Dubai: Preparations for the 20th edition of the annual Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF) are in the final stages in time for its opening on January 1.
An extra special DSF calendar is expected next year as the festival reaches another milestone of being the longest running festival of its kind spanning almost two decades. This year’s theme, ‘20th Anniversary – A Journey of Celebrations’ encapsulates the festival’s contributions in putting Dubai on the world stage as a shopping destination.
“As DSF heads towards its monumental 20th edition, it is no doubt a proud moment for all and an achievement for the city of Dubai. Reaching this milestone is a manifestation of Dubai’s ability to maintain its leadership position in the festival industry and its status as the best city for festivals and events,” said Laila Mohammad Suhail, CEO of Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment (DFRE), an agency of the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM).
“What makes this achievement more impressive is the consistency of the festival even during the years of the global economic downturn, whereby the wise leadership of Dubai insisted on supporting the festival’s continuity and for it to be held against all odds while many other festivals in the region and the world were either put on hold or cancelled,” Laila added.
DSF has ushered in 56 million visitors to Dubai who contributed a total of Dh145 billion into Dubai’s economy since 1996.
But it’s not just about spending and shopping, Laila said, pointing to the main pillars of DSF: shopping, entertainment and winnings.
“The campaign aims to showcase the fact that DSF has grown from being just a festival where one merely visits to make purchases or pick up bargains to a destination where people can actually be thoroughly immersed in, as they shop and make their personal choices whether it is shopping for electronics or food or even for entertainment or hotel accommodation,” Laila said.
For many years, DSF has brought to Dubai internationally acclaimed entertainers, street artists, and performers to turn the emirate into a huge performing theatre throughout the month-long festival.
The 32-day festival this year will run from January 1 to February 1, 2015. It was launched in 1996 based on the directive of His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of UAE, and Ruler of Dubai, as part of the ambitious vision and efforts to promote the emirate as a destination for family tourism.