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This year's DSF will be held from December 17 to January 30. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: The festive season is here and that means Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF) is back for another season of retail promotions, family entertainment, open concerts, fireworks, drone shows, live performances, raffle draws, prizes and other surprises.

The DSF will run for 45 days, from December 17 until January 30 next year, with 3,500 outlets offering savings of between 25 per cent to 75 per cent. The organisers, Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment (DFRE) said on Monday the annual extravaganza “has been refreshed to be the best DSF yet with new attractions and entertainment options to be added to the already packed calendar of events.”

DFRE CEO Ahmed Al Khaja noted: “The 26th showcase of the world’s biggest and longest running retail festival will be the perfect celebration of everything Dubai is famous for — unparalleled family fun, shopping and with a COVID safety approach.

“DSF has strategically grown over the years to offer incredible customer-centric promotions and activations that drive footfall, boost sales and position the city on the global map as a must-visit retail destination for visitors from around the world. This is our most highly anticipated edition that will bring 2020 to a close and welcome in the start of 2021 in a positive and fun-packed fashion,” he added.

COVID-19 protocols

Ensuring everyone’s health and safety is also a priority. “Throughout DSF, and in line with local regulations, participating events, malls and shopping destinations will strictly adhere to the required COVID-19 precautionary measures,” DFRE said.

DFRE also noted Dubai recently rolled out the ‘DUBAI ASSURED’ stamp in collaboration with the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing, Department of Economic Development and Dubai Municipality to certify retail establishments, F&B outlets, hotels and attractions that have implemented the necessary public health protocols in order to maintain the health and safety of residents and visitors.

What to expect at this year’s DSF?


A two-day concert will kick-off this year’s DSF at Burj Park in Downtown Dubai on December 17 and 18. A-list Arabic stars will take the stage on the first day while international artists will be featured on day two. Tickets will start from Dh50.

Pop-up markets and fireworks

At the Market Outside The Box (MOTB) in Burj Park, shoppers will enjoy a more GEN Z outlook, inspired by Asian Pop Culture, particularly Korean and Japanese. Image Credit: Supplied

There will be pop-up markets at Last Exit Al Khawaneej and Al Seef as well as events at Burj Park, Nakheel Mall, Mall of the Emirates, Dubai Festival City Mall and community markets around the city. Novelty items and a wide selection of food and beverages will be available at these pop-up markets. Shoppers and visitors will also enjoy weekly fireworks and drone shows in Al Seef, Lamer, and The Beach. Over at the Market Outside The Box (MOTB) in Burj Park, shoppers will enjoy a more GEN Z outlook, inspired by Asian Pop Culture, particularly Korean and Japanese.

Mall activities

Nakheel Mall will host a winter themed Food and Retail Market with a range of pop up vendors and unique products available for shoppers. The venue will also stage its own Santa’s Village and Grotto as well as an ice rink.

Dubai Festival City Mall will also have a magical festive experience, complete with an interactive maze, an enchanted polar bear valley, a candy factory and a Santa grotto. Mall of the Emirates, meanwhile, will be transformed into a Winter Wonderland, packed with festive cheer and Christmas market in collaboration with Ripe Market and Ski Dubai

Live shows

World-class street performers, musicians and artists will entertain shoppers and visitors at various shopping centres across Dubai, including La Mer, City Walk, Al Seef, Dubai Festival City Mall, Ibn Battuta Mall, The Pointe, City Centre Mirdif and Mall of the Emirates throughout the festival.

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The Raffles are a popular feature of DSF every year. Image Credit: Supplied

Festive lightings

To spread the spirit of fun around the city, Dubai’s streets, malls and landmarks will be lit up with dynamic decorative lightings. Watch out for the illuminated palm trees, bright lampposts and metro bridges plus there are immersive and captivating lighting at the DSF markets, including La Mer, City Walk, Al Seef, MOTB, Last Exit Al Khawaneej, Airport Road, T3 Dubai Airport arrivals, Maktoum Bridge, Garhoud Bridge, 2nd December Street, 2nd Zabeel, Al Rigga, Muraqabat, Canal Bridge and Financial Centre Metro Bridge.

More concerts and shows

Fans of the legendary folk rock act Simon & Garfunkel can enjoy the duo’s popular songs at the Dubai Opera on December 19.

Arabic music lovers will also be spoilt for choice with two great live shows on New Year’s Eve while Dubai World Trade Centre will host a New Year’s Eve show by Arabic singer Nassif Zeytoun, best known for his song “Mesh Aam Tezbat Maae” and singing stars Wael Kfoury and Mouhamad Khairy will take to the stage on New Year’s Eve at the Festival Arena, Intercontinental Hotel Dubai Festival City.

Comedian Jack Whitehall will bring his International Stood Up Tour to Dubai at Dubai World Trade Centre on January 14 while popular live stand-up show The Laughter Factor will return for a series of gigs during DSF.

Organisers advised shoppers to check DSF social media channels and website for future announcements.