Dubai shoppers queue at 4am to buy adidas x Ravi Restaurant shoes

Some people will do anything to get their hands on something they really, really want.

Tooshank Sharma is such a person. He woke up in the middle of the night to make sure he was front of the queue to bag the adidas x Ravi Restaurant trainers when they went on sale at 10am at The Dubai Mall’s flagship adidas store on Thursday.

“I have been here since 4am,” he tells The National. “This sneaker gives me a lot of nostalgia. I have been in Dubai for 10 years and I believe this is a piece of history, one you have to have.”

His patience has paid off. He’s the first inside the store and able to grab five pairs of the limited-edition trainers at Dh550 a pop.

dubai shoppers queue at 4am to buy adidas x ravi restaurant shoes
© Provided by The National The adidas store received a makeover to match Ravi’s green and white colour scheme. Sarah Maisey / The National

For the launch, the flagship adidas store has been transformed into a Ravi Restaurant, complete with faux kitchen, table and chairs, chai cups and even a tuk-tuk, decked out in Ravi’s famous green and white.

The walls are lined with adidas x Ravi T-shirts, with face masks and paper waiter hats on display; they are the same as ones staff wear at the beloved Satwa institution.

One whole section of the store is given over to those wanting to customise their purchases, with patches and stickers laid out.

Buyers are able to have Ravi stickers pressed onto the T-shirts, including the same snippet of Ravi’s menu and price list that is on the tongue of the shoe for Dh129.

Dubai shoppers queue at 4am to buy adidas x Ravi Restaurant shoes
1 of 6 © Provided by The National Ravi Restaurant in Dubai is getting an adidas Original Superstar shoe made in its honour. All photos: adidas
Dubai shoppers queue at 4am to buy adidas x Ravi Restaurant shoes
2 of 6 © Provided by The National It is just one of 11 restaurants around the world to be chosen.
Dubai shoppers queue at 4am to buy adidas x Ravi Restaurant shoes
3 of 6 © Provided by The National The adidas Original Superstar trainers have the Ravi name as well as the year the restaurant opened embroidered on the heel tab.
Dubai shoppers queue at 4am to buy adidas x Ravi Restaurant shoes
4 of 6 © Provided by The National Six of Ravi Restaurant’s best-selling dishes are listed on the inside of the tongue.
Dubai shoppers queue at 4am to buy adidas x Ravi Restaurant shoes
5 of 6 © Provided by The National Each pair of Ravi Superstar shoes will be sold in a special takeaway box, which comes with a tag marked with the famous Ravi logo.
Dubai shoppers queue at 4am to buy adidas x Ravi Restaurant shoes
6 of 6 © Provided by The National The shoe launches on June 23 and will be available to buy online as well as in stores.

The collaboration has taken more than 18 months to bring to fruition, from conception to execution.

Another shopper, Sabi, explains why he finds it so attractive. “I think this is a one of a kind. It was the collaboration with Ravi Restaurant that prompted me to come here, as this is something to collect,” he says.

A self-confessed “sneakerhead”, Sabi saw this as a unique chance to get hold of something special. “I am sure we are never going to get this opportunity again, and that’s why it’s special. I actually only wear Nikes, so I am buying this pair to collect.”

Unlike with other brand tie-ups, which tend to draw a teenage crowd, the mixed demographic buying this shoe is noticeable.

When we visit the store, there are Emirati women, twenty-somethings in shorts, middle-aged men and even an elderly German couple looking mildly perplexed by the whole thing — all waiting patiently for their chance to be allowed in.

dubai shoppers queue at 4am to buy adidas x ravi restaurant shoes
© Provided by The National With the store decorated to look like Ravi Restaurant, there are even themed cushions. Sarah Maisey / The National

Another shopper, Saeed, joined the queue by accident. “I learnt about these trainers on Instagram a few days ago, but wasn’t really paying attention. Then, by sheer coincidence, I was just walking past, so here I am. I am very happy,” he says with a broad smile.

While adidas will not disclose how many pairs are available, the range is expected to sell out on Thursday.

Although an informal policy of five pairs per customer is in place, the general mood is less stressed and more laid-back than other high-profile drops. Everyone is content to wait their turn, and there is no pushing or shoving. People are politely snapping up one or two pairs each, and all are leaving with big smiles.

It’s a nod to the role Ravi’s has played in Dubai society for so many years.

Heena, who only recently moved to Dubai, sums it up. “This restaurant was recommended to us so many times,” she said. “And then, this month, the whole campaign started and I realised this has some sort of cultural significance. So here I am.”

Scroll through the gallery below to see pictures of Ravi Restaurant in Satwa

Dubai shoppers queue at 4am to buy adidas x Ravi Restaurant shoes
6 of 6
Dubai shoppers queue at 4am to buy adidas x Ravi Restaurant shoes
1 of 6 © Provided by The National Ravi is known for its fuss-free interiors, warm service and authentic Pakistani food. Courtesy of Ravi Restaurant
Dubai shoppers queue at 4am to buy adidas x Ravi Restaurant shoes
2 of 6 © Provided by The National Founder of Ravi, Chaudary Abdul Hameed, moved to the UAE as a labourer. Courtesy of Ravi Restaurant
Dubai shoppers queue at 4am to buy adidas x Ravi Restaurant shoes
3 of 6 © Provided by The National Ravi opened its first branch in Dubai in 1978. Pawan Singh / The National
Dubai shoppers queue at 4am to buy adidas x Ravi Restaurant shoes
4 of 6 © Provided by The National Ravi has been visited by numerous celebrities over the years, including One Republic’s Ryan Tedder in 2019. Instagram / Ryan Tedder
Dubai shoppers queue at 4am to buy adidas x Ravi Restaurant shoes
5 of 6 © Provided by The National Ravi is well-known for its range of curries and kebabs. Courtesy of Ravi Restaurant

1 of 6 © Provided by The National

Ravi is known for its fuss-free interiors, warm service and authentic Pakistani food. Courtesy of Ravi Restaurant

2 of 6 © Provided by The National

Founder of Ravi, Chaudary Abdul Hameed, moved to the UAE as a labourer. Courtesy of Ravi Restaurant

3 of 6 © Provided by The National

Ravi opened its first branch in Dubai in 1978. Pawan Singh / The National

4 of 6 © Provided by The National

Ravi has been visited by numerous celebrities over the years, including One Republic’s Ryan Tedder in 2019. Instagram / Ryan Tedder

5 of 6 © Provided by The National

Ravi is well-known for its range of curries and kebabs. Courtesy of Ravi Restaurant

6 of 6 © Provided by The National

The restaurant is considered a must-visit in Dubai by most major travel guides. Courtesy of Ravi Restaurant

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