When it comes to shopping in various countries, Dubai obviously takes the cake as the best destination for experiencing it. While you may not get a great bargain these days on many of the goods in Dubai, it is still the most desired destination for shopping. The reason is the variety of brands and products which makes shopping more than a mere outing experience. The malls in Dubai have always been a huge attraction to tourists for the multitude of stores, entertainment lounges and food dining areas. Add on the absence of sales tax and lowest possible import duties, on gold and electronics, Dubai is definitely a shopper’s paradise.
What is DSF?
DSF, the acronym for Dubai Shopping Festival, is generally held in the months of January/February every year. The custom which started in 1996 is an event where the retailers come together to present you the best shopping experience in the world. The event takes place for nearly a month and you can see visitors from all over the world coming in throngs to shop in Dubai during this time. It is estimated that more than 3 million people visit Dubai during the shopping festival.
What does DSF offer?
Of course, the shopping festival is all about shopping and therefore you will find huge discounts and offers like never before on almost every goods. There will be sales across the city, promotional deals to make use of and raffles where you can easily win a Porsche. If that is not enough to get you excited, there are also other factors like kids’ entertainment programs, fireworks in the night sky, cultural and traditional activities, performances, mouthwatering dishes, etc.
The first day opens with a bang with fireworks lighting up the sky at night. There are also light shows to enjoy over the Dubai creek. There will be fashion shows, entertainers like jugglers and musicians, live music performances, street performers and much more to keep you enchanted. Since the festival is held in the first quarter of the year, the weather is just chill to make it a lovely evening to stroll around the malls and make the best use of your time.
The Dubai Shopping festival for the year 2017 is planned between 26th December 2016 and 28th January 2017. If you are wondering where to go for shopping in DSF, well you have the entire city turning into the venue for it. Yes, you can shop in any mall or shop in the city during this period and you will be surprised by the variety of products and the deals you can get your hands on. Whether it is a big mall or a small shop, there is something new and exciting for you to explore. You will see the atmosphere buzzing with shopping all around you.
Entering its 22nd year, the Dubai shopping festival is the longest running shopping festival in the world. The DSF is held across the city covering many large and small shopping areas. The main focal points include Global Village, Al Rigga Street, Dubai Mall, Night Souk, Al Fahidi For, Gold Souk, Promenade at DSF, Wafi Mall, Lulu Village, and many other small and large retail shops are part of this extravaganza. All of the souks in Dubai will be bustling with active tourists, especially the Gold Souk. Even the spice souk will have a rich collection and bargain on some of the best and rarest spices in the world. To add more color to the event, the organizers also conduct some variety entertainment across the different locations which are always a sight for sore eyes.
What to shop for?
From jewelry to clothing, from carpets to electronic items, there are a lot of things to during the Dubai Shopping Festival. Almost every popular international brand like Versace, Gucci, Armani, Prada and more can be bought at the best possible price during the DSF. Here are some of the products you can check out during this year’s fest.
Jewelry: This is probably the best time to buy some of the most fashionable and most traditional gold jewelry in the souks of Dubai. Whether you love something modern or you like the contemporary look, you are sure to get your taste satisfied with the varieties here. And there is no need to question the purity and the prices are just the right one for you.
Clothing: A person who loves brand will be left wondering where to go and what to buy with the range of products available here. There is Christian Louboutin, Armani, Prada, Burberry, Rodeo Drive, Jack & Jones and much more to shop from.
Perfumes: Whether you like something sweet or something musky, you can get your hands on all your favorite brands in the likes of Bulgari, Chane, De Beers, etc., for an amazing price.
Home décor: The magical carpet from Aladdin has definitely made this Arab country well known for its carpets and if you are looking for some magical ones for your house, then head over to Carpet oasis for a bargain.
Electronics: Known for its electronic products, you are sure to find all kind of gadgets to sate your inner nerd. All the latest products from leading brands like Apple, Acer, Sony, etc.
Apart from these, you can also get some of the best deals on the spices and even leather products during the Dubai Shopping Festival.
While the entire city takes on a festive outlook, there are some major places or attraction that you should never miss out on.
As the name suggests it is a hub for every country (almost) in the world and it has a pavilion for each country to represent its heritage, culture and of course give you the shopping experience of the particular country. Every pavilion will boast of the best things from each of those countries, like handicrafts from India, fresh fruits from Thailand, etc. The festivities in the Global village start before the actual commencement of DSF and run even after the completion of DSF. The highlight is the performances, which were around 12000 in 2016 that draws out the crowd. There are children shows and fireworks to keep you awed. The place is slightly outside the city and you may have to arrange for a cab to get there. But the trip is worth visiting.
There is a parade organized every year which has some of the leading performers from the international stage including dancers, musicians, percussionists, acrobats, etc. It is held over the weekends during DSF and even includes live jazz concerts and musical performances to keep the crowd alive. They use different themes like Chinese, Arabian, Japanese, etc. as themes for each of the carnival making it exciting.
If you are a sporty person, then you should be delighted to visit the Dubai Shopping Festival. There are plenty of events for you to enjoy like Ice hockey, Football tournament, Rowing, skating, Russian ballet on ice, Open tennis, etc. The event also appeals to the adventurers with camel and horse rides, quad bikes, dune bashing and of course the desert safari.
Show for kids
There is live entertainment for kids as well like the Dolphin show organized by the Dubai Dolphinarium. There are also circus and cartoon shows along with Children of World Olympiad to keep your little tots occupied and happy while you venture out shopping with them. And this is the right place to introduce them in person to some of their famous toon characters like Tarzan, Pokemon and Casper.
What is a shopping experience without a fine dining experience? And DSF presents you with the opportunity to taste all the fine cuisines from across the world in one place. Whether you love the delightful French, or the special delights from the Arabian continent, you can be sure to get your hands on all of them here. Want more? Well, there are live cooking counters, interactive cooking events involving international celebrity chefs, prizes to keep you excited all the time.
And above all this, there are also exhibitions, book fairs, seminars, business conventions and a whole load of shopping to be done. You can avail as high as 75% discount on some of the products. Add on the free gifts and the lucky draws, to win gold bars, it is an experience not to miss out.
There are many travel agencies and airlines that operate special flights at discounted price during this season to woo the customers. The Emirates offer a really good package during the season along with the Etihad, Spice Jet and Jet airways. These packages come with an offer to enjoy other tourist attractions of Dubai like Burj Khalifa, Burj Al Arab, Atlantis, etc. It would help to get your rooms booked in advance to avoid last minute hurry. It would help to check out the deals available and make use of it and try to book your packages at the earliest to ensure a good price.