As the Dubai Shopping Festival celebrates 25 successful years of establishing the emirate as a leading global retail destination, we look at why retail matters so much
On multiple fronts, 2020 is set to be a landmark year for Dubai. The emirate is celebrating the milestone 25th edition of the Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF) while getting ready to host the highly anticipated Expo 2020 from October.
The latest edition of DSF, which starts on Thursday and runs until February 1, 2020, not only commemorates the launch of the global retail festival in 1996 by His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, but also celebrates the accomplishments of the city to date. Dubai’s annual calendar is packed with an array of activations, festivals and events throughout the year, and will climax with the opening of Expo 2020 in October.
“As 2020 shapes up to be a pivotal year, we are committed to fostering synergies and ensuring ongoing collaboration amongst all stakeholders and entities to consolidate and further strengthen Dubai’s position as a global retail hub,” said Ahmed Al Khaja, CEO of Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment (DFRE), in a media release. The emirate expects to host millions of visitors, and DFRE’s Retail Calendar 2020, featuring a wide range of distinct festivals and events including DSF, is a useful year-round guide to these special experiences.
“To be able to develop a robust Retail Calendar, which is synchronised with global cycles as well as conforming to the city’s strategic vision, we have continued to work closely with our strategic partners in the retail industry to ensure they are all aligned with, and are able to benefit from the various plans and initiatives for the successful delivery of festivals and events and to help further boost Dubai’s retail sector,” explained Al Khaja.
As 2020 shapes up to be a pivotal year, we are committed to fostering synergies and ensuring ongoing collaboration amongst all stakeholders and entities to consolidate and further strengthen Dubai’s position as a global retail hub.
He stressed that the collaborative efforts undertaken by the private and public sectors contributed to the rapid development of Dubai’s retail sector. One of DFRE’s aims is to bring strategic partners and retailers together to discuss important retail initiatives and leverage efforts to achieve the goals of Dubai’s Tourism Vision 2022-2025.
Retail beyond DSF
DSF is the crown jewel of DFRE’s ever-evolving annual Retail Calendar, which features 18 festivals, events, season launches, holiday periods and sales throughout the year. The programme offers retailers the opportunity to run customer-centric promotions and activations, which in turn drive footfall and increase sales. The Retail Calendar 2020 seeks to reaffirm Dubai’s credentials as a must-visit shopping destination, enabling continued growth of the retail sector, which is expected to reach an estimated Dh160.7 billion by 2021.
“The Retail Calendar is a collaboration between the Department of Economic Development and DFRE, as well as the private sector,” explained Al Khaja. “It was developed with the support of 18 retail and mall partners to create attractive value propositions in Dubai that coincide with retail shopping periods locally and globally and further enhance shopping experiences. The calendar is strategically drawn up to boost the retail sector, which is a key pillar of destination marketing, thereby contributing to increased GDP and overall international competitiveness. The initiative is also a significant contributor to the growth of the SME sector, further bolstering Dubai’s standing in the global arena.”