Every winter, Dubai takes shopping to the next level with the Dubai Shopping Festival. From mid January to mid February, millions of shopaholics, bargain hunters and holidaymakers descend on the elaborate emirate as it buzzes with a colossal array of discounts, competitions, prizes, fireworks, entertainment and more. If you are after the ultimate break, then Dubai during the festival is the destination for you.
The Dubai Shopping Festival was launched in 1996 as a government-led initiative to revitalize the retail trade, but it has now become one of the world’s most famous shopping festivals. Every year, the month-long festival gets bigger and more spectacular than the last, attracting shoppers and holidaymakers from all over the globe. A mega 3.35 million visitors came to Dubai for the most recent event, lured by the massive discounts on already tax-free shopping as well as the competitions, entertainment and festivities.
The festival kicks off with an extravagant opening ceremony, with fireworks and light shows taking place over Dubai Creek and continuing to light Dubai’s skies throughout the festival.
Bargain hunters will be in heaven at the Dubai Shopping Festival with massive discounts on any product you can think of including gold, Dubai’s signature product, major designer fashion labels, electronics, cars and more. There are also hundreds of competitions run throughout the festival, with prizes running into the millions. The 2012 festival includes a Mega Raffle whereby every day of the festival one lucky shopper wins a luxury Infinite QX56 SUV costing AED 350,000 plus AED 100,000.
As well as the incredible discounts and retail competitions that are run during the Dubai Shopping Festival, the entertainment throughout the city is another major draw-card for tourists. Music concerts, street performers, fashion shows, film festivals, cultural events and more fill the city centre streets and malls. Family entertainment is big business during the Dubai Shopping Festival with a host of attractions popping up in Dubai’s parks including a mini fun fair, World of Ice, Flower Garden, helicopter tours, space ship, Spiderman zone, remote control boats and much more.
On top of the excitements of the shopping festival, the city of Dubai itself offers plenty of fascinating sights and interesting things to do outside the realm of the Dubai Shopping Festival. Visitors can head to the Bastakia Quarter for a taste of traditional Dubai, marvel at the Burj Al Arab, the world’s tallest hotel, play a round of golf at Dubai’s world-class courses or go on a desert safari just outside the city limits to mention just a few.
With regular flights to Dubai from most UK international airports plus plenty of great city centre accommodation options, a shopping break in Dubai during the Dubai Shopping Festival is a fantastic, doable shopping break.
Whatever you choose to do, a city break in Dubai is an experience unlike any other and if you are after a shopping holiday, then Dubai during the Dubai Shopping Festival is the ultimate destination.