Shoppers abound to take advantage of the sales promotions during the Dubai Shopping Festival. Image Credit: Hadrian Hernandez/Gulf News archive

American actress Bo Derek famously once said, "Whoever said money can't buy happiness simply didn't know where to shop."

The people at the Dubai Shopping Festival won't disagree.

The streets of Dubai come alive today to play host to visitors from all over the world for the month-long dazzling shopping festival.

It's 32 days of carnivals, music concerts, games, cultural events, fireworks, raffles, competitions, and, of course, endless shopping. The only thing you may be missing is someone to carry your bags.

Retailers at shops and malls across Dubai are pulling out all stops in a bid to attract shoppers offering heavy discounts and bargains on a wide range of products across categories.

The fun stretches from Deira to Dubai Marina and promises something for everyone.

tabloid! looks at what's on where throughout the city during DSF 2011.

Off with a bang

Fireworks start things tonight at 8.30pm. The displays will take place simultaneously at Dubai Creek Park, the area opposite the Heritage Village in Shandagha, Global Village, and the Dubai Outlet Mall.

  • Top tip: The best spot to see the display in all its glory is by the dhow boats on Al Seef Street. Aim to arrive at 8pm.

Carnival comes to town

The carnival processions add colour to even the dullest shopping experience. Expect around 150 performers including jugglers, stilt walkers, unicyclists and percussionists at venues such as The Walk, JBR, Al Seef Street and Al Rigga Road.

  • Top tip: Look out for times and location of the Big Carnival each weekend that has all the performers in one place.

Pick up a bargain

Slated to be the best shopping offers of any DSF edition yet, the options will include added value promotions, sales and discounts reaching up to 80 per cent on international brands. With more than 6,000 retail outlets and 40 shopping malls participating, the DSF promotions will come thick and fast.

  • Top tip: Don't be afraid to ask shop staff when new promotions will start. They have a schedule and are often happy to let you know.

Personal shopper

Launched just in time for the Dubai Shopping Festival, guests at The Address Dubai Mall can tune in to the latest fashion trends effortlessly with the assistance of the personal fashion advisor. A tailor-made menu of services has been exclusively designed for men and women staying at the hotel.

Fingers crossed

An unfailing attraction of every DSF edition is for the raffle enthusiasts out there. Here are a few not to miss:

Lexus Mega Raffle — the chance to win a brand new Lexus LX 570 luxury sedan and Dh100,000 when you buy a raffle coupon for Dh200.

Nissan Mega Raffle — gives shoppers the chance to win a brand new Nissan every day. To celebrate the 16th edition, a Nissan SUV will be given away daily in addition to three sedans at the weekend.

Gold Raffle — The Dubai Gold and Jewellery Group is back this DSF with a gold promotion giving away prizes worth millions. Every gold shopper has the chance to take home gold and cash prizes.

Skywards Dubai International Jazz Festival

Jools Holland, Macy Gray, Lifehouse, Train, Joshua Radin, Mica Paris and Jesse J will perform alongside local and regional jazz artists. From February 16-18 at Dubai Media City the event, courtesy of Chillout Productions, is always a favourite during DSF.

Top tip: Get in the swing of things and head to World of Jazz, a prelude to the main event, at The Walk in JBR until January 28. Artists performing this year include some of the best-known names on the jazz scene today.

Gulf Bike Week

They say people have more fun on two wheels than four. The thousands of bike fans who will attend this year's event at Dubai Festival City, would agree.

Bikers from all over the region are expected to descend on the city to swap biking experiences, watch freestyle bike demonstrations, stunt shows and more.


Some of the best known stars take the stage during this DSF. Amy Winehouse (Feb 11), Pharrell Williams and N.E.R.D (Feb 10), Tamer Hosny (Feb 3), Faris Karam and Shireen Abdul Wahhab (Jan 28), Rabeh Saker (Feb 10), Wael Kfoury and Ellisa (Feb 11), Fadel Shaker and Haifa Wehbe (Feb 18), and Indian singers K.K. and Sunidhi Chauhan (Jan 28) are some of the acts performing during the festival.

  • Top tip: Get you tickets early at boxofficeme.com.

Global Village

There's no denying the shoppers funfair (in more ways than one) is the favourite of many. It has witnessed many changes over the past few years and this year is no exception, with new rides and stores.

  • Top tip: With 31 pavilions for shopping and 6,000 cultural shows and performances, it gets busy. Get there for opening at 4pm (on a weekday) if you fancy an hour of hassle-free browsing.


The Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF) is organised by the Dubai Events and Promotions Establishment. For more information, visit mydsf.ae