First 2 weeks of DSF yield surge in economic activity

Brisk business at over 70 malls and more than 6,000 shops

By Staff Report (rohma@khaleejtimes.com)

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Published: Wed 22 Jan 2014, 12:56 PM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 10:18 PM

The first two weeks of the 19th edition of the Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF 2014) have resulted in a significant growth in key economic sectors of Dubai, with retailers reporting brisk business at over 70 participating malls and more than 6,000 shops.

The shopping extravaganza, which is organised by the Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment, an agency of the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM), will continue until February 2, under the theme ‘Shop at Your Best’ - aimed at offering unique shopping experiences through over 150 events and activities that are being held across the city.

Shopping malls have been abuzz since the start of DSF, as discounted shopping and festive feasting at the food courts and restaurants attracted large numbers of people of all age groups and nationalities. Visitors from around the world have been availing themselves of discounts of up to 75 per cent on a wide range of merchandise at malls and souks including electronics, home appliances, computers, perfumes, cosmetics and fashion.

Tourists have also been flocking to exchange dealers to take advantage of the best rates that are being offered by these centres, while car rental companies are heavily booked during DSF. Hotels in the city have recorded high occupancy levels, while the festival has also given a boost to airlines and key ancillary services like exchange houses since it got underway on January 2, 2014.

Laila Mohammed Suhail, CEO of the Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment, said: “We are very pleased with the initial feedback that we are receiving from our stakeholders and from various vital economic sectors in Dubai about the impact of DSF 2014 in its first two weeks. This just goes to prove how focal DSF is as an international event when it comes to attracting tourists and energising the economy in the emirate.”

“Without a doubt, the positive interaction from our partners and stake holders in the private sector with DSF has enhanced the festive ambience of Dubai, for wherever our visitors and shoppers go they will find DSF branded bags and exciting promotions, in addition to organizing their own events and raffle draws, and this is what we always mean in saying that DSF is a citywide festival,” Suhail explained.

Making an impact in the first half of DSF was the festival’s brand new initiative ‘Shop and Win’ - a promotion covering mid-sized shopping malls and community shopping centres across the city. During the two-week period, the promotion achieved cumulative sales of Dh400million.

Helal Saeed Almarri, director-general, DTCM, said: “The positive economic indicators that have emerged from the first two weeks of this year’s Dubai Shopping Festival augur well for the remaining period of the festival and are both a demonstration of the contribution retail makes to the Dubai economy and evidence of Dubai’s stature as a shopping destination. These results also endorse the strategy of the Dubai Government to leverage the retail and events sectors as key drivers of tourism growth, with Dubai Shopping Festival providing a range of unique shopping experiences which enhance the Emirate’s destination offering.“

Shaikh Majid Al Mualla, divisional senior vice president of commercial operations, Emirates Airline, said that Dubai could not have had a better platform to start DSF after hosting the world’s biggest fireworks display, and that the new year spectacle coupled with Dubai’s new-found status as the Expo host city for 2020, meant that DSF 2014 was always going to be particularly special. “It has certainly turned out to be, and even at this half way stage, we have seen tremendous support for the festival and all the associated activities. Emirates, as a DSF Strategic Partner, has once again played an important role, making sure our passengers visiting Dubai have the very best experience, both in the air and on the ground,” he said.

In addition, Salah Tahlak, senior vice president of corporate communications, Dubai Duty Free, said that DSF plays an important role in driving the retail sector across the board.

“As many visitors travel through the Dubai International Airport and Al Maktoum International during DSF, many visitors shop first at Dubai Duty Free before heading out of or 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,” Tahlak said.


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