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Festivals

Dubai Shopping Festival - DSF 2021

08 December 2020

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 26th edition, the Dubai Shopping Festival 2021 will be held from 17th December 2020 to 30th January 2021. 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 attract numerous tourists to this festival. DSF transforms the city during the month-long extravaganza with its firework displays, pop-up fashion shows, mega sales and plenty of other activities and entertainment for people of all age groups. The calendar of events during this month is jam-packed with enthralling performances, raffles, flash sales, concerts and pop-ups, all of which, brings the city to life.

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 2021 can even be booked as a tour package, with return airfare. Several destination management companies are ready to help visitors planning to visit DSF 2021. 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 2020 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.

DSF Locations

This is a city-wide festival, which means the festival can be enjoyed in multiple locations.

Markets: Global Village, Al Rigga Street, Dubai Mall, Night Souk, Al Fahidi For, Gold Souk,The Layali Dubai Concert, Promenade at Dubai Festival City, DSF Desert Camp, Asianet Film Awards, Al Seef Street, Mall of the Emirates, City Centre Mirdif, City Centre Deira, Ibn Battuta Mall, Dubai Gold Souk, Festival Waterfront Centre, Lamcy Plaza, Dragon Mart, Mercato Shopping Mall, and Lulu Village are just some of the places where you can make the most of the festival.

DSF 2021 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 2021

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.

Decoration: Ever seen a butterfly light say DSF 2021? Several of these theme lights are done every year, and at DSF 2021 this year, there are unimaginable lights at every nook and corner, that it is hard to miss. This makes night view during the festival very special. The whole city looks decorated, with DSF 2021 making extra effort to showcase this out-of-the-world decoration.

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 2019 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 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.

Furniture / home appliances: You can purchase furniture and various type of home appliances from the wide variety of brands that are displayed at discounted prices.

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 2021 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 2021.

DSF 2021 – What's new this year?

Dubai Shopping Festival 2021attractions can be experienced at Global Village, across various malls in Dubai and several retail stores.

Dubai Shopping Festival 2021 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, City Centre Deira, City Centre Mirdif, 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.

Concerts, Live Events, Fun shows

  • This year’s DSF at Burj Park in Downtown Dubai will begin with a two-day concert on 17th and 18th December. A-list Arabic stars will be taking to stage on day one, while the international artists will be featured on the second day. The tickets are priced starting from Dh.50.
  • The Legendary Folk rock act Simon & Garfunkel fans can enjoy the popular songs of the duo at Dubai Opera on 19th December.
  • For Arabic music lovers, the choices are plenty, with two great live shows happening on New Year’s Eve, while the Dubai World Trade Centre will host a New Year’s Eve show by the popular Arabic singer Nassif Zeytoun, known for his “Mesh Aam Tezbat Maae” song, and star singers Wael Kfoury and Mouhamad Khairy performing on New Year’s Eve at the Festival Arena, Intercontinental Hotel Dubai Festival City.
  • The Dubai World Trade Centre will host Comedian Jack Whitehall at his International Stood Up Tour to Dubai at Dubai World Trade Centre on 14th January, while the popular live stand-up show The Laughter Factor will return for a series of gigs during DSF.

At the Malls

  • Nakheel Mall will come up with a winter themed Food and Retail Market with a range of pop-up vendors and unique products available for shoppers. The venue will also host its own Santa’s Village, Grotto and ice rink.
  • Dubai Festival City Mall will have a magical festive experience complete with an interactive maze, a candy factory, an enchanted polar bear valley and a Santa grotto.
  • The Mall of Emirates will seem like a Winter Wonderland, full of festive cheer and Christmas market, apart from Ripe Market and Ski Dubai.
  • Top-class street performers, artists and musicians will be entertaining visitors and shoppers at various shopping centres across Dubai, including City Walk, La Mer, Dubai Festival City Mall, Al Seef, Ibn Battuta Mall, City Centre Mirdiff, The Pointe and Mall of Emirates all through the festival.

Fireworks display

  • Shoppers and visitors will get to enjoy weekly firework display and drone shows at Lamer, Al Seef and The Beach. 
  • To spread the spirit of fun across the city, Dubai’s streets, malls and landmarks will be completely lit up with decorative lightings. Do not miss the sight of illuminated palm trees, metro bridges, bright lampposts and other immersive and captivating lightings at DSF markets, City Walk, La Mer, Al Seef, Last Exit Al Khawaneej, MOTB, T3Dubai Airport Arrivals, Airport Road, Maktoum Bridge, 2nd December Street, Garhoud Bridge, Muraqabat, Al Rigga, 2nd Zabeel, Canal Bridge and Financial Centre, and Metro Bridge.
  • At the Market Outside The Box (MOTB) in Burj Park, visitors can catch a glimpse of the GEN Z outlook, inspired by Asian Pop Culture, especially Japanese and Korean.
  • Pop-up markets will come up at Last Exit Al Khawaneej and Al Seef, and events at Nakheel Mall, Burj Park, Mall of the Emirates, Dubai Festival City Mall and Community Markets across the city. The pop-up markets will display novelty items and a range of food and beverages.

The organizers have advised shoppers to check out the DSF social media channels and website for future announcements.

Other attractions at Dubai Shopping Festival are:

Global Village

Visitors and residents alike flock to the ever-popular Global Village in Dubai. 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.

Drawing in more than 5 million guests annually, Global Village is also one of Dubai’s major shopping destinations, featuring 26 themed pavilions, which represents cultures from across the globe. Everything from traditional Indian spices to handmade Iranian rugs are available here, so that you can travel the world, without even leaving Dubai.

This season of Global Village is its Silver Jubilee season (25th edition) and will remain open from 25th October 2020 to April 2021. Timings are 4pm to midnight on weekdays and 4pm to 1am on weekends and public holidays.

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.

Raffles and Prizes

So, its time again for incredible retail deals and raffles, apart from all the live entertainment and more at the DSF 2021. Apart from sleek SUVs and Family Sedans, there are hundreds and thousands to win in cash prizes. Discover all this at the DSF 2021.

Whether you are looking for some off-roading action, or a family-friendly Sedan, win exactly what you wish for at the Nissan Grand Raffle, wherein you get an opportunity to win one of the five Nissan models from EPPCO and ENOC. To enter the draw, just invest as little as Dh.25 on non-fuel items at petrol stations citywide, zoom outlets, Global Village, Dubai Metro Stations and select shopping malls and major streets. If you win, you could drive off with a Nissan Patrol Pathfinder, Kicks, X-Trail, Micra or Sentra, Dh.10,000 in cash every week.

At the INFINITY Mega Raffle, you stand a chance to win a sleek new INFINITI QX60 and Dh.200,000 in cash. A lucky grand prize winner can even take home Dh.500,000, and you just have to spend Dh.200 for entry!

Other Exciting Promotions to check out:

DSF Souk Spend and Win:

Location: Al Fahidi Souq, Naif Market, Al Rashidiya Central Market

Shopping at some of Dubai’s old markets have always been exciting! Head to Souk Al Rashidiya, Souk Al Hamriya, and Naif Souk, to stock up on some quirky souvenirs and win the opportunity to enter the draw by spending Dh.100 at participating outlets. A GAC car by Gargash is among part of the prizes. The prize draws will be held on 1st February.

Dubai Gold and Jewellery Group Gold Promotion:

Location: Retailers in Dubai Gold Souk, Deira at gold and jewellery stores across the city.

Experience souk shopping here, and you will realize why Dubai continues to be called the City of Gold. The Dubai Gold and Jewellery Group is organizing a special promo for gold, diamond and pearl precious jewellery, together with 200 Jewellery outlets across Dubai. Apart from great deals more than Dh.4million worth of gold coins will be won by shoppers visiting the DSF. Furthermore, an extra raffle coupon will be offered on purchase of Diamond Jewellery or ‘Dubai City of Gold coin’ or when using Visa card for purchase.

Stay updated on all these offers on www.mydsf.ae

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. Several other airlines offer 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 2021

  • Keep yourself updated on latest deals that are on the offer. Download '#MyDSF 2021 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.

DSF, your favourite annual shopping fest is now bigger, better and is coming in early this year, to make the most of Dubai’s perfect winters. Enjoy the spirit of all powerhouse performances to window shopping and surprising deals, and see what makes DSF Dubai’s most anticipated retail extravaganza.

Contact details:

Dubai Shopping Festival 2021

Start Date: 17/Dec/2020
End Date: 30th/Jan/2021

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 / +971 56 2778434 (9am to 7pm)
Fax: 00971 4 2235 888

Note: Dubai is fully committed to following all guidelines and safety protocols to safeguard the health of visitors. Hence, from the moment you arrive at the airport, to when you check-in to hotel, go shopping, or enjoy the thrills of a waterpark or relax at a beach, there are rules in place to safeguard your well-being and thereby prevent the spread of COVID-19. Keep yourself updated on the travel regulations, which keeps changing from time-to-time owing to the current pandemic situation.

To know the latest travel updates and health advisory rules, visit https://www.visitdubai.com/en/sc7/articles/coronavirus-advisory.

Robin Vinod

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

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