Staff Report / 1 January 2015
Dubai – Twenty years of bringing fun to shopping is no mean feat. The Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF) has done that and more. It has brought people together. Today, it begins a 32-day “Journey of Celebrations” that promises excitement, top notch entertainment and unique shopping experiences aimed at showcasing Dubai as one of the best family tourism destinations in the world. That’s not all, you can turn richer by Dh500,000 worth of prizes daily.
With this spectacular start to the New Year in Dubai, residents and visitors from around the world have the opportunity to experience a mix of over 150 unique events and activities that can be enjoyed in every nook and corner of the city of celebrations.
The 20th milestone edition of DSF will run until February 1 under the special theme “20th Anniversary – A Journey of Celebrations”, promising a calendar of events which breathes new life into the festival’s key pillars of Shopping, Winning and Entertainment. The 20th anniversary slogan “Journey of Celebrations” is a reflection of the marathon journey undertaken by DSF for two decades, on its way to achieving international fame. The theme is also a reflection of the inspiring journey that visitors and shoppers go through when they visit DSF and enjoy its multitude of offerings and rewarding experiences.
The year 1996 saw the brainchild of His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, turn into a reality. The launch of the DSF transformed the face of Dubai’s retail sector into one that amazed the world by offering the best in both family entertainment and shopping in one destination. And the idea of introducing a tempting array of winning options worked like a magnet for thousands of visitors thronging to the city in search of a truly unforgettable holiday shopping experience.
The DSF organised by the Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment (DFRE), an agency of the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM), is the longest running festival of its kind in the world and has truly become a citywide achievement that has grown from being focused on sales and promotions to providing unique shopping experiences through retail promotions and innovation.
Helal Saeed Almarri, Director-General, Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM), said: “The launch of the 20th edition of Dubai Shopping Festival is a landmark moment in a journey that began in 1996, based on the vision of Shaikh Mohammed. The success of DSF not only set the template for the city-wide festivals that followed, but it is also symbolic of the successful journey made over the last two decades in becoming one of the world’s most visited destinations and must-experience cities. As the world gathers in Dubai to celebrate the 20th edition, we look forward to welcoming visitors who have never been to Dubai before and those who return year-after-year, and providing them with an experience to be remembered.”
Host to millions
Laila Mohammed Suhail, CEO of DFRE, an agency of the DTCM, said: “Throughout DSF’s journey from when it began in 1996 to now, spanning two decades, we have had the opportunity to host millions of people from around the world and have also been successful at putting a smile on the faces of families and tourists who have taken home beautiful and unforgettable memories of DSF and Dubai. The success of DSF is also testament to the exceptional support extended to DFRE by other Dubai government entities and the private sector, especially our strategic partners and key sponsors. Today, as we open a new chapter in our historic journey, we encourage residents and visitors to enjoy DSF’s 20th Anniversary offerings and multiple experiences that resonate with the festival’s universal slogan “One World. One Family. One Festival.”
The success of DSF as a game-changing initiative that has contributed towards Dubai’s economy is evident from the fact that the DSF annually attracts on an average 4 to 4.5 million visitors with a total spending of Dh15 billion. The festival attracted 56 million visitors from 1996 to 2014, with a total spending of Dh145 billion, a resounding growth, considering that in its first edition, DSF attracted 1.6 million visitors resulting in a total spending of Dh2.5 billion. –firstname.lastname@example.org