The Dubai Summer Surprises (DSS) 2004 has surpassed records set last year in the business, retail and tourism sectors during the first three weeks, statistics collated from various government and private sector establishments show.

So far, sales in shopping malls are up 10 per cent in the first three weeks compared to last year, and hotel traffic is up to 82 per cent, according to the latest statistics.

Children enjoy the 'flower rain' being held as part of Flower Surprises week at the Mercato mall in Dubai. ©Gulf News
Saeed Mohammad Al Nabouda, DSS chief executive, announced these results yesterday, stating that the seventh annual round of the summertime bonanza continues to build on the success of previous years.

He said DSS 2004 has been very successful in drawing families from the UAE to different events around Dubai, in addition to drawing Arab families from around the Middle East to the city.

"Dubai has become the hotspot tourism destination of families in the Middle East," he said.

"We have observed that GCC citizens and residents have been the bulwark of arrivals in Dubai, both at the Dubai International Airport and at the land borders."