Abu Dhabi barbers and laundries work into small hours to meet Eid demand
In preparation for their busiest day of the year, barbers opened early on Wednesday to accommodate procrastinators and those seeking last-minute touch-ups before they embarked on Eid festivities.
“We opened at four this morning because we had so many reservations this was the only way to get people a shave and cut,” said Shaker Ke, who works at Lucy Saloon in Abu Dhabi.
Launderettes experienced much of the same, with some having to work until early morning on Wednesday to ensure they met promises.
“They come in at 9pm, imagine, and demanded I finish before midnight,” said Miquel, who gave only his first name. “Impossible.”
His launderette in Khalidiya was working on bleaching, cleaning and crisping kanduras, suits and abayas until 2am.
Those with foresight were braced for the Eid rush and prepared their laundry days before, as well as booking a slot for that all-important haircut.
“I booked my appointment a few days ago but I was pleasantly surprised that the barber was not busy,” said Faisal Al Hammadi, the 31-year-old Emirati co-founder of Slices eaterie.
“It’s the first time I’ve gone to this barber. Guess I should keep this one a secret so people don’t rush there next Eid.”
Mr Al Hammadi began his day at 6am. “I started with the Eid prayer, then went to wish the sheikhs Eid Mubarak with my father and brother,” he said.
“Then I joined the extended family to pass by our relatives’ and friends’ houses.
“We went to eight houses in three hours. We barely had time to drink our tea until someone yelled, ‘on to the next’.
“Some of the families we visited were to honour long family friendships; basically our grandfathers were close fiends, and it’s nice to be in the third generation and be able to foster those relationships knowing the history the families have.”