February 24, 2024

Dubai Shopping Festival, a great event to boost UAE tourism


When it comes to hotel occupancy rates, only China could beat the UAE’s 54.7 percent mark in 2020, despite the pandemic wreaking havoc on the global travel economy.

In the wake of the coronavirus outbreak in the year 2020, the tourist industry in the United Arab Emirates had the second-highest hotel occupancy rate in the world. 

Making UAE regain its crown as a great tourism destination in the world. Dubai Shopping Festival contributes to a great extent in boosting UAE tourism.

United Arab Emirates was among those countries which had least impact and recovered quickly after Covid-19 Pandemic.

Ministry of Economy UAE

As a result of the continuing epidemic, the UAE achieved a 54.7 percent hotel occupancy rate in 2020, second only to China.

The worldwide rate, on the other hand, dipped to 37 percent, with hotels in the Middle East area recording an average occupancy rate of 43 percent.

Dubai Shopping Festival

Dubai Shopping Festival was the first to start when compared to any of the current mega retail malls of Dubai. DSF had helped UAE as an ideal shopping destination within the Middle East. What we all know about Dubai is that it is a shopper’s paradise, and there is no better place to spend your money than here.

Dubai Shopping Mall is a mega crowd puller to UAE, which contributes to a great extent in improving revenues for tourism industry.

It is important to note that DSF is not a massive fair or expo where you can purchase things. A city-wide event organized by Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment, which is a division of Dubai’s Department of Tourism, lasts around a month and during which most major stores give significant discounts.

In addition, there are daily lottery prizes, fireworks displays, entertainment, and other activities. At that time, there is no one area where you can go to enjoy DSF, but rather a slew of activities, promotions, and entertainment going place all throughout the city to keep you entertained

The inaugural event took place in 1996

The DSF has a long and illustrious history that predates even the establishment of several of the city’s most prominent retail malls.

As directed by H.E. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid current Vice President of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Dubai. Dubai International Film Festival was started in 1996, idea was to promote Dubai as a prominent tourist destination. Dubai International Film Festival also helped, boost UAE’s economy and tourist industry.

The first of its type, it was intended to encompass three major aspects: shopping, prizes, and family entertainment. It was the first festival of its kind.

A total of 121 Lexus GS300 vehicles and 43 kg of gold were given away in different raffle draws during the event's first year. 

There was musical entertainment as well as a city-wide carnival with street entertainment and athletic activities, such as the Dubai World Cup horse race, to keep everyone entertained.

Since the festival’s start, fireworks have been a regular feature, and the 1996 DSF was the occasion when Rashed Al Majed’s song Dubai Danat Al Dunya was premiered throughout the globe.

With no turning back since then, the event has taken place every year with the exception of 2006 when it was canceled after the death of previous Dubai Ruler H.E. Sheikh Maktoum bin Rashid, which occurred shortly after the festival was canceled.

Introducing the Global Village, which will include a variety of themes and entertainment

During the second DSF, a shopping expo was established on the Creekside of Baniyas Street, which included foreign pavilions showcasing handicrafts, cuisine, and other products.

This component of the event drew a large number of visitors and served as the inspiration for the creation of Global Village, which is today one of Dubai’s most well-known tourist destinations.

In the following years, Global Village relocated to Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Road, where it has remained to this day, and developed into the seasonal theme park that we know and love today.

New milestones and world records have been set

The DSF has announced a number of events that will push the boundaries of what is possible. As part of a Dubai Shopping Festival event in 2013, the Dubai Metro was transformed into a catwalk for Bloomingdale’s.

The following year, in collaboration with luxury boutique Etoile La Boutique, DSF staged a first-of-its-kind vertical catwalk, with models gliding on ropes and wires around the walls of the Burj Khalifa’s observation deck.

Other DSF events were so successful that they went on to become as well-known as the organization itself.

When the Dubai International Jazz Event was held in 2010, it was a major component of the festival, with a lineup that featured the James Taylor Quartet, the Brand New Heavies, David Gray, and James Morrison among others.

The Gulf Bike Festival, which began with a Harley Davidson procession started in 2010. When DSF’s opening ceremony included the world’s longest synchronized musical fireworks show, which stretched for more than six kilometers, it is widely considered to have started the trend of breaking world records with pyrotechnic displays.

This drive to create new pathways and events show no signs of abating: this year, DSF launched its first TunesDXB festival, which will include free live music and entertainment in 11 places around the city, including Abu Dhabi’s own acclaimed musicians.

Maintaining one’s composure in the face of a pandemic

In 2020, when the globe was combating the virus Covid-19, DSF played a part in boosting tourism in the United Arab Emirates. The hospitality industry responded by providing staycation packages that included savings on meals, complimentary upgrades, and scheduling flexibility in order to combat the shaky travel circumstances.

When it comes to festivals and events, “Dubai is dedicated to utilizing its festivals and events, such as the Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF), to strengthen the domestic tourist industry,” stated

Mr. Issam Kazim, CEO of Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism).

In what way does the Dubai Shopping Festival serve a purpose?

A city-wide event organized by Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment, which is a division of Dubai’s Department of Tourism, lasts around a month and during which most major stores give significant discounts. In addition, there are daily lottery prizes, fireworks displays, entertainment, and other activities.

What is the duration of the Dubai Shopping Festival?

The Dubai Shopping Festival, now in its 27th year, has come to an end after 47 days of bargains, events, lottery drawings, fireworks, and general good times and entertainment.

The dates for the next edition of the shopping festival, which will take place from December 15, 2022, to January 29, 2023

Organizers – Dubai Shopping Festival


The Dubai Shopping Festival is unquestionably worthwhile. If you like fireworks and are interested in shopping, you should not miss out on this opportunity.