Dubai Shopping Festival 2013
The annual Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF) is one of the leading shopping and entertainment events in the world. The festival is famous for its discounted sales, colorful cultural programs, exciting promotions, and raffle draws worth millions of AED. Started in February 1996, DSF has witnessed millions of shopping lovers from countries across the globe. The theme of the event is 'One World One Family One Festival' which exhibits the multicultural nature of the festival.
Dubai Shopping Festival Dates
The month-long shopping and entertainment extravaganza is held in January-February, when the climate in dubai is cool and pleasant. DSF 2013 dates has been announced from January 3-February 3, 2013. Tour operators have started offering discounted tour packages for the 2013 shopping festival in Dubai. Emirates, the leading airlines of UAE, offers specially designed travel and hotel packages to visitors at affordable prices.
Sales and Discounts
If you're looking for some great discounts on shopping, hotels and entertainment facilities in Dubai, the DSF is the best time for it. Almost all the leading shopping malls, retail outlets, hotels and theme parks participate in the event and offer splendid discounts and freebies to visitors. Shoppers can avail discounts ranging from 5% to 75% on a wide variety of items including branded clothing, watches, perfume, electronics, cameras, leather goods, gold and diamond jewelry, cosmetics, handicrafts and toys to name a few. Carpets from Iran, India, Pakistan, Turkey and China are very popular shopping item in Dubai and are available at a discounted price during the festival.
All the major international brands such as Louis Vuitton, Tommy Hilfiger, Gucci, Armani, Hermes, Versace, Diesel, Harley Davidson, Sony, Samsung, Canon, Rolex, Omega, Gitanjali Jewellery to name a few, have their retail outlets, and offer good discounts and freebies during the 32-days long festival.
Besides discounts, shoppers also have a chance to win fabulous prizes on their purchases. The Nissan Grand Raffle offers an opportunity to win one of the 8 luxury Nissan models everyday during the DSF. Coupons are available on a minimum nonfuel purchase of AED 20 at ENOC and EPPCO petrol stations. For gold shoppers, the Bag of Fortune Gold Raffle offers a chance to win half kg of gold everyday and a bumper prize of 3 kg on the last day of the event. Coupon for Gold Raffle is available on a minimum gold purchase of 1,000 AED at a participating outlet. The Infinity Mega Raffle provides you an opportunity to win a luxury Infinity QX 56 priced AED 350,000 and AED 100,000 in cash everyday during the event. Infinity coupon is available for AED 200 at various kiosks and outlets. In addition, malls and retail outlets also offer free gifts and luck draw prizes that include luxury cars, apartments, and holiday coupons.
Dubai turns up very colorful during the festival with beautiful street lighting and decorations, musical fireworks and lively street carnivals. The opening ceremony invites you to enjoy spectacular fireworks stretching for over 6 km from Business Bay to the Creek to the Shindagha area (famous for Heritage and Diving Village). A colorful event is also held at the new Promenade at the Festival City with musicians entertaining you with their enchanting performances, and celebrity look-alikes from Hollywood, sporting world and royalty posing for pictures with you. The fireworks display is held on both sides of the Creek and illuminates the sky every night during the festival.
Cultural Events and Activities
Visitors can enjoy a wide range of events and activities throughout the event that include live international concerts, stage shows, fashion show (Creations), land rover parade, circus, folk dances, street performances as well as activities like DSF Desert Camps and night souks during the 32-day long event. Enjoy live musical performances by leading Arab and international artists on the Burj Steps, the Promenade at the Festival City, Global Village, and various other venues throughout the event. The Festival City and Media City also bring to you musical concerts that feature different genres of music ranging from classical to jazz to hip hop. Global Village alone hosts 10-15 folk dance and musical performances everyday by different national groups at their respective pavilions. For traditional shows, you can visit the Heritage and Diving Village at Shindhagah to enjoy falconry show, traditional handicrafts, and camel rides.
The Dubai Fashion Show is another popular attraction held at the famous Dubai Mall and features catwalks and dances by amateur models. Other popular event during the event is the Asianet Film Awards ceremony. The Sound and Light Show on the pattern of renowned sound and light show in Egypt is also organized.
Besides there are a range of activities for adults and kids. The Desert Camp offers you opportunities to enjoy exciting adventure activities like camel rides, quad bikes, and horse riding. Sports lovers can enjoy the Open Tennis Championship, World Arab Boxing Championship, Ice Hockey, Russian Ballet on Ice, and Skating and Rowing Championships. For kids, there are thrilling rides at Global Village, Dubai Festival City and Al Rigga Street, and Monte Carlo circus at Al Rigga Street. Kids can also participate in the cartoon show- the PowerPuff Girls - held at The Observatory of BurJuman, or indulge in chocolates games and arts and crafts activities at Reef Mall. Dining is also a major attraction of DSF where gourmets can satisfy their taste buds from delicious cuisines from different corners of the world.
The festival is not all about bargained shopping. Special events such as business conventions, seminars, exhibitions, book fairs and Hope Opera for the Handicapped are also organized.
Visa and tour packages
Visa rules for the event are same as rules for obtaining a general visitng UAE visa. Citizens of GCC -Bahrain, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Oman and Qatar donít need an entry visa for Dubai. In addition, citizens of 31 countries- UK, France, Italy, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Austria, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Portugal, Ireland, Greece, Finland, Spain, Monaco, Vatican, Iceland, Andorra, San Marino, Liechtenstein, United States, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Brunei, Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea and Hong Kong SAR - will get a free visa on arrival at the Dubai International Airport.
If you are not from the above listed 36 countries, then you will have to arrange an UAE visa to enjoy DSF. The best way to get a UAE tourist visa (valid for 30 days) is through a hotel or a local tour operator. Contact a hotel or a tour booking agent in Dubai and he will assist you in getting a visa for DSF. Emirates, the national airline of the UAE, in association with some of the local hotels offers visa and tour packages for the event. So, contact the emirate airline offices in your country for more details.