Bargain hunters comb through the racks at Forever 21. Image Credit: Cleofe Maceda/ Gulf News

Dubai: The UAE’s retail bonanza, Dubai Shopping Festival, has announced it will return later this year.

The annual event will be on its 24th edition and will run for 30 days from December 26 to January 26, 2019, organisers have confirmed.

A regular fixture of the Dubai retail calendar, the latest edition of DSF promises to be more exciting than ever.

There will be retail sales, deals and discounts from top global brands, and there will be mega prizes up for grabs, from luxury cars, gold and cash.

Aside from opportunities to save money and win prizes, DSF organisers have also lined up activities to up the ante in entertainment during the month-long festival, further cementing the event as a global attraction.

Residents and tourists can expect to enjoy some fireworks shows and family-oriented activities in malls and other venues that are going to be free of charge.

DSF has been regarded as a key driver of consumption in the UAE. Since it started in February 16, 1996, consumer spending during the retail event has been on the rise.

Studies have shown that people tend to swipe their cards or open their wallets more during the shopping festival.

"As Dubai gears up to host yet another successful edition of Dubai Shopping Festival, we are focused on creating a vibrant ambience for visitors to further enhance the emirate’s position as a leading tourism destination that offers unforgettable and rewarding shopping experiences," said Ahmed Al Khaja, CEO of Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment (DFRE).

The Dubai Shopping Festival is a regular fixture in the UAE's retail calendar.

"With DSF being a key pillar of Dubai’s retail sector, we are keen in keeping up the momentum, provided by the previous edition, to help boost business in Dubai during this period," added Al Khaja. 

Data from Network International showed that card spending volumes during DSF increased by 6.75 per cent in 2018 compared to 2017.

And in the previous years since 2014, non-cash expenditures through credit, debit, prepaid and other types of  cards during DSF have been on an uptrend, rising by 10.21 per cent in 2015, 5.39 per cent in 2016 and 10.76 per cent in 2017.