- Yes some items are 90 per cent off but most things are 40 to 70 per cent off
- The malls start to get so crowded from 1pm onwards
- Park in the higher level parkings (most lower levels are already full)
- Plan your purchases ahead of time
- Don't immediately be seduced by the discount
Dubai: It’s difficult to believe that the 25th edition of Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF) is almost over! To close the annual event off with the bang, retailers all over the city are offering shoppers a final chance to shop some good discounts during the DSF Final Sale. Hundreds of brands are taking part this weekend, with a further sale up to 90 per cent off from Thursday 30 January through to Saturday 1 February. Ok, honestly speaking, the 90 per cent off tag was not applicable on a lot of things in the malls. Most of the items were more in the 40 to 70 per cent off range. Anyways... let's tackle this DSF Final Sal sale.
Going to the Final Sale is a big deal, and I won't lie to you, can sometimes be a bit of a hassle. Shops are busy, parkings get filled up quick and you can't just aimlessly wander around. You need a plan.
I am here to help you with this plan. To tell you exactly what is on sale and how you can prepare for the final sale weekend.
What is the DSF Final Sale?
This edition of DSF has seen some great promotions from every kind of brand – womenswear, menswear, lifestyle and home, cosmetics and beauty, accessories and more. The DSF Final Sale Weekend is the last opportunity to pick up those must have items, sought after trinkets and major investment pieces for a lower price.
Which malls are participating is the DSF Final Sale?
-Emaar Malls (The Dubai Mall, Dubai Marina Mall)
-Majid Al Futtaim Properties (Mall of the Emirates, City Centre)
-Al Futtaim Group (Dubai Festival City)
-Nakheel Malls (Ibn Battuta Mall, Dragon Mart 1, Dragon Mart 2)
-Al Zarooni Group (Mercato)
What it's like shopping at Mall of the Emirates
I arrived to the Mall of the Emirates at around 9.45am. There were plenty of parking spaces, but also plenty of cars already here (the early birds). I wanted to scope the area out and see what each shop was offering in terms of discount and how large the sale area in the store was.
First of all, parking is free, for as long as you want. Because it's a special DSF day, you don't have to worry about paying for parking. It's a ticketless exit.
This year, I noticed the best place to buy electronics was Carrefour. They had up to 50 per cent off on almost all of their electronics. Most of the time electronics shops don't really discount their items. They usually give you a chance to win something, but not exactly a sale. But Carrefour, as a third party store, can in fact discount whatever they like, so there's a great discount on electronics there.
Luckily, some stores were open before 10am, which was a massive plus. They were very quiet and it was easy to get shop assistants to help with my size and any questions I had.
Other retailers offering discounts are Sharaf DG, Jumbo and Emax.
Mall of the Emirates had some good items on sale. Some high end designer stores like Coach, Michael Korrs and Salvatore Ferragamo participated in the event, however most other high end stores did not. Many affordable fast fashion brands took part. Massimo Dutti, Zara, American Eagle, Mango and Forever 21 were among the most crowded and popular stores.
The most common discount bracket is between 30 per cent to 50 per cent. Some stores are up to 75 per cent and there were the odd 90 per cent discount around, but honestly less frequent.
For some reason, eyewear stood out as some of the best deals to me. Many spots had a buy one get one offer, while plenty of other eyeglasses stores were offering great discounts up to 60 per cent on glasses. Ok granted, they were mostly on sunglasses, but still a pretty good deal.
Honestly, this may just be the perfect time to buy your home furnishing. Home Center, Crate and Barrel and Chattels & More had some of the best discounts there.
Shopping in Dubai Mall for DSF
The thing about Dubai Mall, is that it is both a shopping destination and a lifestyle destination. You go there to eat, shop, play, watch movies and generally, there's a lot to do and see, which can actually be a hindrance when you just want to shop. It gets very crowded, so despite the great layout of the mall, it can sometimes be very crowded due to its popularity as a lifestyle destination.
Additionally, sometimes getting in and out of the parking can prove to be really difficult.
Anyways, you still have to admit that Dubai Mall is a great place for more high end shopping. If you wanted mid-range designer items like Dianne Von Furstenberg or Kenzo, you are more likely to get lucky with discounts in Dubai Mall. Level Shoes is also on sale, with hundreds of high end brands discounted for the special weekend.
Electronics were not exactly the focus of this sale, but if you looked around enough, you would definitely be able to snatch a deal. Dubai Mall doesn't have a place like Carrefour to sell electronics, so maybe go elsewhere if that is purely your focus.
Dubai has fantastic deals on homewear, specifically if you are looking for shops that you usually aren't so prevalent in other places. Stores like West Elm and Pottery Barn for example. Their sales aren't too discounted, but at 30 per cent off, it's better
Extra things to note:
- Don't waste your time looking for a parking in lower levels. Go straight to P9 or higher
-Take a taxi or metro if you can, avoiding the parking area will save you a lot of headache
-Work your way from the bottom floors upwards
-Don't come here if you are looking for groceries or supermarket goods
What are the shoppers saying?
Mona Helmy, Egyptian shopper based out of Dubai: "I am here mainly to buy furniture. I have my eye on a specific serving cart from Crate and Barrel that I am hoping will be discounted! I also won Dh2,500 worth of makeup from Charlotte Tilbury just now, so DSF has been amazing this year."
Maha Mustafa, Jordanian shopper visiting Dubai on Holiday: "I am looking for tops to buy for party occasions. Something that I can wear for an engagement party or a wedding. These things aren't always easy to find back home, so I am really digging for something good."
Casey Williams, a South African shopper living in Dubai: "I am on the hunt for a crib for my baby. I am honestly happy to see all of the sales going on at baby stores. Babyshop is my go to at the moment, since the sales there are honestly the best."
Quick tips on shopping at malls:
-Almost 80 per cent of the stores are participating in the sales. The only thing is, they usually have just one small section of their store on sale and many of the items are last season. Some stores are actually offering a flat 30 to 40 to 50 per cent off.
Scroll down or click here to access the gallery to see what exactly each shop are offering.
- Don't worry about paying for parking, it is free on Thursday as well as Friday and Saturday. -Start in the more popular fast fashion stores, to get them out of the way sooner, then move on to the more high end shops, if that is what you need, as they tend to be quieter. Finish with furniture, tech and save groceries for last.
Things to know before you go to the Super Sale
Evaluate your closet and home
You don’t want to buy something just because it’s on sale. Take your time and really look at your closet, look around your home to see what is missing and what you really need. Then make a list of exactly what your shopping requirements are and try not to get distracted. If you are serious about shopping, then browse online to see what kind of products you want.
Make smart investments. Consider the gaps in your life (wardrobe, electronics and homeware) that need filling.
Get there in the morning
Arrive early. If you want to avoid being stuck in the mall parking, standing in line at the changing rooms or the cashier, then arrive by 9am, have breakfast at the mall and start tackling the shops. Those who get there early will be able to shop in peace and find a parking spot easily.
Dress the part
It is one of the most crowded shopping weekends of the year, so wear comfortable clothes and shoes to be able to move as much as you can without feeling discomfort.
Plan your route
There are over 500 brands taking part in this edition of 3DSS including many malls in Dubai. It is important to work your way through the different malls. Start with the furthest from your house and move closer and closer.
While you are shopping
Always try things on
As tempting as it is to just leave the store with your purchase without lining up at the fitting room, resist the urge. Knowing how things look on will save a lot of headache, if the item does not fit well. If you can't line up for ages, instead just make sure you wear something light that you can throw clothes on easily. I personally tried things on in the middle of the store, by wearing them on top of the clothes I was wearing.
Pick up whatever you like and edit later
When I shop, I grab everything that I like, even if I just half like it and I try it on. In the changing room is where I edit down my choices to see what is really worth it. You don't want to have buyers remorse.
Honestly tell yourself: No matter how much an item is discounted, only buy what you need, not because something is on sale.
Nothing is a bargain if it is simply going to hang in the back of your closet, unworn. Many people only wear 25 per cent of their closet, so make sure for your sake and for the sake of the environment that you buy something that you will really wear.
Check the return policy
Clearance purchases are often a great deal, but make sure you read about the return and refund. Finding an affordable top for Dh25 is great, but not if you can’t return it if it doesn’t fit. Always ask about the sale item return policy.
Remember: You don’t have to spend a lot of money to look great and to get what you need. Be smart about your purchases.
Make the most of the mall services
Dubai’s malls offer a host of services such as free Wi-Fi and valet services, mobile charging stations and EZ Taxis, at a cost, to make the experience easy. There’s also the complimentary 'Shop and Drop' service at The Dubai Mall and 'Shop Hands Free' at Mall of the Emirates and City Centre Mirdif.
Tips from a pro shopper
By Karishma H. Nandkeolyar, Web News Editor
You want it, you bought it. If there is a lesson to learn from Dubai it's this: how to throw a superlative-filled sale weekend.
We headed to the crowded slopes of Mall of the Emirates this morning, to share on-the-ground lessons to help you get the best out of your money and minutes.
1. Try the buddy system: for ultimate efficiency, go with someone with similar goals. This way you can save on the queuing time. When you've got most of your stuff sorted, one can stand in the queue while the other has a final scour. Wondering who to take: well it's stuff like this that separates the real friends from the flakes, no?
2. Go hands-free. Try all storage solutions a mall may offer. At mall of the Emirate, bags are stored free of charge until you are ready to leave. At which point, the purchases will be brought to your car, cab, any other mode of transport of your choosing. For a Dh30 fee, you can get it delivered home, anywhere in the Emirate!
3. Is your phone running out of power? Don't freak out. Just head to the information desk- I've been walking about with a borrowed power bank - plus cable- for ages (another free service here). Just bear in mind, you'll need to let them keep your Emirates ID as you stroll. (They do want it back, I'm afraid.)
4. Ask, ask, ask. About the sections on sale- even if they don't have a gigantic sign. And be careful, there's a lot of not-on-offer stuff creeping among the deals.
5. Wear the comfiest shoes you can find. This is nothing if not a race, to win you need the best equipment.
How else can you celebrate the final DSF weekend?
It’s not just the shopping malls that will be part of the DSF Final Sale, as a new flash sale will also run at Swyp Market Outside The Box (MOTB) at Burj Park, Downtown Dubai on the same weekend (30 January to 1 February). For the first time ever, more than 80 vendors that were carefully selected to create a unique, al fresco, festival market shopping experience will reduce their prices on some real treasures.
The DSF Final Weekend concerts
A blockbuster weekend of concerts has been announced to celebrate the closing weekend of the 25th edition of the Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF). On Thursday 30 January, Rashed Al Majid and Majid Al Mohandis will perform, while Friday 31 January will see international musical superstar John Legend perform live.
The performances on both nights will set the Coca-Cola Arena alight, with tickets for each concert available from Dh195 on the Dubai Calendar App and Coca-Cola Arena website coca-cola-arena.com.
Musical sensation Rashed Al Majid, one of the most famous singers in the Middle East, received rave reviews from fans after launching a new song created in celebration of the 25th edition of Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF). Concertgoers will love to hear Dubai Kawkab Aakhar, which translates to ‘Dubai is another planet’, along with all his classic favourites from the 40 albums he has produced throughout his career. On the same night, Majid Al Mohandis, the much-loved Iraqi singer and composer will wow fans with his talent, grace and style. Earning titles including the Engineer of the Arabic Song and the Voice of a Diamond, the concert is sure to be full of memorable moments.
John Legend Live in Dubai for the DSF Closing Celebrations is expected to be another sell-out gig. One of only 15 people in the world to win an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar and a Tony Award, known as the EGOT, John Legend has been wowing fans with his songs, style, charisma and charm for over a decade. With six studio albums to his name, Legend’s hits include chart-toppers Ordinary People, Used to Love You and All of Me, a Billboard Hot 100 number-one, and he has collaborated with the likes of Kanye West, Alicia Keys, Jay-Z and Lauryn Hill. In 2015, he won the Academy Award for Best Original Song and a Golden Globe Award for co-writing Glory, from the film Selma.
Market Outside the Box
This is the last weekend you can head to Burj Park for an outdoor and ‘outside the box’ shopping experience. The free-to-enter market includes a range of activities for the whole family to participate in such as arts and crafts workshops, cap customisation, jewellery making, shoe art sessions and of course… shopping!
The market features emerging designers and has given them a platform to showcase and sell their products. Market OTB caters to a large customer base during Dubai’s famous retail season, showcasing independent local labels in addition to well-known names. Visitors and residents can shop one of a kind jewellery designs and accessories, home decor and fashion for all.
Location: Burj Park, Downtown Dubai
Parking: P2 of Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Boulevard, or park at Dubai Mall and walk across
Timings: This weekend from 10am to 10pm