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DSS or DSF, Dubai is a shopper's paradise. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: Dubai’s shopping promotions can easily be a global case study. True, the deals and discounts are attractive and the experiences they offer are spectacular. But how do they manage to draw millions of visitors year after year? In fact, how do they get better and bigger with every edition? And is there a difference in the offerings of the ongoing Dubai Summer Surprises (DSS) and the Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF) that is held during winter?

Gulf News spoke to Suhaila Saqer Obaid Ghubash, Executive Director, Festival & Events, to find out. Excerpts from the exclusive interview:

DSS is a festival geared towards showcasing the city’s offerings throughout the summer months - with a focus on incredible experiences and unbeatable value offerings for both visitors and residents.

- Suhaila Saqer Obaid Ghubash, Executive Director, Festival & Events

Q. Apart from their timing, is there a difference between the offerings of DSS and DSF?

A. DSF and DSS have both been around for over 25 years, bringing delight and new experiences to all in their own special seasons and setting Dubai apart as the ideal destination to live, work and play. While both festivals have similarities in that they showcase an abundance of offerings throughout the city during each festival and deliver memorable experiences to residents and visitors alike, there are also some distinct differences that make them unique.

DSF is the longest running festival in the city’s retail calendar, highlighting the strength of Dubai’s flourishing retail sector, and filling the city with awe and wonder - with a focus on ways to make the most of the great outdoors during the winter season in the city.

DSF's spectacular offerings give visitors a chance to enjoy the outdoors during the winter months. Image Credit: Supplied

DSS, on the other hand, is a festival geared towards showcasing the city’s offerings throughout the summer months - with a focus on incredible experiences and unbeatable value offerings for both visitors and residents. DSS covers a variety of pillars such as entertainment, dining, hotel offers, prizes and raffles, attractions, and of course, retail - and shines a light on many of the incredible indoor activities and events to be enjoyed across the city - including in malls and shopping destinations - throughout the season. And this year, of course, there was a double reason to celebrate with the opening weekend of DSS coinciding with Eid Al Adha festivities.

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DSS is more about indoor attractions, with something available for everyone. Image Credit: Supplied

Q. Who are your main target shoppers during DSS?

A. DSS highlights the best of Dubai over the summer season. From unmissable experiences in world-class shopping malls to exceptional hotel staycation offers, there’s something for everyone to enjoy throughout the festival. Whether you’re a resident who is staying in the city throughout the summer months, or one of the thousands of visitors who travel to Dubai over the season, there is a packed calendar for all to enjoy. From thrilling entertainment, to diverse gastronomy, to amazing retail deals and life-changing prizes, DSS is an inclusive festival designed for everyone - no matter how young or old.

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DSS offers shoppers the chance to get many cashback offers and take advantage of several deals. Image Credit: Supplied

DSS offers shoppers the chance to get amazing cashback offers and take advantage of great deals at some of the city’s favourite retail destinations, like the Mall of the Emirates’ and City Centre’s Mallcation SHARE Summer Rewards Programme, or the chance to win big at Mercato Shopping Mall and Town Centre.

While out and about the malls during DSS, there’s also more to experience than just shopping, with a wide variety of workshops and events in partnership with globally celebrated brands at Dubai Festival City Mall for example. And Justice League fans are in for a treat with the special activation at Nakheel Mall, while Ibn Battuta Mall offers exciting shows and activities for Batman fans.

Q. In terms of the entertainment packages, how does the hot weather now impact the design of these experiences?

A. The fun in Dubai doesn’t stop during the summer. Many attractions and world-class destinations across the city offer unbeatable prices and deals throughout the season as part of DSS, from retail outlets, to hotels, to restaurants and attractions. This includes a host of incredible Kids Go Free offers.

That means there’s the chance to try new experiences while getting real value for money. What’s more, there are plenty of family-friendly and engaging activities to try indoors, from exciting events, to workshops, shows, performances, and so much more. Retail and dining outlets also offer summer-specific promotions and menus, ensuring that the city is a great place to be throughout the season.

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Modesh World, the summer indoor entertainment experience, is a unique feature of DSS Image Credit: Supplied

Q.What are the exclusive summer offerings?

A. DSS provides the perfect opportunity to release your inner child at Modesh World - the summer indoor entertainment experience for the whole family. Or why not enjoy a line-up of summer blockbuster movies, special appearances, competitions and delicious F&B with Movie Magic at Reel Cinemas? Summer Restaurant Week also gives everyone the chance to indulge in some of the city’s finest gastronomy with specially priced signature menus from incredible chefs and restaurants across the city. With these exciting opportunities and more, there is so much for every member of the family to enjoy during DSS. Enjoy the ultimate summer extravaganza filled with incredible surprises, unmissable retail offers, diverse culinary delights and endless entertainment this DSS, which runs till September 3.