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Festivals

Dubai Shopping Festival - DSF 2017

26 October 2016

Organized by Dubai Festivals Retail Sector Promotion Establishment (DFRE), together with Dubai Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM), the Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF) is one of the well-known shopping fiestas in the world. Celebrating its 22nd anniversary, the Dubai Shopping Festival 2017 will be held from 26th December 2016 to 27th January 2017, with the festival concluding on 28th January 2017. The Dubai Shopping Festival is the largest shopping and entertainment extravaganza in the Middle East.

The month-long festival, with its unbeatable deals, has already made way into Guinness World Records. The festival is marked by celebrity performances, and plenty of other amazing events, apart from major shopping deals. There is an attraction for everyone at the DSF, from fashion flash mobs to live raffle draws, and not to forget, the fireworks, which is the hallmark of DSF.

DSF is an event that is a true blend of festivity and lights, shopping and glamour, sports and adventure, multi-cuisine food and cosmopolitan culture. The festival is much loved by travellers, as the city is decorated with lights during the season. There are various promotions and offers at every mall to draw buyers, with DSF turning the city into a shoppers’ paradise. There are entertainment shows for children and families, Kids Disneyland, Art lovers horizon and food fiesta for the foodies.

The first day of the shopping festival would open with an amazing display of fireworks and jaw dropping discounts and freebees, which attracts numerous tourists to this festival. The opening night would include light shows and fireworks across Dubai Creek, Al Seef Street and Festival Promenade, and this would continue all through the festival.

Further, the DSF is not just about shopping. There would be in-mall fashion shows, street performers, musicians, jugglers and other entertainers. There will be live music performances, and magicians to keep up the excitement of the festival. DSF is entirely different from the other common shopping festivals.

Several travel agencies arrange holiday deals and help families, groups and individuals to participate in the shopping festival every year. DSF 2017 can even be booked as a tour package, with return airfare. Several destination management companies are ready to help visitors planning to visit DSF 2017. Visitors can choose the best one based on their individual requirement.

History of DSF

It all began in the year 1996 when HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the UAE Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, turned his idea of creating an epic shopping festival into reality, aiming to make Dubai a year-round family tourism destination. DSF received 1.6million visitors in its first year, with loads of fabulous prizes being offered, it was an interesting way to kick-start the festival.

The very next year, in 1997, the Global Village was launched, with 3000 retail outlets having registered to participate in the festival. Global Village was launched along the banks of Dubai Creek, with international pavilions offering gifts and handicrafts from across the world. Over the years, DSF got bigger and better, and last year more than 150 mega events were held.

DSF 2017 will be held across the city, with big and small shops having special deals to offer to buyers. The major places for shopping are the ‘Global Village’ and all big malls.

Highlights of DSF 2017

During the DSF period, the malls of Dubai are lined-up with branded jewellery, clothing, electronics, carpets, art and crafts, watches, perfumes sold at discounted prices. Popular brands like Gucci or Prada, Versace or Armani, you name it, and it will be available here. Here you find a list of best places to shop in Dubai.

Apparels: If you are the type who go by the brand, you will be spoilt for choice here, as all your favourite brands of jeans to sexy party wear will be available here, including Jack & Jones, Christian Louboutin, Verri, BOGGI, Rodeo Drive, Billionaire, Armani, Burberry, Bebe, Prada, and almost every other brand that you wanted in your wardrobe.

Gold Jewellery: Dubai Shopping Festival is a good opportunity to purchase gold jewellery, as you get to choose contemporary designs to modern art, with intricate designs, purity and cheap prices guaranteed.

Cosmetics / Perfumes: You can be sure to get your favourite brand in DSF 2017 as De Beers, Bvlgari, Burberry, Chanel and the likes, will surely have their place here. Do not forget, it’s all duty free!

Watches: Who wouldn’t long for a diamond-studded watch? At DSF, you can pick your favourite collection for sure, be it Rado, Cartier, Michael Kors, ICW, Burberry, all at affordable prices after huge discounts.

Leather bags and Jackets: Dubai is known for its good quality leather. So, why not stock up some innovative and classy leather goods like Condotti, Jashanmal, Sharief, Burberry or Prada?

Home Decor: Look no more than DSF 2017 if you are looking for some home decor, and head straight to Carpet Oasis, as you will see tons of colourful carpets covering the whole floor space, with some pieces available at 50 to 75 percent discount.

Gadgets: The very fact that Dubai is a tax-free land is sufficient to attract all the gadget freaks to Dubai this season. And with DSF 2017 round the corner, all popular brands like Apple, Sony, Cross Gold, Vertu, Acer, Fijitsu, and others would be available with their latest products right here, and at unbelievable prices.

Spices: As you are aware, Dubai is the best place for aromatic spices like saffron or black cardamom, and also exotic dry fruits are available here at DSF 2017.

DSF 2017 Locations

Dubai Shopping Festival 2017 attractions can be experienced at Global Village, Dubai Mall, Al Rigga Street, Night Souk, Gold Souk, Al Fahidi For, The Layali Dubai Concert, Al Seef Street, Promenade at Dubai Festival City, DSF Desert Camp, Asianet Film Awards, Mall of the Emirates, Carpet and Arts Oasis, Burjuman, Deira City Centre, Ibn Battuta Mall, Festival Waterfront Centre, Lamcy Plaza, Dragon Mart, Wafi Mall, Mercato Shopping Mall, Lulu Village, Lulu Hypermarket, and various other malls and retail stores, the list is endless.

The souks of Dubai will also be a hub of activity this festive season, with Gold Souk being the most popular. All shops here are lit with glittering gold jewellery. The spice souk is also usually busy this season, with aromatic spices which are a riot of colour.

The organizers of the event add unique and innovative programs at various locations every year to make DSF more attractive and alluring than the previous year. Visitors from across the globe visit Dubai during DSF, and hence, the festival also plays a major role in promoting Dubai tourism.

Having completed 20 editions, DSF is also the longest running and most successful shopping festivals in the world.

Other attractions at Dubai Shopping Festival are:

Global Village

The Global Village is associated with DSF, but usually starts a little before opening of DSF and runs a little longer than DSF. Just as the name suggests, Global Village has the unique concept of bringing globe in one place. Global Village displays every country with its own pavilion and they display products that are popular in their home countries. For instance, on visiting Thailand, you get to taste all fresh fruits that they sell. Similarly, in Indian pavilion, you get to see handicrafts on sale, while China can offer deals that suit the pockets of many. However, Global Village also has various entertainment shows organized, food stalls to satisfy taste buds, big rides for kids, water sport activities and daily lucky draws.

The last edition of Global Village featured over 12,000 performances during the season, which drew large crowds. Overall, there were at least 2000 unique performers and 60 firework displays, apart from several children’s shows.

Global Village is located far from main city, but, you may arrange a private car to reach the place. The travel packages offered by several travel agencies include visit to Global Village.

The DSF Carnival

As always, the DSF this year too, will see spectacular parade with performances by renowned international artists, shows by acrobats, percussionists, dancers and more. The carnival is usually held every weekend during the month-long DSF. The DSF Carnival is fabulous display by various performers including musicians, jugglers, stilt walkers, cyclists, apart from live concerts and jazz are performed by renowned artists. The Dubai Carnival will be held in various platforms, with different themes including Arabic, Russian, Chinese and Japanese. At least 300 performers participate in the Carnival annually.

Carpet Oasis

The Carpet Oasis is a treasure-trove of carpets, wherein, traders from across the world come up with good offers on a range of floor coverings. The Carpet Oasis is an exhibition-cum-sale of some of the rarest, largest and unique carpets and rugs from across the world. Carpets and rugs from renowned carpet producing countries, works of arts and handicrafts would all be displayed. There will be unique and exclusive handmade, oriental and Persian carpets from across the globe, and a large collection of antique souvenirs.

Children Show

DSF brings along plenty of entertainment for kids. For instance, the Dubai Dolphinarium will organize an exclusive show for kids during DSF, and there are other events too to keep children engaged like Children of World Olympiad, and cartoon and circus shows. There are various fun activities to keep them occupied. They also get to meet their favourite cartoon characters such as Pokemon, Casper and Tarzan.

Sports

Sports lovers visiting Dubai during the festival will get the opportunity to participate in a range of sporting events including Open Tennis Championship, Hockey on Synthetic Surface, Ice Hockey, Football Tournament, Russian Ballet on Ice, Skating and Rowling Championships. The DSF Desert Camp offers adventure activities like quad bikes, camel rides, horse riding etc. If you love adventure, opt for a desert safari and go dune bashing as well.

Gourmets

Gourmet is a major attraction of Dubai Shopping Festival, wherein visitors get to satisfy their taste buds from delicious cuisines prepared from all corners of the world. Delicious cuisines ranging from Chinese, to French, to Italian and all special Arabic delights form part of the gourmet. Further, DSF involves gathering of people from diverse backgrounds, enjoying international cuisine, involving celebrity chefs, live cooking counters, interactive events and exciting prizes.

Tax-free shopping

Tax-free shopping is a major attraction of DSF. Shopping in Dubai, by itself, is largely tax-free, as merchants re-permitted to import products from other countries with little custom duties. Further, DSF offers high-discounts, wherein, the shopping malls and retailers offer up to 75 percent discount on a range of items, including watches, jewellery, carpets, electronics, textiles, handicrafts of major brands. There are an amazing number of discounts this year ranging from 25 to 50 percent on sunglasses and home décor to designer fashion, and up to 75 percent. The purchases also come with free gifts and accessories. There are other promotions too on the offer like fantastic holiday packages from five-star hotels and resorts.

Some of things to consider purchasing from DSF are cars, electronic items, gold jewellery, clothes, almonds and dates, carpets, perfumes, cosmetics, watches, food, spices, and textiles. Some shopping malls and online retailers will offer attractive discounts on gadgets and electronic items like computer, laptop, cameras, tablets, smart phones, and more.

Moreover, Dubai is an excellent shopping destination in the world for Gold. The Shopping Fest will offer heavy discount and best deals for Gold, every year.

Prizes and lucky draws

Apart from tax-free discount rates, shoppers can also look forward to an opportunity to win various weekly prizes organized by participating shopping malls and retailers. For the past two decades, DSF has offered more than Dh.1.7bn by way of prizes including 33 Rolls-Royces and 734 kilos of gold. Malls and retail stores offer gift vouchers, and scratch coupons to win prizes and discounts.

Cultural/Entertainment Events

Apart from the spectacular firework display and colourful cultural programs and entertainment events, the festival also has plenty to offer as entertainment including international fashion shows, street-side performances, film festivals, musical shows, cultural events, mini fun fair, Dubai Creek Tours, World of Ice, Flower Garden, Spiderman Zone, Remote-control boats, Park Taxis, helicopter tours, acrobatic show and China Town.

This year the entertainment includes folk dances in national costumes, live music and performances from a variety of genres. The circus acts include everything from unicyclists and stilt walkers to jugglers and mime artists which can be found the delighting crowds lining the streets. There will also be pop-up restaurants and traditional Emirati heritage events like Fazza Championships that mark the best in falconry, shooting and pearl diving.

Apart from all these, there will be a range of special events including business conventions, exhibitions, seminars and book fairs.

Travel Packages

Several local travel agencies, tour operators and airlines operate services to the UAE, with special discounted tour packages, targeting tourists seeking to enjoy the Dubai shopping extravaganza during this event. For instance, Emirates, the national airline of Dubai, has been offering attractive tour packages for DSF. This year, many airline companies are offering discounted rates apart from Emirates, such as Jet Airways, Spice Jet, Etihad Airways and others.

On availing these travel deals, visitors can enjoy sightseeing tours to some most exciting destinations in Dubai, such as Burj Al Arab, Burj Khalifa and Desert Safari that make Dubai a world-class tourist destination.

Most hotels in Dubai also offer packages at discounted rates to attract more customers. Advanced booking is recommended to get the confirmed room.

Tips for making the most of DSF 2017

  • Keep yourself updated on latest deals that are on the offer. Download ‘#MyDSF 2017 Offers’ app for latest updates.
  • Shop early, as late shoppers may not have as many choices to choose from.
  • Research well on the products and offers available before you head to DSF.
  • Don't limit yourself to only what you need immediately. Look for good picks and best deals that may not be available later.

Contact details:

Dubai Shopping Festival 2017

Start Date: 26/Dec/2016
End Date: 28/January/2017

Venue: Different venues around Dubai

Name of organizer: Dubai Events & Promotional Establishment
Department of Economic Development Building, 1st Floor, Baniyas Street, Deira, Dubai, UAE

Tel: 00971 4 2235 444
Fax: 00971 4 2235 888

Website: www.dubaievents.ae

Robin Vinod

Writer/blogger who writes on topics such as travel, real estate, employment and everyday life on GCC countries