Shaikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of Dubai Airports, Chairman and Chief Executive of Emirates Airline and Group, and Chairman of the Dubai Shopping Festival Office (DSFO) Supreme Committee, announced that there will be no official opening ceremony for DSF 2009 in line with the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President, Prime Minister, and Ruler of Dubai as an act of solidarity with the people of Gaza.

The announcement was made by Shaikh Ahmed in a meeting attended by members of the DSF Organizing Committee in addition to Laila Suhail, CEO of DSF Office, Ibrahim Saleh, Coordinator General of DSF Office, and other senior officials of DSF Office. However, said that all DSF 2009 activities would go on as planned from Jan15 to Feb 15.

“DSF 2009 coincides with a turbulent period of political turmoil in the Middle East and as per the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, the festivities marking the beginning of DSF stand cancelled as an act of solidarity towards the people and our brothers in Gaza,'' said Shaikh Ahmed.

During the meeting, Shaikh Ahmed also thanked the sponsors of DSF and the various government departments involved in the organizing of the festival for their continued support to the event.

“DSF has witnessed a series of successes in the past 13 years that has effectively made it a distinguished regional phenomenon. While being an inspiration for many similar initiatives to be launched in the region, it is notable that DSF is the only such one that has excelled in achieving its objectives and still going strong after 13 years. DSF 2009 will be another milestone in the festival's illustrious history,'' added Shaikh Ahmed.

Barring the official opening ceremony, all events for DSF 2009 will go on as planned. The 32-day event will begin on January 15 and go on till Feb 15, with some of the best shopping discounts in a DSF edition yet being offered to visitors. Additionally, prizes worth millions of dirhams will be given through amazing draws held everyday.