Exciting times are ahead in Dubai. With the Dubai Shopping Festival just a few weeks ahead, the city and its people are gearing up for the most celebrated shopping festival in the world.
Every year, Dubai sees millions of people from all around the world during the Dubai Shopping Festival or DSF, and this year is going to be no different. Celebrating its 24th year, the DSF begins on December 26′ 2018, and it has been extended to February 02’2019, making it the biggest DSF in all these years. If you are excited about this event, here is everything you need to know about the DSF, which would make your visit to Dubai truly worthwhile.
History of Dubai Shopping Festival
Before we begin with what to expect at DSF, it is important to know about the history of this shopping festival. It all began in the year 1996 when the officials of Dubai realized that the city cannot sustain only on its oil mines. The DSF was started as a retail show to encourage tourism in Dubai, and it worked really well. The first DSF saw a footfall of 1.6 million visitors and the total expense rendered was around 2.15 billion AED. From the first year till now, the DSF with its new and unique theme has always been a success. DSF has contributed to the overall growth and development of the city as well.
What to Expect at Dubai Shopping Festival?
Almost everyone must have heard about the Dubai Shopping Festival. But not everyone knows what exactly happens at this shopping festival. Here is a glimpse of what you can expect at the grandest shopping festival in the world.
This is self-explanatory as well as quite obvious too. Shopping is the best thing to do in Dubai during the DSF. The best part is that almost every mall, souk and market participates in the DSF. Also, there is a Global Village, which is open specially for the shopping festival. Some of the best places to shop in Dubai include Dubai Mall, Mall of Emirates, Gold Souk, Night Souk, Ibn Battuta Mall, Dubai Festival City, Lulu Village, etc.
Be it clothes (international brands) or accessories, perfumes, leather bags, precious jewelry, electronics, home decor or exotic spices there is a lot to shop during the festival. But what makes it even more exciting is that almost every store offers some great discounts and deals which may seem to be too good to be true. This is the best time to indulge in luxury shopping and invest in clothes that you would have never bought otherwise. While the discounts are available throughout the month, try not to miss the 12-hour sale on the first day, where you can get discounts from 25% to 90% if you get really lucky. Apart from the above-mentioned stores, several unique or out-of-the-box markets can also be found around the city during DSF.
While shopping is surely the best thing to do during the DSF, it is not the only thing. The fireworks that happen during the festival are mind-blowing and surely one of the highlights of the event. Apart from the grand fireworks happening on the opening and closing day of the Dubai Shopping Festival, you would be able to see some almost every week. Some great spots from where you can watch the amazing fireworks include Creek Park, Global Village, The Beach (near JBR), etc. Apart from the fireworks, the whole city comes alive during the festival due to the beautiful decorations and lightings that you see everywhere. As the city turns beautiful, especially at night, you cannot help but get mesmerized.
Who does not like free gifts and prices while shopping? Dubai takes this to a higher level, allowing you to walk away with prizes worth millions of dirhams. Most popular among the raffles that happen in Dubai are Nissan Grand Raffle and Infiniti Mega Raffle. You can get your Nissan Grand Raffle tickets with a minimum spend of just AED 20 from one of the metro stations, Zoom outlets or even ENOC or EPPCO stations. This will give you the opportunity to win one of the seven latest Nissan car models. For your Infiniti Mega Raffle ticket worth AED 200, head to one of the participating malls or dedicated stalls or booths set up for the purpose. If you get lucky, you can return home with a whopping cash prize amounting to AED 150,000 plus a brand-new Infiniti QX50.
Although you can never get bored of shopping during DSF, you cannot return home without checking out the entertainment programs. Music concerts by world-class musicians, celebrity performances, magic shows, flash mobs, juggler acts, street performances, etc. are few of the things that you can expect here. You can also enjoy Dubai Fashion Week and Dubai food festivals or food tastings during this time of the year. Apart from the adults, there are some fun activities for the kids too at the DSF.
Tips for Dubai Shopping Festival
While their lot of things await you at the DSF, you need to know some insider tips to ensure that you have a successful holiday in Dubai during this time of the year.
- Get a 30 days Dubai visa so that you can make the most of the Dubai Shopping Festival by staying there for a whole month. 14 days visa is also available for those looking forward to a shorter stay.
- Making an advance booking of your flight and accommodation in Dubai would help you save money.
- It is better to start shopping early in the morning to avoid the crowds that you would usually find during the latter part of the day.
- Dress in layers while shopping so that you can try a dress or a top just by removing your jacket or shrug. This way you would not have to wait in the queue outside the trial room.
The Dubai Shopping Festival is a great reason to visit the city as you would be able to see Dubai at its best. Moreover, the deals, discounts and entertainment programs would definitely make it a memorable holiday.