Dubai Shopping Festival turns 25


…organizers invite African holiday makers for fully packed event

By Gifty Arthur

All roads will this festive season, lead to one of the most populous cities in the world, Dubai, as the United Arab Emirates (UAE) national capital, plays host to thousands of nationals from across the globe, for one of its biggest events dubbed, Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF).

Dubai Shopping Festival, was first introduced on February 16, 1996, as a retail event, but with time, it has been promoted as a tourist attraction, attracting up to three million visitors from around the globe every year.

Over the years, organizers had promoted the event within the region, but this year, they decided to promote it in 28 countries across the world, including selected countries in Africa. DSF prides in being a premier festival and the largest shopping extravaganza dedicated to festivities and shopping.

As part of the Silver Jubilee celebrations, a calendar, displaying the programme of events was revealed to African audiences, particularly those in countries like Ghana, Kenya, Uganda on December 20, 21, 22 respectively, providing details of the retail events.

The 38-day festival, is set to feature show-stopping performances, immersive experiences, innovative brand activations and family-friendly celebrations from Thursday, December 26, 2019 and run until Saturday, February 1, 2020.

Shoppers and deal-hunters, can find offers of up to 75 per cent off across close to 4,000 outlets of more than 1,000 participating brands and have the opportunity to engage and collaborate with tailor-made brand activations from global fashion, beauty, homeware and lifestyle retailers.

With more than 1,000 brands participating across 4,000 outlets, shoppers and deal-hunters, will find offers of up to 75 per cent off across the city, as well as the opportunity to engage and collaborate with tailor-made brand activations from global fashion, beauty, homeware and lifestyle retailers.

The Infiniti Mega raffle, will offer visitors the chance to drive away in QX50 car plus Dh200, 000 in cash daily.

In addition, one lucky DSF shopper, will go home with a grand prize of Dh 1 million in cash at the end of DSF. The Nissan Grand raffle, will meanwhile shoppers the chance to win one of five Nissan models daily. But the largest prize of them all is a luxury car worth five million dirhams.

An opening ceremony at Burj Park, Downtown Dubai, will feature a series of concerts by Emirati and international singers, cultural and family-oriented performances from 2pm to 11pm on Thursday December 26 and Friday 27.

The city, will also be lit up with fireworks, adding colour and sparkle to Dubai’s skyline.

Commenting on the events, Salim Ali Mohamed Dahman, Head of Campaigns – Africa at Dubai Tourism, said: “Dubai continues to rank among the most popular destinations for audiences from across Africa, particularly as we observe retail emerging as a key component of their travel experiences, buoyed by flagship events such as Dubai Shopping Festival”.

He continued, “To further foster growth from across the African continent, we will continue to leverage our multi-layered marketing strategy to deliver specialized communications programming and bespoke experiences that can bolster Dubai’s world-class shopping credentials.”

The region contributed six per cent to the emirate’s tourism volumes in the first ten months of the year, testament to the success of Dubai’s market diversification strategies, ongoing strategic trade partnerships, bespoke integrated marketing campaigns, always-on social media activations and the diverse portfolio of attractions that continue to experience sustained interest amongst travelers.

Africa’s populous country, Nigeria, emerged as the region’s lead contributor and the fastest growing market with a stellar 34 per cent increase in tourists arrival, cementing its position as the 16th largest source market for travelers to Dubai.

According to Mohammed Dahman, Dubai, contrary to popular notion, is not as expensive as people in, especially Africa think. Briefing the media on the upcoming event last Friday in Accra, he said “Dubai has something for everyone no matter who they are”.

On why organizers chose Ghana, Mohammed, said most of their traffic in Africa, has come from West Africa, especially Nigeria and Ghana. He revealed that in 2019 alone, a total of 609, 000 visited Dubai a growth of 14.3 percent.

Apart from leisure, Mohammed said, Dubai has a lot to offer it visitors, saying their health facilities, educational opportunities, among others, exist for all.

About Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism)

With the ultimate vision of positioning Dubai as the world’s leading tourism destination and commercial hub, Dubai Tourism’s mission, is to increase the awareness of Dubai among global audiences and to attract tourists and inward investment into emirate.

Dubai Tourism is the principal authority for the planning, supervision, development, and marketing of Dubai’s tourism sector.

It markets and promotes the Emirate’s commerce sector and is responsible for the licensing and classification of all tourism services, including hotels, tour operators and travel agents.

Brands and departments within the Dubai Tourism portfolio, include Dubai Business Events, Dubai Calendar, and Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment.




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