DSF: The best of the shopping extravaganza's 26 years

Here’s a throwback to the beginnings of the DSF and how it evolved within a quarter of a century



By Thanweeruddin Mohammad

Published: Sun 12 Dec 2021, 11:28 PM

Dubai is synonymous with shopping. And the Dubai Shopping Festival is synonymous with deals and raffles. What began as a retail event in 1996 is now the world’s largest shopping fest. Ahead of its 27th edition kickoff on Wednesday, here’s a throwback to the beginnings of the extravaganza and how it evolved within a quarter of a century.

1996: The story begins

The shopping festival’s inaugural edition saw 1.6 million visitors.
The shopping festival’s inaugural edition saw 1.6 million visitors.

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1998: All about family

The family theme was introduced for the first time. A footfall of 2.2 million was recorded.
The family theme was introduced for the first time. A footfall of 2.2 million was recorded.

2001: Shoppers win big

A special promo for mothers was rolled out, and a winner bagged $100,000. Thirty-one Rolls-Royce cars were also given away.
A special promo for mothers was rolled out, and a winner bagged $100,000. Thirty-one Rolls-Royce cars were also given away.

2006-2007: A double edition

Instead of having two festivals for this period, DSF held one long edition, much to shoppers’ delight.
Instead of having two festivals for this period, DSF held one long edition, much to shoppers’ delight.

2010: Live entertainment across the city

Street festivities, as well as Dubai International Jazz Festival and the Gulf Bike Festival, were introduced.
Street festivities, as well as Dubai International Jazz Festival and the Gulf Bike Festival, were introduced.

2013: Not your ordinary fashion show

The region’s first-ever fashion event on a moving train was held aboard the Dubai Metro.
The region’s first-ever fashion event on a moving train was held aboard the Dubai Metro.

2019: The silver edition

The longest-running festival of its kind marked its 25th year with 38 days of show-stopping entertainment and mega sales
The longest-running festival of its kind marked its 25th year with 38 days of show-stopping entertainment and mega sales

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