Dubai is a wondrous blend of deep traditions and ambitious vision. Moreover, the city itself is like a shining beacon of progress in a beautiful desert landscape. One of the many attractions in Dubai is the annual Dubai Shopping Festival. Usually happening at the start of each year, it is the perfect way to start fresh; with excitement. The 2020 edition of the festival runs for a solid 38 days from 26th December 2019 and going on till 1st February 2020. Apart from the riot of festivities and vibrant activities, Dubai Shopping Festival offers a plethora of live performances, raffles, discounts, and leisure activities making it a must-visit attraction.
History of the Dubai Shopping Festival
The inaugural version of the Dubai Shopping Festival was held in 1996 as an attempt to facilitate tourism. This was necessary as the city’s economy at that time was completely dependent on their oil resources. The inaugural theme for the festival was “One World, One Family, One Festival” and attracted approximately 1.6 million people from all over the globe. Since then, the festival has grown in both reach and quality. Reaching its 25th year, the Dubai Shopping Festival will surely be a spectacle like no other.
Most festivals across the world have a dedicated area for their activities and attractions. Contrary to that, the Dubai Shopping Festival brings the festival to the city instead of the other way around. Rather than being in a mall or a large open area, the festival is spread across the city. Every spot in the country will have a presence of the festival whether it is a prestigious mall or a traditional park. The most prominent places people visit are the Dubai Mall, Global Village, Lulu Village, Gold Souk, Dragon Mart, Promenade at Dubai Festival City, DSF Desert Camp, Al Seef Street, Ibn Battuta Mall, Lamcy Plaza, Mercato Shopping Mall, Mall of the Emirates, and Majid Al Futtaim malls.
Things to buy during Dubai Shopping Festival
You can’t have an event named the Dubai Shopping Festival and not have shopping be the best thing about it. The festival is home to a long list of items you can buy. Moreover, it is renowned for its heavy bargains and lucrative deals. Here are a few things you can buy and the various deals that you may get for them:
- Clothes :
Dubai as a city is quite well known for its unique culture and part of that culture is the clothing and the variety of it. While Dubai has large stores of most international brands, the offers you get in the Dubai Shopping Festival is much better. Even the most top-end brands like Christian Louboutin, Jack & Jones, Prada, Burberry, and Verri etc. have significant bargains. Usually, if you visit these brand stores, you will have to spend a large amount of cash to get a few good pieces of clothing. However, deals offered in the Dubai Shopping Festival can change that for the better. Simply put, it allows you the chance to stock your wardrobe for the whole year with clothing from these premium brands without having to break the bank.
- Gadgets :
These days, all it takes is a Google search for you find gadgets designed to help with even the simplest tasks to begin with. While these gadgets may make things simpler, they also cost a large amount of money. Dubai Shopping festival solves that problem for you. You can purchase the best laptops, smartphones, music players and the likes at highly reasonable prices. Buying from an electronic store otherwise would have you settling for a lower quality gadget or have you chasing a larger payment. The festival allows you to create a balance by paying a fair price for gadgets from companies like Sony, Apple, Acer, Bose etc.
- Accessories :
The same way that this shopping festival compliments the city of Dubai, the accessories sold here have a huge variety to suit any piece of clothing that you prefer to wear. Moreover, you can buy things like bags, jackets, perfumes, watches, and cosmetics etc. for almost dirt cheap prices. As for the worth of your money, the accessories available here belong to premium brands and would otherwise empty out your wallet.
- Gold jewellery :
A lesser-known fact, especially if you are a first-time traveller to Dubai, is that gold is considerably cheaper in Dubai. The main reason for this is that it is tax-free in the city and the making charges are up for a bargain. The Dubai Shopping Festival makes the gold, even more, shinier with the discounts offered. Whether it is a traditional heavy ornament or a subtle contemporary piece of jewellery, you can find a large variety of gold jewellery at reasonable rates. Hence, the money you spend on your tickets and Dubai Visa to get there will be well worth it.
- Carpets :
Rugs are an ingenious piece of home décor that is widely popular among middle eastern countries, especially the United Arab Emirates. Hence, the Dubai Shopping Festival is the perfect place to buy a beautiful Arabic or Persian rug for your living room back home. While the Dubai Shopping Festival offers a lot more home décor items, carpets are the speciality. To make the deal sweeter, carpet merchants at the festival offer premium carpets at discounts as heavy as 50% to 75%.
As good as the festival is, it doesn’t make a difference to you unless you decide to be there for it. Hence, if you have made up your mind about visiting the festival, you should start making preparations for the trip. The biggest of those preparations is of a Dubai Visa. To your advantage, a Dubai tourist Visa has more flexible options. All you need to do is to have the right documents and fulfil all the conditions for eligibility.
Eligibility for Dubai Visa
Here is a list of criteria that a candidate needs to fulfil to be eligible for a Dubai Visa:
- You should have a valid passport.
- Your passport must be valid for at least the next 6 months after your trip and must have 2 blank pages.
- You should have confirmed return flight tickets to home country at the time of the Dubai Visa application.
- You should have enough funds to cover your expenses during the trip.
- You should not have a criminal record.
Documents required for Dubai Visa application
- A scanned copy of both the first and last pages of your passport.
- A scanned copy of your passport size colour photograph.
- Confirmed tickets for your return flight.
The Dubai Shopping Festival can also be a great excuse to visit the numerous attractions in the city if you needed one before. You can visit the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa, Global Village, or the Dubai Miracle Garden. If you want to enjoy the beach waves crashing at your feet, you can take a stroll at the Jumeriah beach. This just goes to show that you will never run out of reasons to visit Dubai. Hope this article was helpful to you.