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Enjoy, it's DSF
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 28 - 01 - 2016

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K. T. Abdurabb
DUBAI — Shopping, winning and entertainment pretty much sums up every Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF) and this year, tourists from over 129 countries have come to take part in this journey to shop, explore and win. Dubai has once again transformed itself into a paradise for shopaholics.
The festival has returned bigger and better than ever. It has changed the lives of many families overnight and turned a lucky few into millionaires. Ending on Feb. 1, the 21st edition of this vibrant event has brought nothing but fortune and joy to UAE residents and visitors.
DSF has over 150 events and attractions including music concerts, beauty events, gold and jewelry displays, fashion shows, celebrity appearances and mesmerizing fireworks at popular spots all over the city in addition to the crazy sales and grand raffle draws.
The raffle draws have showered fortune on residents and visitors from all over the world, including Saudi Arabia.
Lady luck smiled on Faisal K; Malda Al Haffar; Joan May T. Juan; Moin Ul Haq; Mubeena M. Rafi; Lijo Joseph; Eljohn Acuyong who won 5 kgs of gold during the initial days.
The Infiniti Mega Raffle too has changed the lives of Raheem Ahmed Pullambil; Vinod Naik; Mohammed Naser Uddin; Amanullah Khan Munawat Khan; Sasidharan Kizhekke Kodiyath; Aboobaker Parakal Arafana; Pramod Kumar Gupta, among others.
In this draw, one lucky shopper gets the chance to drive home with an Infiniti QX70 and AED200,000 in cash every day.
The Dubai Gold and Jewellery Group is running its mega promotion, offering shoppers, spending a minimum of AED500 at participating gold and jewelry outlets in Dubai, the chance to win three fabulous gold prizes every day.
The first prize winner receives a prize of 1 kg of gold, the second lucky winner gets a 1⁄2 kg gold prize while the third daily winner gets to take home a 1⁄4 kg gold prize. In all, there will be 100 lucky winners over the 32 days of DSF celebrations receiving gold prizes worth AED7 million.
The other major daily raffle is the Nissan Grand Raffle which has been giving away one of the eight cars from Nissan — Micra; Sunny; Sentra; Tiida Hatchback; X-Trail; Juke; Pathfinder and Patrol. The raffles are still due for the coming week, and is sure to give wings to the dreams of the fortunate individuals who win.
Majid Al Futtaim Malls, Al Bustan, Barsha Mall, Ethihad Mall, Bin Sougat Centre, BurJuman Centre, Century Mall, Karama Centre, Oasis Mall, Sunset Mall, Times Square Centre, Uptown Mirdiff, Wasl Square, Wasl Vita and Dubai Outlet Mall, too have been offering various prizes that are worth millions of dirhams.
A pop-up shop concept for Abayas created by the Emirati designer Hessa Al Falahi features 15 locally based and regional Abaya designers and their collections.
City Centre Mirdif's "Central Galleria" is attracting a number of perfume lovers. The Perfume Village, too, has a pop-up market featuring niche local and regional brands from different countries.
Music lovers had the chance to see some of the biggest stars in the Arab music world live at Dubai's World Trade Center across four special nights, with each night featuring three of the Arab music world's iconic stars. Palestinian singer Mohammad Assaf and Indian singer Shreya Ghoshal also performed during the season.
This year, Carpet & Art Oasis has 54 pavilions spreading over 4,000 square meters, displaying as many as 250,000 exquisite silk and wool rugs at an estimated market value of AED2 billion, all of which are crafted in leading rug-making countries; Iran, India, China, Turkey, Azerbaijan, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Turkmenistan.
On an average, DSF attracts between 4 to 4.5 million visitors. These visitors spend around AED15 billion during the month-long festival.
Saudi Arabian visitors are known to be the biggest shoppers and this year, they were at an advantage since the shopping festival coincided with the two-week mid-year school holiday in Saudi Arabia.
"This time, the number of shoppers from KSA were high and our sales went up by a large margin," said Mohammed A.R., an electronic sales executive at the Mall of Emirates in Dubai. "Saudis are our top customers," he added.
According to the World Tourism Organization's statistics, the number of Saudis who leave each year for foreign tourism is about 5 million. Dubai attracted 1.54 million Saudi Arabian visitors in 2014.
Global Village, a major tourist attraction, drew in larger crowds of both tourists and residents this year. It provides a unique shopping experience through the 32 pavilions representing 75 countries.
Visitors get to experience the various cultures and shop for the countries' renowned products at the respective pavilions. New pavilions, which are participating for the first time, include Russia and Japan, in addition to the return of Indonesia and Palestine.
In addition, Global Village has arranged over 30 rides suited for children and families. A new jet ski show, which takes place under spotlights, has been attracting thousands every day.
The DSF organizers have set up the village meticulously, ensuring that it is convenient and entertaining for all visitors. The thought given even to the smallest comforts of the visitors was apparent with the charging booths set up at different spots for visitors to charge their phones.

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