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Families throng shopping festival at Dammam Corniche
By Faisal Aboobacker Ponnani
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 02 - 08 - 2010

Hundreds of families from the Eastern Province and neighboring GCC countries are thronging Dammam Chorniche to enjoy the ongoing summer and shopping festival. The festival is a fun place for families and children to enjoy the summer nights. The two month- long festival, which began right after the schools closed for summer holidays, had been a major attraction for people spending their holidays in Dammam.
Stalls at several pavilions, under a huge tent with centralized air-conditioning system to beat the heat and humidity, are selling cosmetics, moisturizers and other creams, mostly home-made with different fruit flavors, henna, food items, dried fruits and nuts, Arabian confectionaries and snacks, clothes, bags and artificial ornaments and other accessories.
Traders expect a brisk business as people gather here to do special purchasing for Ramadan, especially different varieties of dates. “Still it's not that good considering the rental fee which is a little bit high. I just hope that when Ramadan comes, business would pick up,” Hamza, a shop owner, told Saudi Gazette.
Hamza said perfumes are a favorite item during Ramadan, with original Indian Oud perfume in great demand.
Chinese salesmen here have displayed indoor decorative items from their country. “The turnout at our stall is good,” a salesman said.
Apart from shopping pavilions, special area has been arranged for children to have fun. A stage is also arranged just outside the shopping tent to allow children to display their talents in singing and dancing. Anchors help children to sing and dance along with loud music and they have also been organizing competitions and games for the children.
One of the main attraction of the shopping festival is the Egyptian stall, were traditional Egyptian food items, snacks and clothes are being sold.
Ummu Aymen, a visitor is all thrilled about the shopping festival. “Kids can have a good time here because of the stage programs and other games arranged here. Shopping is also good because the pavilions are set under air-conditioned tents. Otherwise, it would have been difficult in this weather,” she said.
“When the holidays began, I was really wondering what to do with my kids and I was not planning to go anywhere else for vacation. This is a good place to come and there are a lot of things arranged for the kids to have fun and hang out with their friends” said Abu Mohammed, a Saudi national.

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