Dubai Shopping Festival Journey

The Dubai Shopping Festival is an event that completes 24 years in 2019. Started in the year 1996, the DSF was introduced to give a boost to Dubai’s retail trade, which has never been low since then. The shopping festival is held during the first quarter of the year, usually during the months of January and February. In 2019, the DSF is to be held from Dec 26th to Jan 28th 2019.

The Dubai Shopping Festival has been a hit amongst residents, expats and tourists alike from the time of its inception. The offers and discounts on products like electronics, gold, jewellery, etc. attract millions of people to Dubai from around the world, every year. As per reports, almost 3 million people come to Dubai during the DSF.

Apart from letting you go on a shopping spree, the DSF also entertains you. Celebrities, musicians and such artists are brought in from around the world. Music concerts, fashion shows, film festivals, art shows, etc. are a part of the shopping festival in Dubai. The fireworks display that you would see in the festival is one that you would never forget.

One of the reasons why the popularity of DSF increases every year is because it presents something unique each year. Even if you have gone to Dubai Shopping Festival every year, there is no reason that you would get bored. There is something new to see and do every single year. Here we present a highlight of the DSF from the time of its introduction:

  • 1996: This is the year when the Dubai Shopping Festival was first introduced. The first year itself saw around 1.6 million visitors. The festival generated a revenue over D2 billion the first year itself.
  • 1997: The second year saw the introduction of Global Village, which was first established at Baniyas Street on the Creekside. Although there was not a drastic increase in the number of people to have visited Dubai, the flow of people remained steady.
  • 1998: The theme of the festival this year was “Children of the World Meet in Dubai” which helped to attract families from around the world. This was the year when DSF introduced Nissan Patrol A Day where a Nissan Patrol car was given as prize to lucky winners every day. Super Safari Raffle was also introduced this year.
  • 1999: The theme of the festival in 1999 was named as the “Biggest Family Gathering of Millennium”. This was the year when the DSF displayed the longest and heaviest gold chain, the world’s longest sofa, the largest chair, the largest mattress and the largest stationery bicycle.
  • 2000: This is the year when the theme of the Dubai Shopping Festival finally changed as “One World. One Family. One Festival.” The theme remains the same since then. The change of theme increased the number of visitors to the DSF. This year alone recorded around 2.5 million visitors. This is also the year when people saw the longest taxi parade through the Sheikh Zayed Road to Al Seef Street.
  • 2001: In the year 2001, 31 Rolls Royce were gifted to visitors through a raffle draw along with the usual Nissan Patrol cars. This was the year that saw the biggest bowl of biriyani weighing 1885.4 kilograms. The DSF also displayed the largest incense burner and the largest shopping bag this year.
  • 2002: The DSF 2002 was when Dubai issued the biggest entry visa (a giant visa version) which measured 0.7 m x 1 m. Visitors got the opportunity to see the biggest box of chocolates, biggest magazine, longest continuous watercolour painting, etc. It was also the year when 2 Lexus cars were given away as prizes along with 41 kg of gold.
  • 2003: The year 2003 showed a change in some of the retail concepts as well as tourism. New trends were introduced, one of which included Night Souq and Desert Camp. This was the year that saw 2.92 million visitors.
  • 2004: DSF 2004 is the year when the largest fashion international brands like Christian Lacroix, Dior, Emanuel Ungaro and Givenchy are launched. Moreover, the biggest displays include the largest shopping trolley, biggest calendar and also the longest food buffet containing 515 dishes at the buffet.
  • 2005: 2005 celebrates the 10th anniversary of the Dubai Shopping Festival. It is during this year that the Global Village is shifted to Dubailand, an area of 17.4 million square feet. This year the visitors saw the world’s largest human flag, the largest collection box, etc. This was the year when the Lexus Mega Raffle began. Lucky winners were given two Lexus cars as well as Dh 100,000 every day.
  • 2006: The Dubai Shopping Festival was cancelled as Sheikh Maktoum Bin Rashid Al Maktoum passed away suddenly.
  • 2007: As the DSF 2006 was cancelled, the city organized a combined shopping festival at the end of 2005 (December 20 to be precise) which continued till February 2007. This was the longest Dubai shopping festival, spanning 54 days in total.
  • 2008: The year 2008 showed several exciting events and activities like Dubai Fashion show, food festival, Dubai Fringe Festival, Guinness Book of World Records, Carpet Oasis, etc. Entertainment shows like Festival Park, music concerts, etc. were also organized.
  • 2009: This is the year when JBR (Jumeirah Beach Residency) Walk was added to the Dubai Shopping Festival. The city of Dubai saw 3.35 million visitors during this shopping festival. Visitors were able to see the largest gold ring in the world (weighing 64 kg.) and also a spread of the more than 2232 types of desserts on display.
  • 2010: Dubai Shopping Festival celebrated its 15th year in 2010. Apart from the usual discounts, deals and prizes, there were several entertainment events like jazz festival, music concerts by Sean Kingston and Zakir Hussain, etc. Almost 6000 cultural programs were held during this period. Some of the shows that people witnessed were the Waterway of Lights, Chinese Flying Piles, the Art of Fire and Human Canonball. More than 155,000 visitors visited Global Village.
  • 2011: The 2011 DSF was spectacular in every way. Right from the opening ceremony to the shopping malls and outlets to the music concerts, food festivals and other entertainment shows, everything about this festival was grand. Lucky winners were awarded Lexus cars, Nissan cars as well as gold jewellery through Raffle.
  • 2012: The DSF 2012 showed various attractive prices, great deals, Lexus Mega Raffle, cultural entertainment events, food festivals, etc. Dubai welcomed 4.36 million visitors during the festival.
  • 2013: The highlight of DSF 2013 was the fashion show that was help inside the Dubai Metro. It came to be known as the first fashion event to be help on a moving train. The 18th year of the shopping festival saw around 4.66 million visitors.
  • 2014: The theme of DSF 2014 was “Shop at your Best” which celebrated the shopping spirit of the city. This extravagant event featured 6000 retail outlets across the city as well as 70 malls.
  • 2015: The year 2015 celebrated the 20th anniversary of the Dubai Shopping Festival. Based on the theme “Journey of Celebrations”, the DSF was a celebration of entertainment, shopping and winning at an altogether different level.
  • 2016: The 21st edition of DSF, held from January 1st to February 1st, was celebrated under the tagline ‘Unwrap the Exceptional’. It absolutely lived up to its theme and delivered the best ever entertainment and retail experience highlighted by exciting promotions and life-changing sweepstakes.

DSF will be even more promising, successful and bigger next year, with almost double the number of visitors expected to join in this unmatched revelry.