Dubai: The list is out and you’re invited.
Dubai’s premier shopping festival organisers unveiled on Saturday its full calendar replete with 150 attractions said to give Dubai the edge when it comes to family fun and destination travelling.
The Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment (DFRE)), an agency of the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM), said its 19th edition of the festival is ready to embrace visitors both from within the UAE as well as from other countries, most notably the GCC region.
In a statement issued yesterday, DSF organisers said they earmarked several key locations across Dubai and turned them into main DSF destinations. Areas such as Shaikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Boulevard, Al Seef Street, Al Rigga Street, and The Walk — Jumeirah Beach Residence will host events and activities aimed at ensuring that residents and visitors in all nooks and corner of the city are able to participate and experience the festivities.
This year’s DSF calendar of events features attractions in diverse fields from shopping to entertainment, fashion to lifestyle and arts and culture including international shows, concerts, shopping promotions, and mega raffles offering prizes worth millions of dirhams — A true manifestation of the festival theme “Shop at your Best” that is bound to make DSF 2014 the most memorable edition yet since the shopping and entertainment extravaganza was launched in 1996.
Laila Mohammad Suhail, CEO, Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment, said, “With all eyes on Dubai post Expo 2020 win, we are fully aware that we have to rise up to the expectations, as DSF 2014 is the first festival after the announcement. We have made extra efforts to make sure that DSF truly lives up to its reputation as a festival for all by identifying a number of additional and special areas of Dubai to host the numerous activities to enable maximum exposure and opportunities for visitors to experience the vibrancy of this extravaganza and also reap its benefits”.
“Guided by the wise leadership of His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and based on the excellent cooperation between the government and private sector, the DSF brand has evolved from strength to strength and has contributed significantly towards Dubai’s economy. In fact, DSF accounts for 30 per cent of annual retail sales in the emirate and has also helped reinforced the city’s reputation as a global tourism landmark. Indeed, DSF compliments Dubai’s position as the tourism destination of choice in the region by narrowing the gap between the tourism and retail sectors under a common platform, where businesses in both sectors work together to give visitors an enriching and memorable holiday experience.”
Studies have revealed that Dubai is well on course to achieving its Tourism Vision for 2020 of attracting 20 million tourists and Dh300 billion in tourism revenues annually, of which, a major share would come from retail sales. Retail purchases by visitors is set to reach almost Dh33 billion by 2017, accounting for more than a quarter of total sales, which is expected to increase at 5.7 per cent annually over the period 2013-2017.
DSF 2014 Calendar of Events
The 19th edition of Dubai Shopping Festival will be launched on January 2 with a number of events and activities aimed at ensuring that the festive spirit permeates throughout the city and that many residents and visitors are able to get a taste of what’s in store during the 32-day extravaganza. The opening day will feature roaming, stage and street performers, spectacular fireworks, a DSF trademark and various other events and activities, making it an unforgettable day for families and children.
Michael Jackson: The Immortal World Tour by Cirque du Soleil
December 30 – January 14, Dubai World Trade Centre
Michael Jackson: The Immortal World Tour by Cirque du Soleil captures the essence, soul and inspiration of the King of Pop through a riveting fusion of visuals, dance, music and fantasy. No stranger to the Middle East, Cirque du Soleil is a leading Quebec-based organisation providing high-quality artistic entertainment that has brought wonder and delight to more than 100 million spectators in more than 300 cities in over 40 countries on six continents.
Weekends – Key DSF Destinations
Celebrations and carnivals go hand in hand, and DSF 2014 will be remembered for its visual feasts thanks to a colourful line-up of roaming, stage and street artistes getting together to perform at the DSF Carnival, which will be the biggest carnival in the history of DSF. Performers in funny, freak and fashionable attire, musicians, dancers, acrobats performing antics, gymnasts, clowns, stilt walkers, inflatable and animal characters will be performing in key DSF Destinations like the Al Seef Street, Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Boulevard, Jumeirah Street, Al Riqqa Street and Global Village.
The performers will showcase a variety of arts and skills from different continents and regions such as the Pele Pele dance group from Swaziland, the Mexico Tierra Mestiza troupe, Tabla players from India and even character parades such as the Mobile App Stores.
The attention grabbing Vertical Fashion Show will be done at lofty heights with the the world’s tallest building Burj Khalifa and The Dubai Mall offering the perfect backdrops. The first of its kind event will feature trained dancers who will perform choreographed vertical acrobatics.
January 2, 9, 16: Burj Park
Enjoy some of the lilting melodies of Arabia and get a close glimpse of top Arabian entertainers. Make sure you do not miss the DSF Music Nights concerts, that will feature some of the popular artistes and entertainers in the Arab world. Held at the Burj Park in collaboration with Rotana, the shows feature Saudi star Rabeh Saqer and UAE heartthrob Balqees Ahmad Fathi on January 2, renowned Saudi singer Mohammad Abdo on January 9 while Hatem Al Iraqi and Majid Al Mohandes will perform on January 16.
Renowned Egyptian singer Mohammad Mounir, whose musical career spans three decades, and Lebanese superstar Nancy Ajram will take the stage at Zabeel Park to produce one of the most magical music nights for their fans in Dubai.
DSF visitors will be able to savour the classic atmosphere of a bygone era at the Bedouin Lifestyle event. It is a unique festival where the lifestyle of Bedouins will be brought alive by nomads from different countries as they showcase their traditional way of living. Visitors will get a live demonstration of the Bedouin customs and traditions including their ceremonies, food habits, houses livestock etc. as DSF seeks to bring to modern Dubai a bit of the glorious past of the region’s hardy and ingenious desert dwellers.
January 2 to February 2: Dubai Festival City
Carpets have long been appreciated for their beauty. That beauty is achieved through the choice of colours and designs as well as by the manipulation of designs and colours to form pleasing patterns. The Carpet & Art Oasis is an exhibition and sale of some of the rarest, largest and most unique carpets and rugs from around the world. Apart from carpets and rugs from the well known carpet producing countries, works of art and handicrafts are also on display.
Burj Park, Downtown Dubai: January 23 – February 2
Dubai’s newest pop-up fashion and lifestyle festival brings an alternative shopping experience in a city always buzzing with excitement. Creating a new market concept incorporating recycled elements, it will have a mix of local funky labels and global brands existing side by side, cafés, food kiosks and continuous entertainment in an outdoor setting. It will be the first market that caters to non-mass-produced sustainable fashion and lifestyle brands where visitors can come together in celebration of DSF. The Market Outside the Box will also encourage healthier and alternative lifestyles and experiences that are conducive to the city’s overall festive spirit and growth as a cultural and retail hub.
January 2 – February 2: Various locations in Dubai
Comprising experienced and renowned fashion experts from diverse fields, this DSF fashion squad will pay homage to Dubai’s street style. The squad will roam the streets and malls, and give tickets in the form of coupons to the best dressed that will entitle them to enter an exciting competition. It is an interactive and exciting way to bridge tourism, social media and shopping and help make Dubai a retail experience destination.
January 2 – February 2: Various Malls in Dubai
A unique virtual and high-tech shopping experience where people can transform their look without the hassle of a trial room. This virtual shopping experience will have different points of retail activation where people can transform their look — the ideal platform to engage the visitors in a new and interactive activity.
January 13-14: The Dubai Mall
In the same vein as a caterpillar’s journey to becoming a butterfly, this innovative makeover destination welcomes visitors to undergo an enriching beauty transformation. The space has a fun and artistic design and is a place, where you can have your hair, make-up and nails done in one spot. The Cocoon is a free makeover event that is open to the public.
January 22: Emirates Towers
Abaya fashion is a growing sector that is attracting more and more clients regionally into the fashion hub of Dubai. The Abaya Select show is an exclusive by invitation only event where selected designers can showcase their collections to potential buyers and clients.
The 19th edition of DSF takes the concept of fireworks as a festival attraction to a new high. In addition to the spectacular fireworks show on the opening day, there will be daily fireworks at 9pm at Al Seef Street, that is brought to DSF by the Al Zarooni Group. During the weekends, there will be special fireworks at various locations long the Dubai Creek at 8pm in addition to the daily fireworks at Al Seef Street. A big hit with visitors, firework displays have become synonymous with the Festival since its inception. The drama of each display allows everyone to escape their daily lives for a few minutes and become transfixed by the dazzling array of patterns and colours, which fill the sky above Dubai every night, in a reflection of the city’s vibrancy and joy throughout the 32 days.
Special shows for families and children
January 2-11, The Walk — Jumeirah Beach Residence
The 7 Sopranos are Australia’s most exciting young operatic and cross-over voices who enthrall fans with their favourite opera and classical music from around the world. With stunning voices, looks and high glamour, and above all, a strong sense of entertainment, the 7 Sopranos have become a hit with music lovers of all genres across the world. The 7 Sopranos is the brainchild of acclaimed soprano Tarita Botsman. They will perform three times a day from January 2-11 with each show lasting 30 minutes.
January 12-21, Mall of the Emirates
A fun-packed show that will hold families spellbound at The Mall of the Emirates. The hour-long show features Nu Sxool dancers, a Katy Perry impersonator, cheerleaders, a soap bubble magician plus special guests in the form of the amazing ONE DIRECTION tribute.
Ice Rink Show “The Swans”
January 24 – February 2, Dubai Ice Rink, The Dubai Mall
A marvellous combination of aerial acrobatic acts and charming classic ice skating performances will create a breathtaking piece of art that will dazzle visitors to Dubai Ice Rink at The Dubai Mall.
January 9-18, Al Mamzar Park
Based on gymnastic skills, the Flying Superkids show is the only one of its kind in the world and is an attempt to defy gravity combined with singing, dancing, and comedy. This truly enchanting show is backed by a beautiful light design and a uniquely composed soundtrack to support the choreography.
January 16-25, The Walk – Jumeirah Beach Residence
Children have a wide range of entertainment to choose from this DSF and The Walk-JBR will go into party mode for kids with the internationally renowned Furby Live Show. In a 25-minute show featuring a great story, fun music and groovy dancing, lots of humour, a bit of drama, and even yummy food, Blue Furby, Pink Furby and two of their friends will put on a fantastic show three times a day.
Mega Raffles & Promotions
Change your life this DSF with The Infiniti Mega Raffle. DSF visitors who buy a raffle ticket for just AED200 will get the dream opportunity take home daily not one but two luxury Infiniti cars — a QX60 and G25 and what’s more a cash prize of AED 100,000! Tickets are available at Gold Souk, main shopping malls, selected Enoc and Eppco petrol stations and Global Village.
The Nissan Grand Raffle is giving away shoppers this DSF the chance to drive away with a Nissan car every day. Raffle coupons will be available at Enoc and Eppco stations during DSF and can be obtained on a minimum purchase of Dh20 for all non-fuel purchases. The lucky winner can choose his prize from one of 14 Nissan models.
In an unbeatable multi-million dirham promotion, the Dubai Gold and Jewellery Group is offering DSF shoppers the chance to win kilogrammes of gold and ¼ carat Diamond Solitaire rings during the 32 days of the festival.
Shop & Win is a brand new shopping promotion during DSF, offering one lucky shopper the chance to win a cash prize of Dh500,000.The promotion is designed to target communities well beyond Dubai’s major malls in areas that have less than 100 shopping outlets and includes the participation of community malls and mid-size shopping centres. Against each spend of Dh200, the shopper earns a raffle coupon and automatic entry into a mega draw with the chance to win Dh 500,000 cash on the final day of the promotion. Among the malls and shopping centres that are participating in the promotion are Al Ain Centre, Al Bustan Centre, Barsha Mall, Bin Sougat Centre, Century Mall, Etihaad Mall, Madina Mall, Mazaya Centre, Karama Centre, Times Square Centre and Union Cooperative.
An innovative promotion covering the food services sector, it is part of efforts to engage various segments of the retail sector, one of the pillars of Dubai’s economy. The Dine & Win promotion during DSF 2014 offers customers spending Dh 100 at fine dining restaurants, outlets serving distinct cuisines or at fast food outlets in Dubai, the chance to win a whopping prize of Dh350,000 in cash. The lucky winner will be picked at the draw to be held on the last day of DSF.
January 16, Emirates Golf Club
The Emirates Golf Club will play host to one of the well-known musicians in the Arab World. Omar Khairat is one of the most applauded and influential composers and pianists in the Middle East, and his music brings a western harmonic flair to classical Arabic music.
January 25, Madinat Arena – Jumeirah
The legendary Ustad Zakir Hussain is back in Dubai to perform during DSF. The award-winning tabla maestro will take the audience on a a musical extravaganza of percussion and melody featuring some of the greatest artists of our time. Grammy Award Winner Zakir Hussain will be joined by Bollywood sensation Shankar Mahadevan, Jazz virtuoso Louis Banks, Maestro of the Sitar Niladria Kumar and percussion extraordinaire Taufiq Qureshi, brother of the maestro.
Naseeruddin Shah Theatre Fiesta
Jnauary 16-18, Centrepoint Theatre, DUCTAC, Mall of the Emirates
Famous Indian film and stage actor Naseeruddin Shah is promising to give theatre goers three fascinating plays in three languages this DSF. The Naseeruddin Shah Theatre Fiesta will feature famous Urdu play Ismat Apa Ke Naam, English play A Walk in the Woods and Hindi play Katha Collage.
Indian Republic Day – Kavi Sammelan and Mushaira
January 30: Indian School, Shaikh Rashid Auditorium
A literary tradition spanning many centuries, this event has become an integral part of the annual cultural itinerary of the UAE and a DSF highlight. Being held for the 12th successive year, this creative gathering will feature a galaxy of popular Hindi and Urdu poets.
Chinese New Year – The East China State Circus
January 28 – February 2, Madinat Jumeirah
The East China State Circus is the embodiment of a traditional art form, which can trace its history back to over 2000 years. This spectacular presentation lives and breathes with the enthusiasm of its acrobatic artistes and is a must-see attraction for audiences of all ages.
January 24, Dubai Festival City
The Filipino Channel (TFC) brings its longest-running and top-rating musical show, “ASAP Live in Dubai” to the entertainment capital of the Middle East at the Dubai Festival City. “ASAP Live in Dubai” will feature a line-up of more than 40 of the most respected recording artists, the most awarded performers and the most exciting showbiz personalities from the Philippines including Total Performer Gary Valenciano, Divine Diva Zsa Zsa Padilla, Dynamic Diva Vina Morales and Concert King Martin Nievera.
Jamie Rivera Live in Dubai
January 10, Al Nasr Leisureland
The inspirational diva, Jamie Rivera will be in the Middle East for the first time, to perform in front of thousands of her adoring fans. Jamie has had her share of honours gained for the Philippines among which was her performance in the role of Kim in the award-winning musical “Miss Saigon”. Her latest album entitled ‘Inspirations” also won the Best Inspirational Album in the 2011 Country Music Associations Award. Jamie is also now part of the Walk Of Fame in Eastwood, Manila.
DSF 2014 also offers a wide range of international concerts featuring entertainers from different countries – the Philip Kirkorov Concert, Valeriy Meladze Concert, the Paris Opera Ballet Gala, Viennese Orchestra, Salaam Dubai 2014, Mix Tape Rewind show, Indian Idol Junior & Comedy show, Swaralaya – Symphony of Strings and The Weight Loss Show.
January 6 – February 2, Al Rigga Street
The Mexican Circus gives eager audiences the opportunity to witness this world famous circus with its special acts and breath-taking shows. Some of the riveting acts that are being presented in the ring are the Globe of Death, Wheel of Death, the Cyclone, as well as performing bears, clowns and jugglers. The action-packed performances are full of thrilling stunts, animal shows and risky maneuvers, done by talented performers with years of dedicated training.
The Global Village is a true discovery of nations with pavilions from countries around the world featuring native cuisines, dance forms, costumes, handicrafts, and much more. True to the DSF theme, “One World, One Family, One Festival”, the Global Village is the melting pot of cultures, flavours, colours, rhythms and the joy that humanity celebrates in its existence. It brings together people from several countries as they showcase their uniqueness, intermingling with one another as citizens of the world.
Sports enthusiasts visiting Dubai during DSF will be spoilt for choice by a wide array of sporting events that will take place during this period including the Dubai World Cup Carnival 2014, the Al Marmoum Camel Racing Season, the Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon 2014, the Omega Dubai Desert Classics, the UAE International Basketball Championship, the Dubai Show Jumping Championships 2014, Dubai Polo Gold Cup Series 2014, the Sri Lanka vs Pakistan 2013 Cricket Series, the GAC (Table Tennis) World Tour Grand Finals, Dunlop 24Hrs and the American Wrestling Show.
Al Shindagha Heritage Area
The rich Emirati heritage will take pride of place during DSF 2014. A wide spread of heritage and cultural activities will be held in Heritage and Diving Village, traditional folklore groups, traditional weddings diving shows, traditional games and bands, a traditional souk, traditional food, marine-related handicrafts, a falconry show and a camel caravan.
The DSF Journalism Award was established to honour the efforts of local and regional journalists in promoting Dubai Shopping Festival. With innovative categories and a respected jury, the Awards get bigger every year, attracting the participation of hundreds of journalists. Entries are judged on an evaluation criteria based on the style of writing, quality of research and content, presentation, creativity in news angle and the overall impact of the story.
The DSF Photography Award was instituted along with the Journalism Award to honour press photographers for their creativity in capturing the essence of DSF through images. The DSF Photography Award is an extension of the Journalism Award and has been well received since inception. This award acknowledges the important role played by photography and the great dedication of local press photographers to their noble profession.