The Dubai shopping Festival was started on February 15, 1996 with an intention to revitalize and boost the retail trade in the United Arab Emirates as a whole and Dubai in particular. The travel industry brought out an entirely new concept by bringing out cooperation between the private sector and public sector. Since then it has become an annual shopping, entertainment, and cultural event that promotes tourism and continues to draw crowds from all over the world. The shopping festival has become a tourist festival and it attracts a lot of people from all the countries and more so from the neighboring countries. The Dubai shopping Festival is a regular annual feature and it is held for a period of one month. What mainly attracts the shoppers is Dubai’s tax free shopping policy.
During the Dubai shopping Festival, all the shops offer massive discounts on their products apart from holding daily lucky draws, where most of the time the first prize is a car. Other attractions are great bargains, raffles, drawings, promos, concerts, performances, carnivals, and games. The Dubai shopping Festival has already captured the hearts of millions of people all over the world who regularly keep coming every year. Dubai is well known throughout the world as a shopping paradise, and during this period hotels, restaurants, airlines, and other groups come together and extend special discounts to people. They really lay out the red carpet during this period and more than 2500 retail outlets participate in the festival and offer everything – gold, perfume, cars, electronics, textiles, handicrafts, and carpets – at largely reduced prices.
Besides the shopping malls and souks, one of the most popular shopping places in Dubai is the ‘Carpet Oasis’ which puts on display thousands of carpet from all over the world. The other attractions of the Dubai shopping Festival are fireworks, laser shows, light shows, international fashion shows, music concerts, street shows, and many other attractive cultural events. The daily raffles offer attractive prizes such as cars, gold, and cash.
The venues include shopping malls, plazas, and souks which are distributed throughout the city. There is also a Global village with products from all over the world being displayed. There is one more attraction which is the biggest event – the Dubai World Cup which takes place during the festival. It boasts of a staggering US$ 12 million prize money which makes it the richest horse race in the world. And speaking of attractions, here is another one – they are even offering free health cards to all visitors, which entitle them to free medical treatment, should they require, during the course of their stay. In the year 2009, the Global village was open from November 12, 2008 to February 21, 2009 keeping in it open for a record number of 102 days. It is estimated that about 5 million visitors would have attended the festival.
Do you know the approximate value of the major prizes which are being sponsored by the shops? Hold your breath – it is in the range of Dh 100 million. Amongst the most cherished prizes are luxury cars, vacation packages, and a luxury apartment. What are you waiting for? Rush and book your ticket for the next Dubai Shopping Festival.