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Aden - Yasmine El Tohamy - The DSF has witnessed a surge in visitor numbers from 1.6 million in 1996 to almost 4.66 million in 2013.- KT file photo
This year's DSF will see the retail sector to gear up for the potential demand.
The 25th Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF) is set to return on December 26 and will run for 38 days until February 1, 2020, and the silver jubilee of the festival will coincide with the Expo 2020 celebrations in the country. From the streets of Al Rigga, the DSF has turned into a city-wide shopping extravaganza.
According to the organisers, this year's shopping festival will not only commemorate the global retail festival launched by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, in 1996 but will also celebrate the accomplishments of the city as it prepares to host Expo 2020.
Combined with Expo 2020 Dubai pre-launch preparations, this year's DSF will see the retail sector to gear up for the potential demand that could surface due to an anticipated rise in visitors, tourists and travellers.
Strategic partners, retailers and mall operators in Dubai have referred to the longstanding and strong cooperation they have enjoyed with Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment (DFRE) over the past two decades, and reiterated they would be stepping up efforts in 2020 to further enhance the overall Dubai offering and experience. The partners are keen to ensure Dubai stays at the forefront of global retail destinations and to showcase the city as a 'must-visit' family tourism destination.
Dubai resident Rizwana Alam said: "During the DSF the city shines like a twinkling star! I had the privilege of being a part of the very first DSF in 1996. The city had suddenly turned into a tourist spot. Ever since people from all around the world visit Dubai around the time of the DSF to take advantage of the mega sales at all stores. The DSF is Dubai's personalised "holiday season" where residents go shopping with families and friends and enjoy adventures at the Global Village.
"Another great thing is that the DSF initiative opened doors for students to take up part-time jobs and gain experience and network with people. The DSF is a carnival celebrated all over the city by people of all ages and color, and will always remain special to the people of Dubai," she added.
The DSF has witnessed a surge in visitor numbers from 1.6 million in 1996 to almost 4.66 million in 2013. The numbers have further increased in the last six years.
Another Dubai resident Fatema Ali Sharif recalls how ensuring families are together during DSF, has become an annual ritual. "The DSF is an ideal time for families to meet and make the most as celebrations unfold to welcome the new year. I do wait for my annual shopping during these days as we get some of the premium brands at affordable prices. With the easy visa processes now, more residents will bring their loved ones during the season."
For residents who have witnessed the DSF since its inception seeing it evolve as a global celebration is a surprise. Sanjay Kalia, a Dubai resident since the 1980s, said: "I have seen the festival evolve and cherish memories of taking my kids to malls and enjoying a ride in a fire truck and taking rounds on the horse cart. We would postpone our major shopping till the DSF so we could plan expensive stuff to be purchased during festival at discount prices. I have seen people purchasing electronic goods, gadgets during the DSF and exploring to buy the best in technology."
Dubai Retail Calendar 2020
>Dubai Shopping Festival
>Chinese New Year
>Dubai Shopping Festival Final Sale
>Dubai Food Festival
>Spring/Summer Collection Launch
>Dubai Home Festival
>Ramadan in Dubai, Eid in Dubai (Eid Al Fitr)
>Eid in Dubai (Eid Al Adha) 3 Day Super Sale (2 events)
>Dubai Summer Surprises
>Dubai Summer Surprises Final Sale
>Back to School
>Fall/Winter Collection Launch
>Dubai Fitness Challenge
>Diwali in Dubai
Journalist. Period. My interests are Economics, Finance and Information Technology. Prior to joining Al Khaleej Today, I have worked with some leading publications in India, including the Economic Times.
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