Dubai: The 23rd edition of the Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF) will kick off on December 26 with a 12-hour flash sale in several malls across the emirate.
The festival, which is one of the most-anticipated events of the year, will run till January 27, with millions of people expected to hit the malls to enjoy the line-up of sales, exclusive shopping experiences, and entertainment events.
Organised by the Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment (DFRE), an agency of the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism), the month-long event will offer a range of retail activations themed under beauty and perfume, gold and jewellery, and apparel and fashion platforms.
Saeed Al Falasi, executive director, Retail and Strategic Alliances, DFRE, said at a press conference on Wednesday that the DSF calendar would include a few new concepts this year, giving visitors a different experience to that of last year.
“The DSF is not only about retail and sale promotions, but it also includes a list of events that have something for everyone in the family. The festival plays a major role in the tourism of the city, attracting the highest number of tourists to Dubai in January,” he said.
The first day of the festival will offer customers further discounts ranging from 25 per cent to 90 per cent at Mall of the Emirates, City Centre Mirdif, City Centre Deira, City Centre Me’aisem, City Centre Barsha, and City Centre Shindagha — from midday to midnight.
Bargains and discounts of 25 per cent to 75 per cent will also continue throughout the festival, presenting shoppers with the best of Dubai’s retail offerings, and showcasing the top brands and shopping experiences from weekly flash sales and in-mall promotions to daily raffles and prizes.
“This year, we will introduce a homeware activation, where we have worked with stores such as Ikea, Home Center and Home Box to put together fully furnished bedrooms and dining rooms as give-away prizes,” said Al Falasi.
He pointed out that another new concept in this year’s DSF is the use of loyalty cards to win prizes. Shoppers who are members of Shukran, Club Apparel Air Miles or Jashanmal loyalty programme cards will get exclusive benefits and the chance to enter a raffle draw to win prizes.
Just the same, retailers are also increasing their reach to customers through interactive in-store activations.
“After the 20 edition of DSF, we started working very closely with retailers to find a component that is interesting to visitors and residents, so we have started to create in-store activations, limited editions of products for the festival, and even items that are specifically made for DSF such as the Versace bracelet last year,” said Suhaila Saqer Obaid Gobash, director of Events and Festivals at DFRE.
Gobash further pointed out that visitors can expect fashion shows, influencers and celebrity engagements, and exclusive public shows.
Meanwhile, every Friday during the festival, bargain hunters will get the chance to snap up incredible offers on exclusive retail products. Details of the specific Friday deals will only be revealed 24 hours beforehand, urging shoppers to monitor DFS websites and social media channels.
The third edition of the Market Outside the Box (MOTB) will see a selection of Dubai’s unique retail concepts coming together at Burj Park in Downtown Dubai from January 11 to 20.
“This is one of our flagship events, the market focuses on emerging talents, brands and products, and supports upcoming businesses to get attraction in the market,” said Gobash.
Along with shopping deals, visitors will also get the chance of winning special prizes when they spend over Dh200, and take part in the Infiniti Mega Raffle 2018, which will take place daily.
As many as 27 different community malls across Dubai will also give out prizes that reach up to Dh1 million during the festival. Local markets such as Gold Souq and Karama as well as Global Village will also join in the festive season with DSF decorations and branding.
The last three days of the festival will also offer shoppers a final sale starting January 25, which will feature the last price cuts and best discounts.
In celebration of the festive season, DFS will host a line-up of firework displays. “We have partnered up with Meraas to provide firework displays in three different sea locations — Al Seef, La Mer, or the Beach at JBR every Thursday and Friday,” said Gobash.
She pointed out more than 10 concerts — Arabic, Western and Indian — are set to take place during the festival, with more details to be released at the start of DSF.
“Discussions are also in progress about Cirque du Soleil and La Perle performing during DSF,” added Gobash.