Dubai: Shopping Festival will keep the momentum rolling despite economic slowdown.

Dubai With the Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF) starting today, organisers and analysts are wondering what the outcome will be like in terms of consumer spending and attendance.

Despite the economic slowdown, organisers are still optimistic that retail sales will pick up as more is being spent on marketing and advertising.

Majid Saif Al Ghurair, the new chairman of the Dubai Shopping Malls Group and the CEO of Al Ghurair Group, admits that market confidence has declined, and people are generally more cautious about spending.

He believes retail sales will be affected by the current economic turmoil, however, he is determined to weather the storm.

"We cannot stand still and let the impact hit us," he said.

He says a lot of promotional and marketing efforts are being carried out to attract more buyers.

His philosophy is that no matter how bad the economic situation may be, "people are always looking for good offers," says Al Ghurair.

He believes the DSF will result in more tourists visiting Dubai, which will help revive the economy.

Eisa Adam, general manager of BurJuman and a board member of the Dubai Shopping festival, said he is excited about the event.

"We are working very hard to try and maintain last year's sales," he said.

Like Al Ghurair, Adam is quite confident that it's an achievable target as more advertising and PR efforts are bound to boost sales.

"We have lots of tie-ups with hotels and airlines," said Adam. He added this is the time for retailers to go that extra mile by offering greater discounts.

However, a retail analyst, who requested anonymity, said greater discounts is not a long-term solution. Retailers should rely on the company's business model to win market share, he said.

The DSF runs from January 15 to February 15.