UAE. As the 17th edition of Dubai Shopping Festival draws to a close today, millions of residents and visitors from around the world will take home memorable magical moments of a 32-day retail bonanza that offered the best in shopping and entertainment.
Dubai Shopping Festival 2012 has lived up to its promise of staging the most exciting activities and offering the best shopping experience for the whole family, inspired by the theme “One World, One Family, One Festival”, and its marketing slogan for this year “Dubai at its Best”.
Laila Suhail, CEO of Dubai Events and Promotions (DEPE), an agency of the Department of Economic Development, and the organiser of Dubai Shopping Festival, said: “True to our expectations, Dubai Shopping Festival has gone from strength to strength, and this is reflected in the success of the 17th edition of the festival this year.
Thanks to DSF and other major government-driven initiatives and projects, Dubai is a familiar name to people all over the world. As DSF 2012 concludes, we can look back with great pride at the fact that Dubai Shopping Festival has again put Dubai in the headlines, and consolidated the emirate’s position as an international city par excellence. Indeed, Dubai Shopping Festival, launched in 1996, has now firmly entrenched itself on the world map as an internationally renowned retail phenomenon that has helped Dubai become a year-round destination for shopping, leisure and entertainment”.
She added: “With the end of another successful journey, we would like to emphasise that this would not have been possible without the long-standing and whole-hearted support of our partners in the private sector, which is a reflection of how different synergies could work in unison to successfully put together a monumental extravaganza such as the Dubai Shopping Festival year after year”.
Ibrahim Saleh, Coordinator General and Deputy CEO of DEPE , said: “This year’s festivities again transformed the whole of Dubai into a mega centre for shopping and entertainment. DSF 2012 featured varied entertainment for the entire family – children’s events, fashion shows, street performers from around the world, daily fireworks, concerts, and numerous cultural events reflecting the emirate’s multi-cultural character. The support and cooperation extended by various government entities, big and small, played a crucial part in ensuring that DEPE was able to organize all these activities in a smooth and efficient way”.
DSF 2012 began on 5th January with the longest fireworks in DSF history that stretched over a 6 km distance drawing rapturous applause from residents and visitors alike. People also got an opportunity to watch a shorter version of the fireworks display by Al Zarooni Group everyday from Al Seef Street, the cultural hub of DSF.
The final display of fireworks at Al Seef Street will take place tonight at 8.30pm.
Indeed, the mantra of shopping at its best seems to have worked on the hordes of DSF visitors, who have been scouring over 70 participating malls and more than 6,000 retail outlets to grab the best offers possible, whether they be special packages, hefty discounts of up to 75 percent, or simply superb bargains on a wide range of merchandise. As a result, malls and retail stores in Dubai have been inundated with shoppers trying to make the most of the shopping bonanza, last-minute deals and offers.
The magnets that draw crowds to DSF every year are undoubtedly the mega raffles, and this year they have again succeeded in transforming the lives of scores of people and creating true rags-to-riches stories in homes across the world.
By the time the festival concludes, 35 individuals would have got to take home a luxury Infiniti QX 56 plus AED 100,000 cash they won in the daily Infiniti Mega raffle. To underline the festival’s biggest raffle promotion, three bonus winners will be picked on the final day of the Infiniti Mega raffle draw today. DSF 2102 will also see 32 others drive away with a Nissan car that they had won in the Nissan Grand Raffle while 31 shoppers took home half-a-kilo of gold each in the “Bag of Fortune” promotion run by Dubai Gold and Jewellery Group. On the final day of the gold promotion, one lucky shopper will be taking home the ultimate dream prize of 3 kilos of gold!
The non-stop festivities of DSF 2012 got a fitting finale with world-class entertainment on the last weekend, spearheaded by the festival’s showpiece event this year – Dubai Fashion 2012 which saved its best for the last with the “Longest Catwalk”, a dazzling show of pomp and pageantry by 120 models on a 120-meter outdoor catwalk and the “Biggest Makeover” which saw 100 stylists provided by Paris Gallery apply makeover on 100 models in record time at The Dubai Mall.
Dubai Fashion 2012 also put the spotlight on daily fashion shows featuring haute couture designs and brands, and the wonderful creations of local and regional designers.
Lebanese heartthrob Najwa Karam and UAE star Mansour Zayed performed on the final night of Layali Dubai, a series of concerts by renowned Arab artistes while top Bollywood music directors, Vishal Dadlani and Shekhar Ravijani, as well as South Indian film composer Harris Jayaraj sang their way into the hearts of fans who had flocked to see their stars in action in Dubai during DSF.
Entertainment for the whole family took the front seat, with Monte Carlo Circus on Al Riqqa Street, and the celebrity look-alikes show, which featured characters impersonating famous figures from Hollywood, the global entertainment industry and even the Queen at Dubai Festival City, while DSF visitors to Al Seef Street were enthralled by daily performances from folkloric troupes from several countries. The Night Souq at Al Riqqa Street presented visitors with a unique night time shopping experience, as well as offering daily variety entertainment that lasted till 1am.
With the illuminated streets of Dubai adding to the vibrant atmosphere of the festival, over 100 roaming artistes from the DSF Carnival entertained visitors with stunning performances at key DSF destinations, Al Riqqa Street, Al Seef Street, Festival Promenade at Dubai Festival City and Emaar Boulevard.
The DSF Carnival was the cynosure of all eyes with its band of highly talented performers including acrobats, stilt-walkers, unicyclists, musicians, drummers and themed groups like the Ice Carnival stopping people in their tracks whenever they went into action at the key DSF destinations, and further brightening up the main DSF streets on weekends.
Global Village was at its colourful best with its concentration of a myriad of cultures and cuisines in what has become a symbolic hub that reflects Dubai’s multiculturalism and cosmopolitan characteristics.
The Heritage and Diving Village hosted a series of special events to celebrate the UAE culture during DSF 2012 including a display of horses, traditional folklore groups, and Bedouin lifestyle.
Carpet Oasis at Dubai Airport Expo drew thousands of visitors with its extensive range of carpets from countries renowned for their carpet industries including Iran, Afghanistan, Syria, Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan, making it the largest display of handmade carpets in the region.
A large number of visitors arrived in Dubai during DSF to participate in several international exhibitions that once again put Emirate’s position as a world-class destination for conventions and conferences in the Middle East.
Another area that made its impact on visitors was the food services sector which showcased Dubai’s legendary culinary delights. This year during DSF, more than 20 restaurants contributed to the festival feast with special offers on a wide range of international cuisine catering to every taste. DSF 2012, in fact, provided residents and visitors a taste of the best in everything that the vibrant city of Dubai has to offer.
About Dubai Shopping Festival:
Launched in 1996 under the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice-President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai to position Dubai as a leading tourist destination, Dubai Shopping Festival offers one of the best shopping experiences in the world and is the pioneering innovator of shopping destination tourism.
Under the DSF 2012 theme ‘Dubai at its Best’, the Dubai Shopping Festival will once again bring together the best in shopping and events alongside amazing opportunities to win big. With promotional offers and discounts of up to 75% across 70 malls and 6000 shops throughout the city, more than AED 100 million worth of raffles and prizes up for grabs including luxury cars, gold and cash, and more than 150 indoor and outdoor events during the 32-day festival, including local and international sporting, theatrical and musical events, street carnivals, night souks, art exhibitions, fashion shows and culture and heritage activities, DSF brings to Dubai a world of entertainment for all ages and nationalities.
DSF has become an engine of growth and diversification for Dubai’s retail sector, adding an average of AED 10 billion in revenue annually. The festival has effectively brought Dubai’s business community together in a citywide retail and tourism celebration that has had sustained growth and success for 16 consecutive years.