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Dubai shopping festival builds great momentum for business

January 24, 2018 Visit Middle East / Dubai No Comments Email Email

As the 23rd edition of Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF) enters its home stretch, key economic sectors in Dubai have reported improved performance in the first half of the festival, creating the perfect momentum for businesses in Dubai at the beginning of the year.

Malls and retail outlets in Dubai have registered an increase in sales and footfall during the first half of DSF while other sectors such as airlines and financial services are also seeing an upswing in business during DSF, which is organized by  the Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment (DFRE), an agency of the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism).

Commenting on this business impact, Ahmed Al Khaja,  Chief Executive Officer, DFRE, said:  “We are pleased with the initial feedback that we have received from our stakeholders on the impact of Dubai Shopping Festival on their businesses. Indeed, these positive economic indicators for the first half of DSF augur well for the remaining period of the festival. This goes to prove how crucial DSF is to Dubai’s retail and ancillary sectors and is further evidence of Dubai’s position as a leading retail destination offering unique shopping experiences.  That the festival has already achieved a great measure of success  at its halfway stage is also testimony to the spirit of collaboration and support extended to DFRE by our key partners and other government departments and private sector establishments.”

DSF, which started on 26 December, runs until 27 January. DFRE and its strategic partners, key sponsors and trade entities collaborate each year to ensure that the citywide extravaganza offers residents and visitors enriching shopping experiences, the chance to win life-changing prizes and access to a range of family-oriented entertainment. The current edition of DSF features a number of themed retail promotions, events and activations while thousands of retail outlets have added to the shopping excitement by offering amazing deals including discounts of between 25% to 75% on a range of merchandise.

DFRE’s strategic partners are Emirates, The Dubai Mall, Majid Al Futtaim Properties, AW Rostamani Group, Al Futtaim Group (Dubai Festival City), Nakheel Malls (Ibn Battuta Mall, Dragon Mart 1, Dragon Mart 2), Dubai Duty Free, ENOC, Al Zarooni Group (Mercato), Meraas and Etisalat. The key sponsors of DSF 2018 are Visa, Emirates NBD and Jumbo Group, while key trade entities that support DSF are Dubai Gold and Jewellery Group and Dubai Shopping Malls Group.

Emirates sees considerable increase in traffic

Sheikh Majid Al Mualla – Divisional Senior Vice President Commercial Operations, Centre said, “Emirates has seen a considerable amount of traffic into Dubai during this period. Along with a steady stream of visitors from the UK, USA, France, Spain and Australia, we have also seen an increase of visitors from Russia, Pakistan, Netherlands and Egypt. Regionally, it has also been great to see a surge in visitors from Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. While we expect the festival to attract more visitors from around the world in the weeks to come before its conclusion, it is evident that the DSF’s worldwide appeal is growing every year, and Emirates is proud to connect shopping enthusiasts across the globe to yet another iconic event in Dubai.”

Malls register 10 % increase in footfall Dubai Festival City

Steven Cleaver, Director – Shopping Malls, Al Futtaim Group Real Estate, said: “Dubai Shopping Festival 2018 has been one of the most successful to date at Dubai Festival City Mall, as we have seen a 10% year-on-year increase in footfall. In support of Dubai Tourism’s initiative, each year we look to bring something even better and more exciting for our visitors to give them a unique experience. With the first ever Paddington World, our new Festival Wheel at Festival Bay, special Star Wars IMAGINE shows every night, combined with offers from 400 participating retailers as well as the chance to win our grand prize, a 2018 Jeep Cherokee and weekly iPhone Xs, we have had a hugely positive response.”

Nakheel Malls (Ibn Battuta Mall, Dragon Mart 1, Dragon Mart 2)

Omar Khoory, Managing Director of Nakheel Malls, said: “We have witnessed a very successful Dubai Shopping Festival 2018 so far. Our unique offerings and promotions at Ibn Battuta Mall and Dragon Mart have boosted visitor numbers by nearly 10 percent compared to last year, and we expect this to continue as we head into the last phase of the festival. DSF continues to retain its allure as the No. 1 event on Dubai’s annual retail calendar. We are proud to be a part of it and contribute to enhancing the retail landscape of Dubai.”


Nisreen Boustani, PR & Corporate Communications Manager of Mercato and Town Centre Jumeirah, said: “Mercato is thrilled to announce a very positive response during the first two weeks of this year’s Dubai Shopping Festival, the wonderful array of global live entertainment shows and other in-mall promotions have certainly played a major role in attracting more tourists and local residents to benefit from the considerable price reductions across most stores in the mall. We have noticed 10% increase in the mall’s footfall during the first half of DSF 2018, as Dubai Shopping Festival is an important part of Dubai’s tourism strategy, Mercato is proud to be a Strategic Partners of Dubai Festivals & Retail Establishment to promote Dubai as one of the leading tourist destinations in the world.”

Majid Al Futtaim Properties

Fuad Mansoor Sharaf, Managing Director for Majid Al Futtaim Properties, Shopping Malls (UAE, Bahrain & Oman) said: “Majid Al Futtaim extends its congratulations to the Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment for a successful start to the 23rd edition of Dubai Shopping Festival. We have witnessed robust increases in visitation during the first two weeks of DSF as a result of our signature events, unique prizes, and the vast shopping options each mall has to offer. The 23rd edition of DSF has been a resounding success for Majid Al Futtaim’s six shopping malls in Dubai: Mall of the Emirates, City Centres Deira, Mirdif, Me’aisem, Al Shindagha and My City Centre Al Barsha, with positive feedback from our retail partners and customers. We look forward to creating more great moments for our guests over the coming weeks as we continue to host stand-out entertainment and promotions.”

Boost for automotive sector AW Rostamani Group

Michel Ayat CEO of Arabian Automobiles Company, said: “At Arabian Automobiles, the flagship company of AW Rostamani Group, we have enjoyed a close strategic partnership with Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment (DFRE) since its inception. We are delighted to have contributed to making the Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF) the success it is today, and to be bringing a new range of creative campaigns and exciting promotions to the 2018 edition.  As we reach the halfway stage of DSF 2018, we reflect on what an important platform is it is for connecting us with our customers and providing us with direct insights based on their generous feedback. Our campaigns have been tailor made to suit our customer’s needs and we are delighted to have seen a positive response from them during the festival, which has been a healthy start. This year, we invite buyers to visit our showrooms so that we can treat them to the very best offers across the Nissan, INFINITI and Renault line-ups, in proper DSF fashion.


His Excellency Saif Humaid Al Falasi, Group CEO, ENOC, said: “It is an honour for ENOC, to be part of the 23rd edition of the Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF) and to gives us an opportunity to reward our loyal customers. DSF is part of the ongoing strategy to make Dubai the world’s leading family tourist destination, welcoming visitors and residents with exceptional retail offerings and lifestyle experiences. As a DSF partner, we are committed to supporting this vision, and upholding the same principles and setting new standards by providing outstanding services and products that ensure customer satisfaction.”

Dubai Duty-Free

Colm McLoughlin, Executive Vice Chairman and CEO, Dubai Duty-Free, said:  “This year’s edition of the Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF), which attracts so many visitors to Dubai, plays an important role in driving the retail sector across the board.  As many visitors travel through Dubai International Airport and Al Maktoum International during DSF, many shops first at Dubai Duty-Free before heading out into the city. Dubai Duty-Free operates in a competitive retail environment, offering the best products at the best prices and, in addition, provides an excellent level of customer service. The retail sector’s great deals during DSF have definitely generated a positive response from tourists all over.  DDF also offer a discount up to 5% for travellers who choose to purchase online for pre-order so they can shop for their purchase even before they arrive here”.


Abdullah Al Mana, general manager, Dubai Region – Etisalat, said:  “As a Strategic Partner, Etisalat is very pleased to see our customers enjoying our wide range of products and services this Dubai Shopping Festival. The 23rd edition of DSF continues to define Dubai as the must-visit retail and leisure destination for families around the world.  It is great to see the DSF in full swing, with unlimited shopping opportunities, amazing deals and promotions, and family entertainment and activities for the whole family.

“The festival has attracted millions of local, regional, and international tourists, and we expect this success to grow as it continues to gather pace. DSF allows us the chance to reach out to a higher number of customers and cater to their needs through our innovative products and services and competitive offers.”

Visa sees 27 % year on year growth

Karim Beg, Head of Marketing, MENA – Visasaid: “As with every Dubai Shopping Festival we’ve sponsored, Visa helps to drive business growth of participating retailers by offering tourists and residents exciting and rewarding shopping experiences when spending with their Visa cards. As we near the close of this year’s festival, we see a 27% year on year growth in payment volume with DSF-participating merchants compared to 16% for the rest of the market. This upswing in activity demonstrates our efforts to offer valuable experiences for shoppers and drive innovation across the payments landscape whilst positioning Dubai as a world-class shopping destination.”

Boom in consumer electronics business

Nadeem Khanzadah, Head, Omni-channel Retail, Jumbo Group, said:  “As DSF commenced a week prior to the implementation of VAT, it resulted in a flurry of excitement among shoppers who were eager to purchase products at attractive prices. This created a tremendously positive sales period for us at Jumbo. We witnessed shoppers making major purchases and taking advantage of our special promotions and value-add bundles that contributed to a 40% increase in sales as compared to the same period last year. The best-selling products that contributed to the sales were iPhone X; Samsung Note 8; Samsung S8 and S8 Plus; premium laptops of HP, Lenovo and Dell; Sony 4K and Samsung QLED TVs; Sony A7RIII mirrorless camera; and PlayStation PRO among others.”

Gold and Jewellery outlets enjoy excellent sales

Tawhid Abdullah, Chairman, Dubai Gold & Jewellery Group, said: “We are thrilled to see the overwhelming sale in the first two weeks of the festival; we have seen very good footfall during the first week of the Dubai Shopping Festival in the past, however, this year, the pre-VAT, Christmas & New Year sales seemed to have exceeded all expectations. Most certainly, consumers were moved by the favorable gold price and the mega winning opportunities that are offered by the Dubai Gold & Jewellery Group this DSF. We believe the participating stores would mark impressive sales for the remaining period of DSF as well. The gold price is at affordable levels and Dubai is certainly the best place to buy your favorite jewellery, and there is no better time than DSF to do so”.

Dubai Shopping Malls Group

Mr. Majid Al Ghurair, Chairman of Dubai Shopping Malls Group, said: “In its 23rd  edition, the Dubai Shopping Festival has maintained its positive impact on the economy. Halfway through the campaign we have witnessed a significant increase in customer engagement as compared to the previous editions. We are confident that we will be able to grow this engagement further as the second half continues with more exciting deals and value-added promotions. Being able to achieve these results reflect consumer willingness to spend in current market conditions, provided that they are offered great value in their purchases.”

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