagine how bad it’s going to be when throngs of eager Eid shoppers arrive in force. If you can get there early enough, nab yourself a parking spot at the adjacent Souk al Bahar carpark, which will set you up for a speedy exit when you eventually decide to leave.

Find a quiet spot. If you’re looking for some respite from the crowds there a number of quiet spots dotted around the mall. Cutting through Fashion Avenue is always a smart move, even if you don’t plan to do any shopping there, and dipping into bookstore Kinokuniya is a good way to get a bit of a breather and maybe even catch up on your reading.

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Image: Getty