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Festivals

Dubai Shopping Festival - DSF 2020

14 November 2019

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 25th anniversary, the Dubai Shopping Festival 2020 will be held from 26th December 2019 to 24th January 2020. 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 2020 can even be booked as a tour package, with return airfare. Several destination management companies are ready to help visitors planning to visit DSF 2020. 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.

Highlights of DSF 2020

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 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 2020 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 2020 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 2019.

DSF 2020 – What's new this year?

Dubai Shopping Festival 2020 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.

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

In the year 2019, a whopping number of about 1500 stores came together to participate in the Dubai Shopping Festival, making the festival the largest or one of its kind among the Middle Eastern nations.

12-hour super sale

This season is all about sale. This year’s edition of DSF will kick-off in style, beginning with an incredible 'Five Week Sale' that features more than 700 brands across 3200 participating outlets. The 12-hour super sale makes a return this year too, across the Majid Al Futtaim malls on 26th December, wherein shoppers are offers 25 to 90 percent discounts, exclusive offers and more, from noon to midnight for just a day. Further, DSF also offers the Weekend Deals that are announced every weekend, just 24 hours earlier. So just relax and enjoy the markdowns and bargains like never before!

Market OTB

Just head down to Burj Park at Downtown Dubai, for some artisan shopping at 'Market Outside The Box'. Last year's DSF edition saw the participation of more than 80 local and international emerging brands in the fresh outdoor retail environment, while this year there is more fun and fashion. The Market OTB features a packed line-up of performances in drama, music and dance, wherein visitors get to make the most of winter sun, or can choose to enjoy the latest films and pop-up cinema. Finally, market experience feels incomplete without delicious food, and Market OTB has an array of food trucks and some of the most popular local eateries.

City-wide celebrations and Fire Work Displays

Dubai comes to life at night during the winter months, with DSF adding its magical touch with a series of wonderful fireworks display at various locations in Dubai, including Global Village, Dubai Creek, The JBR Beach every weekend. You may see the sky light up in vibrant colours and enjoy the festivities. What’s more, you can also watch the best of all, a dazzling fireworks display on New Year’s Eve, which form part of the annual year-end celebration by DSF.

Live concerts

The streets of Dubai and luxurious skyscrapers will be vibrant this season with art and cultural performances by artists from across the globe. The artists will perform in select locations and in malls all through the festival. When you visit Dubai during this season, do no miss out on the jaw-dropping live concerts, celebrity performances, juggler acts, street-performances etc ., and check the DSF website to keep yourself updated on the venue and date.

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 27 themed pavilions, which represent over 75 cultures. 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 remains open 29th October 2019 to 4th April 2020. 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

This year's DSF edition brings in some exciting raffles before you. You have before you an opportunity to win an Infiniti QX50 apart from Dh.150,000 cash daily, and lots of other exciting prizes. Just participate in the Infiniti Mega Raffle by purchase of ticket worth Dh.200 at any ENOC/EPPCO outlet, Dubai Metro Stations, Zoom Stores, Gold Souk or Global Village. Five lucky participants would be awarded Dh.20,000 at the weekly draw of Dh.100,000 all through the festival, concluding with a mega-rpize of Dh.500,000 for a lucky winner.

Another offer in line is that any non-fuel spend of more than Dh.20 at EPPCO and ENOC will automatically enable your entry into the Nissan Raffle, with a grand total of seven cars to be won, sponsored by Nissan. You can begin spending at your nearest ENOC/EPPCO petrol stations, zoom stores, global village, metro stations or Gold Souk to grab this opportunity.

The raffle draws would be telecast live at 9pm on Sama Dubai TV. So plan well and win big this DSF, for you may drive away with a brand new car!

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 2019

  • Keep yourself updated on latest deals that are on the offer. Download '#MyDSF 2020 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 2020

Start Date: 26/Dec/2019
End Date: 24/Jan/2020

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

Robin Vinod

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

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