Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 22 October 2020

A silver jubilee: how the Dubai Shopping Festival has evolved over 25 years

This year's event begins on Thursday, December 26

An Egyptian artist plays the clarinet during preparations for the Dubai Shopping Festival on Wednesday, December 20, 2006. AFP
An Egyptian artist plays the clarinet during preparations for the Dubai Shopping Festival on Wednesday, December 20, 2006. AFP

The first Dubai Shopping Festival took place in 1996 and its inaugural event reportedly attracted a whopping 1.6 ­million shoppers, spending $584 million (Dh2.14 billion).

This photograph was taken 10 years later, on December 20, when the 2006-2007 event began. It shows an Egyptian artist playing the clarinet during preparations for the shopping festival, which would last 45 days, until ­February 2, 2007.

It was and still is the longest iteration of the event, as it combined both the 11th and 12th festivals. The previous version, which was scheduled to begin in January 2006, had been cancelled due to the death of Sheikh Maktoum bin Rashid, former Vice President and Ruler of Dubai.

Over the years, this annual event has become bigger and bigger as an increasing number of shops and malls participate. This year, DSF is set to celebrate its silver jubilee and will take place from Thursday, December 26, until Saturday, February 1.

Shoppers will find discounts of up to 75 per cent in hundreds of stores across the city, on everything from fashion to jewellery and electronics. There will be ongoing family friendly activities throughout the month, as well as regular firework displays, musical performances, stage shows, roaming entertainment, sporting events and all sorts of raffle draws and competitions to take part in.

Market Outside The Box at Burj Park will also make a comeback, as the open-air market showcases the best from emerging local and international designers, as well as food from home-grown eateries.

Here’s to another 25 years of bargain shopping to come.

Updated: December 19, 2019 06:10 PM

Editor's Picks
THE DAILY NEWSLETTER
Sign up to our daily email