Dubai Shopping Festival is the region’s largest shopping and entertainment festival. This year would be the longest festival ever, spanning 34 days as opposed to previous year’s month long festivals. DSF also started earlier this year, coinciding with Boxing Day on 26th December (which has not been a big deal here in the past)and will run till 28th January 2017. Like previous years, the festival will feature sales, raffles, entertainment, fireworks, concerts and celebrity appearances across Dubai’s malls and various locations to draw in shoppers.
When DSF was started in 1996, the aim was to increase tourism and draw in families from across the region. That it has definitely achieved over the last two decades of its running. DSF sees a huge rise in tourism in the UAE with visitors coming in especially from the GCC, the subcontinent, Russia and Africa etc.
Dubai Shopping Festival is a major contributor to Dubai’s economy and last year contributed $175 million towards Dubai’s economy, increasing the overall retail spending in UAE by 7.6%. Given the tough year retail has had in 2016, it makes sense to make this year’s festival bigger and better than ever. However, we have seen so many retailers so often on sale this year that the excitement around the discounts is a bit muted. Having said that, the footfall in malls seems to be very high (finding parking in Dubai Mall is close to impossible at the moment) and retailers are noting high sales. I’m sure at the end of the month, we will see one of the highest sales and visitor figures the festival has ever seen.