Started on February 1996 with the aim of invigorate the trade of the city and promote Dubai as a tourist destination, Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF) called "Layali Dubai" in Arabic, has become the most important international shopping event in the Middle East. For 11 years DSF has grown unstoppable and today this annual festival attracts more than 3 million of visitors from all around the world eager to buy.
DFS lasts a month and is regularly scheduled in the first quarter of the year. During the festival, shops offer deep discounts, bargains, promotions on their products of the best brands, hotels and apartments complexes offer reduced accommodation rates, Emirates Airlines offers significant deals on tickets and even daily car raffles are drawn.
But tourists are lured not just for Dubai's tax free shopping, but also for all of the events that take place during this time. Visitors can enjoy a permanent trip to the rich Dubai's heritage through the Global Village which counts with numerous children and family fun centers, fashion shows, international artists, street-side performances, musical shows, film festivals, several cultural events and fireworks lighting Dubaiís night sky; all of these reflecting the emirateís cosmopolitan spirit.
Today, this annual shopping, entertainment, and cultural mega event plays a crucial role in the tourism industry of the "City of Gold", attracting countless potential immigrant endowment and investment supported in the collaboration between private sector and public sector. Dubai is simply the shopping paradise.
- In 2005, DSF was suspended by reason of the decease of Dubai's ruler Sheikh Maktoum Bin Rashid Al Maktoum.
- Dubai has another shopping festival during the hot summer months, when the tourist activity decreases, called Dubai Summer Surprises.
- Abu Dhabi, the city capital of the United Arab Emirates holds its own yearly shopping festival in March.
- The Dubai World Cup, the richest horse race in the world with US$ 12 million in prizes, is celebrated during DSF.
Shopping in Dubai