DSF
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Dubai: There’s nothing in the world quite like shopping in Dubai. A city that is known for having some of the largest shopping malls in the world and the best fashion collections. And what better time to shop than during the final week of the Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF).

The 26th year of DSF kicked off on December 17, 2021 with an action-packed opening weekend of live music, markets, and family entertainment. We experienced plenty of concerts from the likes of Amr Diab, to Clean Bandit and even Hussain al Jasimi. There were regular firework shows every weekend, drone shows, food deals and incredible pop up events. It was truly a season to remember.

And now, it’s hard to believe that the 26th edition of 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 great discounts during the last few days of the shopping event, leading up to the DSF Final Sale taking place on the weekend.

What is the DSF Final Sale?

DSF
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The yearly retail celebration’s last weekend will host the biggest shopping event yet as part of the DSF Final Sale with savings of 25 per cent to 90 per cent on the latest fashion looks, homeware products, children’s toys and much more.

This edition of DSF promises 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.

When is the final sale?

Stock Dubai shopping, shoppers, economy DSF
Shoppers at The Mirdif City Center during the DSF. Image Credit: Antonin Kélian Kallouche/Gulf News

From January 28 to 30, 2021, the mega sale will see the participation of 300 brands cutting prices on a huge range of items at 1,000 stores across the city’s diverse mix of malls and shopping centres.

What are some brands that are participating?

Participating brands include Abercrombie & Fitch, American Eagle Outfitters, Balmain, Banana Republic, Carolina Herrera, Chanel, Diesel, Ermenegildo Zenga, Hollister Co, HomeBox, Interiors, Kenzo, La Senza plus Reebok, River Island, Scotch & Soda, Wrangler and The Face Shop.

Can I shop DSF online?

There is no official online portal for DSF, but many of the stores that have online shopping will also be displaying their sales on their websites. So you could  shop DSF online, however you probably won't have as much access to products as you would inside of a mall. 

Deal of the day:

Each day until January 27, shoppers can celebrate with an exciting 24-hour deal at a new store with offers on a wide range of items while stocks last. Each mega deal will be revealed the day before it goes live, so eager shoppers can follow the posts on the DSF website and social channels to be in the know and make the most out of the exclusive offers.

The deal of the day for Monday January 25:

Shoppers can give their apartment or villa a New Year makeover with Homebox’s mega sale that is slashing prices from between 25 and 90 per cent on a wide range of furniture, accessories and essential home furnishings. Available at Homebox stores in Ibn Battuta Mall and Oasis Mall.

The deal of the day for Tuesday January 25:

Brand Bazaar has drastically reduced prices for this epic 24-hour sale. For one day only, everything at the brand’s Ibn Battuta Mall and Al Ghurair Centre stores will be priced at just Dh99 or below, meaning customers can give their entire wardrobe a major budget-friendly revamp. The offer is only available while stocks last.

What are the shoppers saying?

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Visitors at Market Outside the Box(MOTB) presented by DSF at Burj Park in Dubai. Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/ Gulf News

“I felt like I could truly appreciate this year’s DSF more than ever before,” said Nadia Mubarak, a Sharjah resident to Gulf News. “After the year we had, I feel I am seeing the events, concerts and fireworks shows in a new light and with more appreciative eyes. I wouldn't say it is completely different from last year. The deals and the raffles and the shows are there every year, but I felt like I definitely appreciated the festiva all the more this year.”

Homewear is a major draw for shoppers during DSF. It’s a fantastic chance for them to improve their space for less. Amira Geadah based in Dubai. "I am here mainly to buy furniture. I work as an interior designer, so many of my clients, who are furnishing their homes, are ready to go shopping this weekend. So my go-to’s will be Crate and Barrel, Home Centre, Chattels and More as well as Maison Du Monde.”

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Haia Majfich, a Dubai resident said her focus is basics. “You can never have too many basics in your closet. White T-shirts, button down shirts, classic jeans and even undergarments. The essentials are what build your closet.” Haia plans to shop at Mirdif City Centre for the DSF Final Sale. “It’s close to my house, so I can head there early.”

Nada Mansour, a Jordanian shopper visiting Dubai on Holiday is more interested in buying party dresses: "It’s currently the wedding season in Jordan and although not many are celebrating with big events, we are still attending a few smaller parties here and there. So I am personally looking for tops to buy for party occasions. Something that I can wear for an engagement party or a wedding”

Christian D’Souza based in Dubai is just about to had a baby and is focusing on "I am on the hunt for a crib for my baby. I am honestly happy to see all of the sales going on at the baby stores. Babyshop is my go to at the moment, since the sales there are honestly the best." Chrsitian will be shopping at Mall of the Emirates. “They have a huge selection of affordable baby things.”

Mohammed Awadallah just picked up Golf as a hobby and is on the hunt for the perfect left handed golf set. “Golf clubs are so expensive, so I wanted to wait until the final sale weekend to look for the perfect set,” he said to Gulf News. “I will be looking into all of the sports shops.”

Things to know before you go to the DSF Final 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.

Be honest with 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.

How else can you celebrate the final DSF weekend?

DSF isn't just about shopping. There are events, markets shows and amazing foodie deals. Here are six things you shouldn't miss this final week of DSF.

How to shop safely during the COVID-19 pandemic

- Everyone has to wear a mask or face a Dh1,000 fine.

- Malls and shopping centres should have 24-hour sterilisation operations.

- Shoppers are encouraged to use smart and electronic payment methods and avoid the use of cash.

-Shoppers should also practise social distancing of two to three metres. 

Last chance to:

Visit the The Dubai Shopping Festival Market

Al Khawaneej Market DSF
Image Credit: Instagram.com/dsfmarkets

The Al Khawaneej’s super Enchanted Garden, inspired by Alice in Wonderland, continues with another weekend filled with adventure, fun, food and more. Market opening times are Sunday to Wednesday, 6pm to 12am and Thursday to Saturday, 4pm to 2am.

See the DSF fireworks

DSF Fireworks
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On Saturday, January 30, which is the final day of the 26th edition of DSF, there will be an extra special closing weekend firework display at four different destinations in Dubai including The Pointe at 8pm, Al Seef at 8.30pm, Dubai Festival City Mall at 9pm and La Mer at 9.30pm.

See the drone show

Last chance to catch the Drone shows at The Beach opposite JBR, Bluewaters and the Sheraton Jumeirah Beach Resort which take place twice a day at 7pm and at 9.30pm. A swarm of 300 drones lift off each night until Saturday January 30, for performances filled with light and sound. Taking place above The Beach opposite JBR, Bluewaters and the Sheraton Jumeirah Beach Resort, the nightly DSF Drone Light Show is the longest consecutively held show of its kind in the Middle East, Europe and Africa.

Win at the DSF Raffle draws

Up until January 30, shoppers still have a chance to participate in the DSF raffles. One of the best parts about the DSF is all of the prizes you can win. This year, the 26th edition of the retail celebration, features amazing raffles with incredible prizes worth millions of dirhams. Whether you want to win a car, gold or even up to Dh100,000 in cash, make sure you grab a raffle ticket when you purchase enough from certain places.

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To take part in the YaSalamYaDubai Challenge

Tourists and residents can take part in the YaSalamYaDubai dance challenge with voucher rewards to be won, for the best videos uploaded. The social media dance contest was created to reflect the spirit of Dubai and to kick-start a positive and mood-enhancing movement. This is your last chance to tag #yasalamyadubaion your on TikTok using @discoverdubai, or to any other social media platform of choice using the hashtags #YaSalamYaDubai, #MyDSF and #MyDubai stands a chance to win.

Check out Shoetopia

DSF
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Shoetopia brings together industry experts, influencers and footwear fans to celebrate the latest designer shoe releases, future trends and more. Shoppers can discover exclusive shoe collections belonging to some of the most famous and fashionable footwear experts and style stars, with iconic and hard to find shoes on display, while daily Shoetopia Live events will see industry leaders and fashion icons discuss future trends, sustainability and all things shoe style related.

Who organises DSF?

The Dubai Shopping Festival is organised by the Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment (DFRE). They are responsible for developing Dubai’s retail and festival sectors and supporting the positioning of Dubai as a world-class tourism destination with year-round family entertainment, shopping and events.

The main organiser of everything Dubai, is the city’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing. With the ultimate vision of positioning Dubai as the world’s leading tourism destination and commercial hub, Dubai Tourism’s mission is to increase the awareness of Dubai among global audiences and to attract tourists and inward investment into the emirate. Dubai Tourism is the principal authority for the planning, supervision, development and marketing of Dubai’s tourism sector.

It markets and promotes the Emirate’s commerce sector and is responsible for the licensing and classification of all tourism services, including hotels, tour operators and travel agents. Brands and departments within the Dubai Tourism portfolio include Dubai Business Events, Dubai Calendar, and Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment.