Perched on the Gulf Coastline, Dubai, one of the seven emirates in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), is known for its high-rising architectural wonders, palm-shaped islands, captivating attractions, and colorful nightlife. Besides, the capital of the Emirate of Dubai is one of the ultimate shopping destinations in the world as it hosts one of the largest shopping festivals, the Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF), an annual event that has become synonymous with the city itself. Held for over a month, the Dubai Shopping Festival brings together more than 1500 brands that offer heavy discounts, daily prizes, mega raffles, unique drone shows, fireworks, concerts, and live shows, one of the world’s best New Year’s Eve celebrations, unique dining experiences and more. There are so many reasons to visit this grand retail extravaganza. Check here some of the top reasons to visit the Dubai Shopping Festival which draws millions of tourists from all across the globe as part of Dubai Tour Packages.
Shopping is the most gratifying experience and what better place to shop than Dubai which hosts one of the largest Shopping Festivals in the world. The month-long Dubai Shopping Festival is organized during the months of December and January by the Dubai Festivals & Retail Establishment (DFRE), a part of Dubai’s department of tourism. The shopping festival is clubbed with an entertainment extravaganza, where each and everything on your mind is available at heavily discounted prices. The exciting offers by traditional souks and marketplaces are the major attraction of DSF. There are around 60,000 shopping outlets that offer generous discounts that range from 40 to 50% on gold jewelry, retail brands, electronics, watches, and perfumes. Shopping malls also offer heavy discounts that go up to a whopping 75 percent which makes it a perfect time to shop for premium brands. One of the main highlights is the raffle draws that take place every day at every mall. Where the lucky winners can take home cars, cash, home appliances, gift vouchers or even gold. Besides, one can also explore the beautiful landscape of the city which is brimming with cultural vibrance and many Dubai tourist places.
Cultural / Entertainment Events
Dubai Shopping Festival is celebrated like any other festival in Dubai which means shopping isn’t the only experience to please your soul and there exists a plethora of activities in which you could participate. Some of them include international fashion shows, street-side performances, film festivals, musical shows, cultural events, and mini fun fairs. There are also parades that take place in the Downtown area of the city where you’d feel a colourful and vibrant atmosphere. Even the malls also organize Flash mobs and fashion shows during the DSF. If this much isn’t enough, Dubai International Film Festival and Children’s International Film Festival are usually held around this period, so watch these movies and catch your favorite stars attending press conferences or even as they walk the red carpet as part of Dubai packages.
Tax-Free Shopping / Gold Shopping
The tax-free shopping aspect of the Dubai Shopping Festival is a major draw for tourists and can result in significant savings on purchases. Tax-free shopping is the practice of not charging sales tax on purchases made by customers which means visitors can enjoy a reduction in the total cost of their purchases. Due to this, the price of Gold in the city is low during DSF, and you should take advantage of these gold offers as buying gold is a great investment. Also, there are an amazing number of discounts on sunglasses, watches, electronics, textiles, designer fashion, and home decor. Several purchases also come with free gifts and accessories. Besides, there are other promotions too on offers like fantastic holiday packages from five-star hotels and resorts. Tax-free shopping is only available to visitors who are not residents of the United Arab Emirates, and visitors must present their passports at the point of purchase to confirm their eligibility. The retailer will then provide a special tax-free form which must be completed and presented at the airport when leaving Dubai. The savings from tax-free shopping can be substantial, with some visitors saving up to 20% on their purchases which makes Dubai an attractive destination for international shoppers.
Prizes & Lucky Draws
Apart from Entertainment and tax-free shopping, Dubai Shopping Festival is filled with exciting prizes and lucky draws. During DSF, many retailers offer prizes for their customers that range from small gifts to big-ticket items like cars, cash, home appliances, or gift vouchers. In addition, there are also large-scale lucky draws that take place during the festival that are usually open to all visitors, regardless of whether they have made a purchase or not. Some popular lucky draws include the DSF Mega Raffle, which offers a chance to win a luxury car, gold, and cash prizes, and the DSF Shopping Frenzy, which offers a chance to win a share of 1 million dirhams in shopping vouchers. If you are a shopaholic, it is the best time to shop at selected community malls for a chance to receive a coupon and win cash prizes throughout the festivities.
Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF) also hosts live concerts and music events, along with shopping and cultural activities. During this event, international and local musicians and artists perform on stages set up across the city, providing entertainment for visitors and locals alike. These live concerts attract a diverse audience and offer something for everyone, from pop and rock to classical and traditional music. The artists including Ustad Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, Mohammed Hamaki, and Ahmed Saad will mesmerize the audiences with classic qawwalis, soulful ghazals, Bollywood tracks as well as fusion numbers. DSF is also an opportunity for local and emerging musicians to showcase their talents and reach a wider audience. The festival also provides an opportunity for international artists to connect with their fans in the region. If you are a music lover, then attend the DSF and indulge in all the concerts and live gigs where you can dance to the beats of your favorite music artists and enjoy your evening to the best. Attending a live concert during the DSF is one of the top free things to do in Dubai.
Work Shops & Exhibitions
Amid all the shopping and entertainment events, every mall in Dubai organizes activities for kids, various workshops for different age groups, and exhibitions that display unique stuff during the Dubai Shopping Festival. The workshops are conducted by experts in their respective fields including arts and crafts, fashion design, cooking, etc., and offer hands-on experiences for visitors of all ages. Exhibitions at the festival showcase the works of local and international artists, designers, and artisans. These exhibitions feature a wide range of art styles and mediums, including painting, photography, sculpture, and more. Visitors have the opportunity to view and purchase unique works of art and learn about the artists and their creative processes during the festival. However, check the prices at multiple shops as this is one of the best tips to save money while shopping in Dubai.
Another highlight of the DSF is the colorful and spectacular displays of fireworks, which light up the sky over Dubai every night during the festival. The annual ritual is a mesmerizing experience and a must-see for tourists and locals alike. The fireworks displays during the festival in Dubai feature a range of colors, shapes, and designs, and are choreographed to music. The displays are set against the backdrop of Dubai’s iconic skyline, including the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building. Visitors gather in parks and public beaches in Dubai, to enjoy the eye-catching display of fireworks.
Food is a major aspect of the Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF), and this is the time when many restaurants offer special culinary experiences. The food stalls offer a range of affordable and delicious options, including traditional Emirati dishes, such as shawarma and falafel while the fine dining restaurants offer special menus including local and international options, and provide a more sophisticated dining experience. Visitors can enjoy gourmet meals, and sample exclusive dishes prepared by some of the most-renowned chefs in the world. If you are a foodie then this is the time to satiate your taste buds while other people are busy shopping. Food markets are also set up during the festival, offering visitors the opportunity to purchase a range of food and drink products including spices, herbs, cheeses, and more. Besides, cooking workshops conducted by experienced chefs are also a popular feature of the Dubai Food Festival where one can learn about local and international cuisines, and try their hand at cooking different dishes.
Offers on Travel Packages
During the Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF), travel companies offer a wide range of travel packages that cater to different budgets and interests. These agencies and operators offer special discount packages which include a stay in a star hotel, round-trip flights, airport transfers, sightseeing, and activities such as a desert safari, dhow cruise, and visits to theme parks and shopping malls. The national airline of Dubai, Emirates also offers attractive tour packages during this to promote Dubai Tourism. Visitors can avail of these deals and enjoy sightseeing tours to some of the most exciting tourist places in Dubai, such as Burj Al Arab, Burj Khalifa, and Desert Safari which make it a world-class tourist destination.