drone show during DSF 2023
The shows take place off The Beach, JBR and Bluewaters Island at 7pm and 10pm every night Image Credit: Twitter/@DXBMediaOffice

Dubai: A show featuring 500 drones soaring up hundreds of metres in the air to light up the night sky is once again a highlight of the ongoing Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF).

 Running until January 29, 2023, two light shows are performed every night off The Beach, JBR and Bluewaters Island at 7pm and 10pm.

Countless hours have been put into the programming and preparations for the spectacular show, pushing the boundaries of creativity whilst also telling a captivating story in the sky, which is enjoyed by tens of thousands of shoppers in Dubai at one of the most popular times of the year.

This year, both shows are united by an overarching concept to explore conceptual ideas surrounding technology, robotics and the future; with an intricate network of light from the aerial drones to develop the theme and illustrate the story of Dubai.

Each show was sketched out to last around five minutes, with the first of the two daily shows inspired by a day-in-the-life of a tourist, taking the audience on a journey through Dubai Shopping Festival.

The show begins by depicting a traveller flying into the UAE and landing at Dubai International Airport, before experiencing a journey through the famous iconic sites of the DSF, including its iconic fireworks and the Festival of Light.

The drone spectacle concludes with the traveller soaring off into the sunset after a magical day exploring the emirate.

For the best vantage point to enjoy the Dubai drones spectacle, head towards:

• Bluewaters
• The Beach
• JBR (Jumeirah Beach Residence)

Timings: 7pm and 10pm 

Runs until: January 29, 2023

Dubai in 2040

The second show – based in a futuristic metaverse – gives residents an immersive glimpse into Dubai two decades from now. Set in 2040, the forward-looking experience gives onlookers a glimpse of what Dubai might look like as the city propels into a trailblazing tomorrow.

With the help of cutting-edge technology and AR headsets, the audience will be catapulted into the heart of the story and become at one within the 3D light show.

read more

How it works

But how does the drone show actually work? The vast flight space above the location of the sites – Bluewaters and The Beach, JBR – has allowed the creatives behind the show to use 500 drones; all operated by a specialist team in a purpose-built landing area built near the take-off site. 

With hundreds of illuminated drones executing intricately choreographed patterns using 3D animation tools, only two pilots are needed each night to conduct the show.

The pilots are in control of operating the entire fleet through a state-of-the-art control system. Each drone works as an individual entity, and will stay on its own flight path, carefully mapped to the computer-led animation.

28th edition

Now in its 28th edition, the popular annual festival organised by the Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment (DFRE) has become a mainstay in the tourism calendar. The seven-week long DSF includes a huge variety of retail deals and offers – besides the line up of entertainment and concerts – its own Drone Light Show. 

Residents and visitors can shop, win and be entertained with with incredible DSF deals, innovative events, world-class entertainment and prizes.