dubai shopping festival

For the past 22 years, Dubai has been the shopping capital of the world, and the sole reason behind this is the Dubai Shopping Festival. It began in 1996, and has been like an unstoppable juggernaut full of discounts, offers, entertainment, prizes, food and more. It is a month long celebration of one of the most magnificent cities in the world, Dubai. DSF 2017-18 dates are Dec 26th to Jan 28th 2018.

DSF has only been growing in popularity with each passing year. More than 4.5 million people descend upon the city to take part in it. This gives a huge boost to retail, tourism and overall economy. The biggest reason why people love DSF is the crazy discounts on products like clothes, electronics, gold, accessories, etc. However, there’s more to the festival. You also get a chance to win big with the raffle draw. There’s also entertainment, music events, dance performances, and a grand opening ceremony with fireworks. A lot is happening that you will love.

Another reason why people love being a part of the DSF is that they are treated to something new each year. There’s an element of surprise to the whole extravaganza that keeps people coming back for more. Let’s take a look at the awesome highlights of the past festivals that have made a huge contribution in DSF being so popular today.

February 15th to mid-March, 1996 - The inaugural year, DSF took off in a grand fashion. In the very first year, DSF saw a crowd of 1.6 million visitors, who generated staggering revenue of Dh 2 billion. The very first year was success, prompting it to be an annual event.

March 27th to April 26, 1997 - The amount visitors increased slightly, but they got a new feature in the form of Global Village. It was introduced as Baniyas Street. Many malls also started sprouting up all over the city.

March 19 to April 18, 1998 - This year was packed with many wonderful surprises. The Super Safari Raffle debuted this year, and a Nissan Patrol car was given as a prize each day. DSF was based on the theme of ‘Children of the World Meet in Dubai’, which attracted family crowds.

1999 - This year was the year of world records. Tourists were treated world’s largest stationary bicycle, and mattress, world’s longest sofa, and world’s longest and heaviest gold chain. This, year, the theme of the festival was ‘The Biggest Family Gathering of the Millennium’.

2000 - The world’s longest taxi parade was held during this year. It was held on the Sheikh Zayed Road. This year a new theme was introduced - ‘One World. One Family. One Festival’ this sparked interest and the number of visitor crossed 2.5 million. This theme had continued for the longest time.

2001 - Hungry? How does the biggest bowl of biryani, weighing a staggering 1885.4 kg, sound? This year also saw the largest shopping bag and incense burner. But the biggest highlight was the 31 Rolls Royce that were gifted as a part of the raffle along with Nissan Patrol cars.

2002 - 2 Lexus cars, 41 kgs of gold and Dh 200,000 cash were the big prizes this year. The record-breaking items this year were largest entry visa, the largest box of chocolates, and the longest continuous water colour painting. This year too witnessed a sharp rise in the number of visitors.

2003 - The visit number nearly touched 3 million, the highest ever! There were also new developments like Desert Camp and Night Souq. They were well loved by the visitors.

2004 - With a new spending record of almost Dh 6 billion, and the visitor number crossing 3 million, this year also saw the launch of Dubai Fashion 2004, where brands like Emanuel Ungaro, Dior, Christian Lacroix, and Givenchy were launched. This was a trend-setting year.

2005 - With growing number, Global Village was moved to Dubailand. The raffle draw also got bigger with 2 Lexus cars, and a cash prize on Dh 100,000 was given away each day.

2006 - Sadly, this year the DSF was cancelled, owing to the sudden passing away of Sheikh Maktoum Bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

December 20th to February 2nd , 2006-07 - To make up for the cancellation of last year, this year’s DSF was held for 45 days. This is the longest period till now. This combined DSF was the first of its kind.

January 24th to February 24th, 2008 - Revenue wise, this was the best year till now. The spending crossed over Dh 10 billion. There were many events like Carpet Oasis, Dubai Fashion show, Dubai Fringe Festival, Food Festival, and Guinness Book of World Records that entertained the vast crowds.

January 15th to February 15th, 2009 - The DSF borders were stretched beyond the Jumeirah Beach Residence Walk. The world record beating feats this year were a dessert display of 2,232 desserts, and the world largest gold ring, which weighed a hefty 64 kg.

January 28th to February 28th, 2010 - This was a special year, as it was 15th year of DSF. There were more than 6000 cultural events held during that year. There were also performances by Zakir Hussain and Sean Kingston. The Global Village too saw its highest number - 155,000 visitors.

January 20th to February 20th, 2011 - What a year this was. Total spending crossed Dh15 billion, and the number of visitors crossed 4 million. The raffle draw winner won many cars, cash prizes, and gold. The year was quite a grand one for the organizers and the participants.

January 5th to February 5th, 2012 - There were many awesome prizes to be won for the raffle draw winners. The was another considerable increase in the number of visitors. The exact number was 4.33 million visitors.

January 3rd to February 3rd , 2013 - Have you heard of a fashion show being held aboard a moving train? Well, this is what happened at Dubai Fashion. It was held on the Dubai Metro. The visitor number also swelled up to 4.66 million.

January 2nd to February 2nd , 2014 - 70 malls, and 6000 retail units all over the city followed the theme ‘Shop at you Best’. This year was aimed at celebrating the shopping spirit of the city. The shopping numbers were quite high this year.

January 1st to February 1st, 2015 - Since this was the 20th year of the festival, the bar of shopping, spending and winning was raised higher. The theme for the year was ‘Journey of Celebrations’, as the whole city looked back on the 20-year long journey of the festival.

January 1st to February 1st, 2016 - With the theme ‘Unwrap the Exceptional’, what else could be expected from the event. Everything about this Dubai Shopping Festival was exceptional. The all the figures crossed record-breaking numbers.

December 26th, 2016 to Jan 28th, 2017 - The Infiniti Mega Raffle Draw saw luxury SUVs being given away as the grand prize. Cash prizes of Dh 100,000 were also given away. The crowds reached a number close to 5 million, and it is expected to cross that mar the next year.

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