Mall-ajusted: Megan McCormick in Dubai
Where: Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Middle East
When: Mid Jan – Mid Feb
What’s it about: Shop til you drop with great deals, celebrations, arts and trade from across the Middle East – from traditional desert arts to haute couture and millionaire making prize draws
Remember to Bring: A very large holdhall for all your booty
It may surprise you to learn that only 7% of Dubai’s wealth comes from oil. It is now, and has always been, a city built on trade, a true paradise for someone who loves to shop till they drop. The best time to come shopping is during the Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF). Attracting millions of visitors every year, the Dubai Shopping Festival is a celebration of non-stop shopping bargains and store giveaways.
Every year for a month from mid-January to mid-February, it attracts up to three million visitors. Its all part of Dubai’s bid to build on its trading heritage and become one of the world’s greatest marketplaces. Hotel rack rates drop by 40% during the Festival in a drive to increase visitors and spending.
Things to See and Do
– Dubai’s desert roots are preserved at the Heritage Village – a part of the shopping festival displaying traditional arts and crafts.
– For more contemporary purchases, you can find fantastic deals on everything from haute couture and jewellery to home electronics and carpets.
– During the festival, artists and entertainers come from all over the world to perform every day and night throughout the city. There are firework displays, laser and light shows, concerts, exhibitions, endless street entertainment, and some world-class sporting action.
– At the ever-popular Global Village, you can buy literally almost anything from around the world. Besides the massive fairgrounds, over 30 countries are represented here, so you can get merchandise from practically anywhere from the world.
– If that’s not enough, every night at the Global Village, you have the chance to win, not one, but two Lexus and the equivalent of 30,000 dollars. Although it costs you around $60 to enter the raffle, if you don’t win you’re entered into the grand draw at the end for 1 million Dh, which is about 300,000 dollars. The Lexus Mega Raffle gives away over 30 million dollars worth of prizes over the month, and this is just one of the lotteries in the shopping festival played live on TV to millions.
Great Deals Getting There
The various companies that are sponsoring the Festival have incentivised getting to Dubai during the shopping festival to a great extent, and sponsoring airlines offer special discounts and deals, which includes accommodation, meals, all transfers and sightseeing at bargain rates. Airlines likeEmirates offer discounted fares and an extra baggage allowance, so you won’t be taxed for your massive booty, but your credit card may feel a little poorly after a trip to the festival.
Dubai Shopping Festival
Official site for this summer shopping event – the biggest shopping festival in the Middle East