The announcement came following the pledge made by the UAE on Saturday to allocate $150 million in new funding for water security solutions
Little Emulka Galstyan was among the excited who tugged at her father’s shirt to carry her in his arms and urged him to win one of the giant cuddly toys for her.
‘We have seen small fairs back in our home country but Emulka has never been so excited as today,’ said the four-year-old’s father, Ruslan, as he tried his hand at a game that his daughter led him to.
Emulka squealed with joy when her father finally landed the balls into a tub after two attempts and she had immediately pointed at a big mushroom-shaped doll she had been eyeing all evening.
The Galstyan family of three hail from Armenia and were spending their second week of holidays in Dubai for the first time.
‘We love this city. It’s so serene, modern and conservative. We’d planned our vacation around this shopping festival so we could see what it’s all about. It’s wonderful and better than what we’d expected. We hope to come back again,’ said Ruslan. Another visitor, Asma Khan from London, took turns with her 12-year-old daughter, Aaliya, at a game where they had to pick up a coloured plastic fish from a rotating table of other fishes with a plastic rod to win.
‘It looks easy but the fish’s mouths close quickly or we keep swinging our rods a bit too much,’ Aaliya laughed. ‘I think we’re going to keep trying because we really want to win one of those cuddly toys.’
Dubai residents, Ameera Azam and her husband from Pakistan, looked on as their sons, aged eight and 10, pedalled around on a tiny boat across a big inflated pool of water placed in the middle of the fair.
‘I really like these DSF fairs and tell my mom and dad to bring me here everyday. There’s so many things I want to try,’ said their youngest son, Ali.
A sense of unity and joy tinged the air as people of different nationalities from all walks of life gathered to watch the various dance troupes perform.
‘DSF is a time when Dubai residents and tourists from other countries are no strangers to each other. It has brilliant vibes of closeness,’ said Sami Akbar, a British national who has lived in Dubai for about five years.
Al Rigga Street fair comes alive at 4pm till midnight everyday with upbeat music, the warm smell of delicious street-side treats and a bright atmosphere livening up the evening and bringing people of all ages together.
A collection of activities for families have been divided into three. The electrical games area features rides set to give visitors an adrenaline rush, the redemption games area let visitors try out their arcade skills and has a range of prizes on offer, while the inflatable games area has large cushion-like slides and a big water-filled pool with tiny pedal-powered rafts.
Al Rigga Street is one of the main street destinations of Dubai Shopping Festival where a number of attractions from ‘Night Souqs’ and mini fun fairs to carriage rides and cultural performances await visitors.
The group landed in Abu Dhabi includes 77 children accompanied by 43 members of their families
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