Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF) was originally intended to be a one-month retail fiesta that would help the city’s economy get off to a strong start in the new year. According to the organisers, the inaugural event, which took place in 1996, drew 1.6 million purchasers who spent a total of US$584 million between late January and the end of February across the two dates. When it comes to shopping tourism, the Middle East has caught on to the trend quickly.
The emirate’s multiple malls, food courts, restaurants, hotels, amusement parks and “cities within cities” have become a true World’s Fair of tax-free shopping, entertainment, and cultural extravaganzas.Organizers say it’s just the start of a wider drive to “reposition” Dubai as more than a “seven-star” Mecca for the wealthy and famous. The focus is on more affordable shopping and vacation options, which are in hot demand now.
Premier Shopping Days
Consumers enthusiastically cart away jewellery, fragrances, clothes, handicrafts, gadgets, and even automobiles as merchants battle to offer up to 75% discounts.Dubai Events and Promotions Establishment CEO Laila Suhail calls the Dubai shopping festival offers “unique among events worldwide.” This is one of the world’s most prestigious shopping events and the largest in the Middle East.
Since the 2008-2009 economic crisis, the Dubai Shopping Festival has helped shopping and tourism become major cornerstones of the government’s goal to build Dubai as a premier leisure destination in the Middle East.
The Financial Crisis Has Come to an End
Despite the fact that the global financial crisis has brought Dubai to its knees, bargain hunters and those with a lot of discretionary spending have not been discouraged from travelling to the city in search of great deals. During this year’s DSF, it was predicted that more than 3.3 million people would spend US$2.66 billion. The event attracted more than 6,000 businesses, with 60 percent of them advertising gold and silver.
According to the festival’s financial report for 2009, it generated more than US$2.66 billion.For the second year in a row, the DSF is themed “One World, One Family, One Festival.” Each country has its own pavilion in Dubai Village, where they can exhibit handicrafts and clothing, as well as music and dance, to showcase their culture and heritage.
Family Desert Camp
The closing ceremonies are equivalent to those of the Olympic Games in terms of spectacle. DSF profited from targeted marketing, which increased the number of attractions available. Officials from the festival travelled to India for the first time to promote the event. “The DSF, in my opinion, expands the concept of shopping as an exclusive experience for Indians who enjoy visiting malls and purchasing branded goods at appealing pricing,” says Unnithan.
As part of an effort to boost commerce during the traditionally slow summer months, the authorities decided to take advantage of the air conditioning provided by their retail malls by introducing the Dubai Summer Surprises, a summer version of the Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF) that was first held thirteen years ago. As in previous years, the event will take place from June 17 to August 17, giving participants plenty of time to prepare for a new school year and the beginning of Ramadan.
When Ramadan comes to a close, there will be another retail campaign in Dubai, this time to commemorate the conclusion of Ramadan. After the global financial crisis hit the debt-ridden emirate in 2008, tourists and expatriate workers fled the country, forcing ships, aeroplanes, hotels, and luxury condo buildings to close their doors in a desperate attempt to avoid being stranded in the desert.