The opening of Burj Dubai is expected to attract thousands of visitors, but most managers of restaurants in the surrounding area are refusing to accept reservations.
Restaurants are maintaining their usual policies of no reservations, even though requests are pouring in.
"We can't guarantee reservations since customers will probably not make it on time because of the crowds. We don't want to keep empty tables waiting for them," said Fadi Salloum, restaurant manager at Shakespeare and Co, located across from the world's tallest tower.
"We are not taking any reservations for January 4, especially for the terrace. If I take them, it will be hectic to control them," said Gassan Mezher, branch manager for Scoozi, Dubai Mall.
"We already had too many people asking to reserve but we had to say no," he added.
The restaurant has 64 seats outdoors and 140 inside, and is planning to add 20 more to accommodate more customers.
"We believe the restaurant will be full on the night and our full staff will be on duty," he said.
The restaurant usually closes at midnight, but it will extend opening hours as long as there is business, Mezher said.
Salloum said: "We are taking reservations until 8pm. After that it's first come first served. Forty people have already booked for January 4. These bookings are not guaranteed because every day is already busy."
If all restaurants opened up their reservations for the opening night of Burj Dubai, they would be fully booked by now.
One restaurant taking advanced bookings is Baker and Spice, a restaurant in Souq Al Bahar that faces the Dubai Fountain and Burj Dubai.
However, customers will have to pay a cover charge for the privilege.To accommodate the extra customers expected on the night, the restaurant will add almost 30 seats on its terrace.
"Most of our seats outside are already booked, so we're adding more," he said.
At Dean and Deluca, a cafe facing Burj Dubai, business is on a first come first served basis. "If we were a restaurant and offered a full meal, we might take reservations," said Sinu Joy, manager of the cafe.
Although the night of the opening will bring crowds to the eating establishments, business is expected to increase as offices open in the tower, and business during lunch hour is also likely to increase.
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