Dubai shopping festival is back

Dubai shopping festival is back

Posted on by Carole Soto

It’s that time of year again!  Beginning on January 15, 2009, Dubai’s annual Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF), known in Arabic as “Layali Dubai” will return to the city.  This month long event scheduled in the first quarter of the year, will go thru until February 15, 2009.  During this time, Shopaholics from around the world, will make their annual pilgrimage to the “City of Gold”, to take advantage of the deep discounts that merchants offer, in addition to the tax-free advantage Dubai offers its visitors.

The Dubai Shopping Festival started in 1996.  It was originally intended to revitalize the retail market of Dubai, but it has gained so much popularity, it is now a major tourist attraction for the Emirate, with daily fireworks, exhibitions, and events scheduled throughout the month .  During its origination, the concept of developing a global shopping village where nations from all over the world could come and share their culture and wares with others was established.  This concept became reality with the creation of the Global Village, located off Emirates Road in Dubailand.

In addition to the Global Village, over 2300 of Dubai’s retail outlets participate in the event, offering everything from gold, jewelry, clothes, electronics, cars, cosmetics, and hand-crafted items.  Also participating in the event are many of Dubai’s hotels, airlines, and tour companies, offering their own deals on airfares, tours, and accommodations while attending the event.  Emirates Airlines, who is a key sponsor of the event, even offers an additional baggage allowance, to room for its patrons to transport their additional “goodies” back home.

Becoming a major tourist attraction, Dubai has enhanced the festival by the addition of other attractions, which include fireworks, light and laser shows, fashion shows, and concerts, including the Dubai International Jazz Festival which runs for 3 days during DSF.  Many Arabic entertainers, such as Nawal Zoghby, Najwa Karim, and Amr Diab, have performed at DSF in the past.

Another popular event during the festival is the daily raffle drawings.  Giveaways include such things as cars, 4×4s, gold, and money.  Guests can participate in the raffle by purchasing raffle tickets, or by shopping at participating merchants who will give away raffle tickets to those purchase a certain amount in goods or services.

Concerns have been sited about DSF 2009 due to the global economic crisis the world is facing, however, others see it as increased opportunity to get even better deals, and to avoid the massive crowds typically associated with the annual shopping event.  At present, it appears that Dubai intends on promoting this year’s festival as it has done in the past, and that will mean that the promotions and entertainment that is typically associated to the event will continue as usual.  In addition, there have been a few additions to the city of Dubai, which guests are sure to enjoy.  First, is the opening of the Atlantis, with its new family-oriented, water-themed Park, Aquaventure.  Also new to the scene this year, is the new Dubai Mall, touted as the largest shopping mall in the world.  This mall is sure to enhance the shopping experience of any pilgrim making their way to the Shopping Mecca of the World!