DUBAI SHOPPING FESTIVAL
The Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF), known in Arabic as 'Layali Dubai', was first started in February 1996 by the Dubai government as purely a retail event aimed to promote trade in Dubai. Since then it has become an annual shopping, entertainment, and cultural extravaganza that continues to promote tourism in Dubai and draws people from around the world each year.
On February 15, 1996, the travel industry in the Middle East heralded the beginning of a new dawn - the birth of the most impressive shopping cum entertainment mega event. An entirely new concept, it succeeded brilliantly in showcasing what co-operation between private sector and public sector could do to create a mind-boggling achievement.
Initially, Dubai Shopping Festival was conceived as a pure retail event, the primary aim of which was to revitalize the retail trade in Dubai. It was later developed into a comprehensive tourism product in line with Dubai's far-sighted stance to set global standards in every field.
Dubai Shopping Festival is basically a shopping paradise. Dubai is know around the world as such a paradise throughout the year, but they really lay out the red carpet during shopping festival month, with over 2,300 retails outlets participating, that offer everything imaginable from gold, perfume, haute couture, cars, electronics to handicrafts and revitalizes.
Along the lines of the stature that Dubai has achieved with its clarity of vision, innovation, initiative and drive, the Festival was shaped under the committed leadership of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai.
As months of preparations went into creating Dubai Shopping Festival, the shopping festival matured into a major retailing cum entertainment extravaganza. The rest is history.
Today, one of the biggest beneficiaries of the event is the tourism sector. Hotels, travel agents and tour operators contribute to the selling of the event worldwide and it would be fair to assume, run at the peak levels of operation during the event.
Every year, Dubai Shopping Festival lives up to its promise of staging the most exciting activities for the whole family inspired by the theme One World, One Family, One Festival. As universal brotherhood, happiness, excitement, joy and adventure became the signature trademarks of Dubai Shopping Festival, the Festival itself became a tribute to the inherent ambition and strength of the people of the United Arab Emirates. Local and multinational brands acknowledged their faith in the event, and brands like Visa, Pepsi and Emirates Airlines became partners to DSF's growth.
Most hotels and appartments also get involved offering special offers during the period, even the world famous Burj Al Arab is included in the hotels. With all these special discounts available many would feel that would suffice, but Dubai goes quite a few steps further. They are scores of raffles that offer very attractive prices outlined below, and Emirates and most other airlines flying out of Dubai offer discounted airfares and much needed excess baggage allowances during the festival.
There are other events as well, including international fashion shows, children's events, streetside performances, nightly fireworks, film festivals, and many other cultural events that reflect the emirate's cosmopolitan character. Plus one of the biggest events of them all, the Dubai World Cup also takes place during the festival, and with a staggering US$ 12 million purse that makes it the richest horse race in the world - not something to miss.
The next DSF will witness fresh creative inputs and innovative promotions that will go a long way in
attracting more visitors to the Emirate.