A paradise for shopaholics, a dream come true for the epicurean and a complete delightful experience for the family is what Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF) is all about. DSF is the most prosperous shopping festivals in the world. This shopping extravaganza lasts a month starting from New Year. Visiting DSF is somewhat like a roller coaster ride, a thrilling adventure. The festival is also called Layali Dubai in Arabic and its exuberant ambiance seems to engross the crowd with myriad activities, events and promotions. The Cartoon Event lets the kids enjoy with their own Casper, Pokemon or Tarzan.
Dubai Shopping Festival 2015
In January 2015, DSF will celebrate its 20th anniversary. It will commence on January 1, 2015 and conclude on February 1, 2015. The festival is organized by Dubai Tourism and Commerce Marketing along with Dubai Events and Promotions Establishment.
Three millions shoppers flock here for a life changing experience as the festival offers luxurious prizes including gold, cash, luxury cars and several million dollars in prize money. DSF offers great discounts of up to 75% on clothing, electronics, jewelry and perfumes. Apart from shopping, raffle draw is a great opportunity to win amazing prizes. The Carpet Oasis takes the shopaholics on Cloud Nine while fashionistas explore the latest trends at Dubai Fashion Week.
Arabian Centre, Al Ghurair, Burjuman, Damac, Emax, Emirates NBD, Reef Mall, Visa, Paris Gallery, Mercato Mall, Lamcy Plaza and Jumbo Electronics are the prominent malls associated with the festival. A fireworks display, freebees and discounts mark the culmination of the first day. Dubai Creek sparkles with fireworks and light shows. Throughout the festival, jugglers, magicians, musicians, street performers entertain the shoppers.
The souks (marketplace) are jam-packed with visitors. The Gold Souk, the most coveted of all is illuminated with gold jewelry. The spice souk is filled with colorful aromatic spices.
Major highlights of the festival include:
The Global Village is another cultural extravaganza organized in an open air theme park with over 70 countries participating and showcasing their culture on 36 pavilions. For instance, if you visit Thailand pavilion, you can sample fresh fruits of the country. Similarly, Indian pavilion puts handicrafts on sale. There are 26 restaurants that bring international cuisines to one place and 50 joy rides for children, parents and grandparents to enjoy.
It is a part of DSF but starts earlier than DSF. This year, Global Village started on November 6 and will conclude on April 11, 2015. Global Village features various events including 20 concerts in Arabic, Afghani, African and Indian styles and thrill shows including vertical drummers, comedy car stunt show, wall kings, FMX Stunt Bike and Quad Show and Lords of Lightening. Streetmosphere offers the best street entertainment including mirror man, bandit battleships, bin man bob, rope act and fire act. Luminescence is another spectacle of LEDs and percussion.
The DSF Carnival
Just like the past years, a magnificent parade of acrobats, dancers, percussionists and international street artists entertains the crowd. It is held every weekend in the month-long event. The DSF Carnival is held at different locations with Arabic, Chinese, Russian and Japanese themes. Over 300 performers including jugglers, stilt, walkers and jazz musicians participate in this carnival.
As the name suggests, the Carpet Oasis is a huge collection of carpets, rugs, handicrafts and other floor coverings. Persian and oriental carpets are popular favorites among shoppers planning to revamp their home.
The Dubai Dolphinarium features a show exclusively for kids. Children of World Olympiad, cartoon and circus shows are also quite popular.
Sports lovers can enjoy a wide range of events including Football Tournament, Open Tennis Championship, Russian Ballet on Ice, Ice Hockey, Hockey on Synthetic Surface and Skating. The Desert Camp offers camel rides, quad bikes and horse riding etc.
The best attraction of DSF is tax-free shopping enabling merchants to import products paying just a minimal amount for custom duties. Discounts range from 25-75% on home décor, sunglasses and designer clothes. Shopping also includes free gifts. Five-star hotels offer holiday package deals.
Prizes and Lucky Draws
Shoppers can also win prizes every week through gift vouchers and scratch cards offered by retailers and shopping malls. For the last 19 years, DSF has awarded people with Dirham 1.7 billion in prize money, 734 kilos of gold and 33 Rolls-Royce cars.
Other entertainment shows include film festivals, Flower Garden, helicopter tours, musical shows, mini fun fair, Park Taxis, international fashion shows, Remote-control boats, World of Ice, book fair, Dubai Creek Tours, China Town, Spiderman Zone and acrobatic show.
The circus features jugglers, unicyclists, optical illusion, comedy acts, mime artists and stilt walkers. This year, traditional heritage events of Emirates including Fazza Championships of falconry, pearl diving and shooting will also feature in the festival. Several pop-up restaurants of international cuisines will also be put up to satiate the visitors.