The 25th edition of the Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF) kicks off on December 26, bringing 38 days of live entertainment, headline concerts, retail therapy and family entertainment. Gulf News tabloid! puts together the ultimate guide to all the DSF events to make a note of in your diaries.
Cheb Khaled, Sherine Abdel Wahab and Emirati singing sensation Hussain Al Jassmi will perform on DSF launch day at Burj Park, Downtown Dubai on December 26, while British pop star and former One Direction member Liam Payne and singer-songwriter Jorja Smith will wow audiences on December 27. Admission to the event is free, and fans need to register on DubaiCalendar.com, Platinumlist.net or via the Dubai Calendar app.
Entrance is on a first come first served basis. Ticket holders will receive a QR code by email which will be scanned upon arrival and exchanged for a wristband.
Other live performances
Music fans who miss out on the DSF opening concerts can enjoy performances by other global superstars during the festival.
Umm Kulthum hologram concert: Fans of late Egyptian singer Umm Kulthum can head to Dubai Opera to see her in a hologram concert, accompanied by a live orchestra of 20 musicians and a performance by Sana’a Nabil, the granddaughter of Umm Kulthum. The concert will take place on December 26 and 27, with tickets starting from Dh195.
Rahat Fateh Ali Khan: The Coca-Cola Arena in City Walk will also host the Pakistani Sufi singer Rahat Ali Khan on December 27, with tickets starting from Dh125.
Nassif Zeytoun Live: The Syrian singer will perform on New Year’s Eve at Dubai Opera’s gala dinner. The evening will include an alfresco dinner, dancing and live entertainment. Tickets to the dinner start at Dh1,250 and are available in tables of four, six, eight and 10, including a VIP lounge option. Guests must be over 12 years to attend.
December Avenue and Silent Sanctuary: 2020 gets off to an exciting start for Filipino music fans in Dubai, as the two rock bands perform at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Stadium. On January 10, viral sensations December Avenue will entertain the crowd with popular tracks such as ‘Time to Go’ and ‘City Lights’ while Silent Sanctuary serve up unique classic rock tunes from their five successful albums. The headline acts will be joined by special guests Flight Scientist and Third Party. Tickets start at Dh125.
Sonu Nigam Live: The Bollywood singer is set to rock the Dubai World Trade Centre Arena on January 10. Tickets start at Dh95.
Amr Diab Live: Egyptian singing sensation Amr Diab is returning to Dubai this January 24 to perform chart-topping songs from his prolific career. Best known for hits including ‘Nour El Ain’ and ‘Ana 3ayesh’, Diab has won seven World Music Awards and many other accolades since his debut in 1983. At Dubai Media City Amphitheatre. Tickets starting at Dh295.
Prateek Kuhad: Delhi-based singer and songwriter Prateek Kuhad is the latest name to appear on The Rotunda’s action-packed entertainment calendar for 2020. On January 24, the indie rock artist will perform from his repertoire of Hindi and English hits, including ‘cold/mess’ and ‘Tum Jab Paas’.
Kuhad gained international fame following the release of his 2015 debut album ‘In Tokens and Charms’, which won him an MTV Europe Music Award, Radio City Freedom Award and even an honour from iTunes. Tickets start at Dh150.
Samvel Gasparyan: The Fridge Concert Series is back with the launch of Season 31. Starting the session with new melodies is Armenian-born jazz pianist and composer Samvel Gasparyan. An accomplished performer, Gasparyan has won awards, worked on 11 studio albums and toured 40 countries. Season 31 of The Fridge Concert series will feature numerous artists and take place every Monday from January 20 to February 10. Tickets start at Dh30.
The staple fireworks will light up the skies on opening day at 9pm. To catch the action, head to The Beach, La Mer, Al Seef, Dubai Festival City Mall and Dubai Creek. The fireworks displays will continue at specific locations across Dubai throughout the festival.
Kicking off the 25th edition of DSF, Majid Al Futtaim will launch a 12-hour super sale in partnership with the Dubai Festival & Retail Establishment, and in line with the Dubai Retail Calendar, at Mall of the Emirates and City Centres Deira, Mirdif, Me’aisem, Al Shindagha and My City Centre Al Barsha.
From noon until midnight on December 26, participating retailers at the malls will offer discounts of up to 90 per cent on fashion, jewellery, homeware, electronics and more. Shoppers can also win a grand prize of Dh50,000. Complimentary parking for shoppers during the 12-hour sale.
DSF Weekend Surprises
Starting December 27, all Majid Al Futtaim Shopping Malls in Dubai will offer its customers discount on a range of products during the DSF Weekend Surprise on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. One retailer will offer a discount that will be announced 24 hours before the weekend.
A series of pop-up markets will appear across the city for the opening weekend. Al Seef Market will be launching on December 26 from 3pm to midnight, packed with shopping opportunities, dining, art and cultural entertainment from around the world, as well as the chance to enter the draw to win one of 25 Dh1,000 Meraas gift cards on spends of Dh100, which will be announced daily at the main raffle stage.
Last Exit Al Khawaneeji Market will officially open on December 26 as well, operating from 6pm until midnight, where visitors will be able to enjoy a plethora of attractions including a custom ice rink, a snowman building zone and a dedicated snow fight pit.
The market will also host a live calligraphy artist for the first 10 days of the event, so shoppers can see the art come to life.
Al Rigga Market is kicking off on December 26 from 4pm to 10pm, which will be transformed to the original DSF Market 25 years ago; bringing everyone in Dubai a touch of nostalgia.
From African dancing, flash mobs and talent contests, there will something for everyone to enjoy.
Finally, the Hatta Market located in the heart of Hatta will officially open on December 26, starting at 4pm and offering guests a traditional outdoor souq experience with cultural games and experiences. There will also be an outdoor cinema showcasing classic blockbusters for the whole family to enjoy.
Market Out of the Box
Showcasing the best from emerging local and international designers, Market Outside The Box at Burj Park is a shopping experience that goes beyond the traditional walls of a mall.
The open-air extravaganza is back from January 16 to February 1, linking talented brands with savvy shoppers during the city’s most famous retail season, making it the go-to destination for artisanal buys.
The event will feature a packed line-up of live entertainment with music, drama and dance. No market experience is complete without good food, and Market OTB is home to a host of food trucks as well as some of Dubai’s most popular home-grown eateries.
The Dubai Mall Indoor Street Fest
Delve into indoor entertainment with award-winning street performers from 3pm to 10.30pm daily during the 10-day event, kicking off on January 9. Watch visual spectacles inspired by dance, circus, art and comedy theatre, featuring acts from Spain, France, USA, Argentina and Korea.
A fan of acrobatics? Witness the Mano A Mano duo take on daring feats at the mall’s outdoor promenade. Turn up the excitement with the Magic Breakers’ dance moves and have a hearty laugh as Diego Spano charms crowds with his portrayal of Charlie Chaplin. Meanwhile, the mime and juggling artist PPIK PPIK and marionette Mr Bones will keep the children in awe all day long.
Al Marmoum Desert Experience
The new Al Marmoom Bedouin Experience, operated by Platinum Heritage, is offering visitors a unique glimpse into the life of an Emirati Bedouin, with guests able to enjoy an immersive day out in the desert. The tour marks the first experience to be introduced as part of the new ‘Bedouin Collection’ on the roster of desert excursions currently offered by Platinum Heritage.
Offering a cultural experience for all the family, the excursion provides an educational and immersive introduction to the Bedouin way of life. Guests will learn to saddle, ride and look after their own camel as they join a Bedouin caravan, travelling through the desert before they arrive at the camp. In addition to enjoying the traditional food and live cooking, local tour guides, there is storytelling hour and falconry display.
Powered by Dubai Customs, the free-to-visit exhibition features an array of handwoven carpets and modern rugs made by talented craftsmen from around the world. Explore the rare and unique pieces from January 5 to 16 February at Mina Rashid Marina, open Saturdays to Thursdays from 10am to 10pm, and on Fridays from 2pm to 10pm.
Immerse yourself in brick-tastic fun at the region’s first Lego Festival. Head to Festival City Mall, where more than one million bricks will take over the floor this DSF.
Both children and adults can show off their skills at 11 zones across the mall. Get yourself an RFID wristband for Dh29.99 to gain entry to the festival. Before you leave, step outdoors to Festival Bay to witness the Lego Ninjago heroes come alive in a 3D adventure with water and laser at the first globally branded Imagine show for free. From January 8 To March 14.