Dubai Shopping Festival returns with fireworks, discounts and live concerts

There's much to look forward to from the long-running retail festival

Dubai Shopping Festival is back for its 27th year with pop-up markets and restaurants, prizes, fireworks displays, concerts and plenty of discounts across various malls in the emirate. Photo: Dubai Shopping Festival
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The Dubai Shopping Festival is returning for its 27th year, running from Wednesday until the end of January. Expect shopping deals, concerts, nightly shows, family entertainment, outdoor markets and pop-up dining. There will also be a programme of events at Expo 2020 Dubai to coincide with the event.

“The Dubai Shopping Festival was initially launched to boost local businesses, and has now grown into the world’s longest-running, internationally acclaimed retail festival," said Ahmed AlKhaja, chief executive of Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment.

"Over the years, DSF has played a significant role in growing Dubai’s reputation as one of the best cities to live in, work and visit by showcasing its breadth of offers from shopping and cultural experiences to world-class dining and entertainment.

"This year, the packed calendar of DSF events not only demonstrates our ability to safely welcome visitors from across the world, but supports domestic tourism and further strengthens our position as a global retail destination."

Here's a small guide of what you can look forward to:

Opening night concert

Emirati-Yemeni singer Balqees Fathi and Egyptian artist Mohamed Hamaki will take to the stage for the DSF opening performance on Wednesday at Burj Park. Tickets start from Dh75. In addition to the live concert, there will also be a Burj Khalifa light show, dancing fountains and performance artists.

Drone shows

Returning for another year is the DSF Drone Light Show which will take place at Bluewaters Island, The Beach opposite JBR and the newly opened Ain Dubai. The show will run daily at 7pm and 9.30pm, and will also be complemented by a light show at Ain Dubai.

Set to Rashed Al-Majed and RedOne’s Ya Salam Ya Dubai, the Expo 2020 anthem This is Our Time and David Guetta’s global hit Titanium featuring Sia, the DSF Drone Light Show will showcase mesmerising choreography and incorporate augmented reality elements while telling the story of the UAE’s past, present and future.

Art installations

There will be six unique interactive art installations from international artists on display under the Dubai Lights project. One is City Gazing Dubai by VOUW at DIFC Gate Avenue, an installation inspired by the emirate with a special accompanying soundtrack. Other works can be seen at The Pointe, La Mer and Last Exit, Al Khawaneej.

Live music

Another addition to this year’s festival is TunesDXB at La Mer, which will run over three days. The event will feature live music and entertainment at 15 locations across the city with the main stage at La Mer. It will give local talent a chance to shine, with concerts from January 7 to 9. This will also coincide with a performance by some of the Arab world’s biggest stars, although names have yet to be revealed.

Shopping sales and outdoor markets

Starting on Monday, December 27, shoppers can take advantage of what DSF calls "unbelievable deals" which will be revealed only 24 hours prior from participating brands that span lifestyle, sports, fashion, beauty, home and accessories.

DSF Markets also returns across various locations including Al Seef, Rigga, Al Khawaneej and Global Village. Etisalat Market OBT, the flagship alternative shopping destination, returns to Burj Park and features food kiosks and concepts from the region. This year, it will also have its own roller skating rink and padel court.

Pop-up concepts

Emirati women will get a special showcase as part of the new Ladies Homegrown Pop Ups. The platform aims to provide support to home-grown businesses in the UAE. Also set to return will be global brand activations, although more details are to be announced in January.

Daily fireworks

As in previous years, daily fireworks displays will be taking place to offer onlookers a pyrotechnic spectacle from vantage points around the city. They will also be paired with the daily DSF Done Show.


Shoppers can be rewarded for their time through daily prizes and raffles. On offer are chances to win a new Nissan (Kicks, Patrol, X-Terra or X-Trail) as well as an Infiniti QX80 along with Dh100,000. There’s also a mega cash draw for Dh750,000 or a gold raffle where one shopper can take home up to a quarter kilogram of gold. Also up for grabs is a weekly draw for a chance to win 1 million Skywards Miles with Emirates, among other contests and draws.

Updated: December 13, 2021, 7:57 AM