Dubai skies to glow with dancing drones, lights show during shopping festival

Shoppers can win cash, cars and gold with DSF raffles

by

Sahim Salim

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Photos: Supplied, KT archives and Visit Dubai
Photos: Supplied, KT archives and Visit Dubai

Published: Fri 1 Dec 2023, 6:00 AM

Last updated: Thu 7 Dec 2023, 6:47 PM

From drone shows to glowing installations, Dubai will light up when its shopping festival begins on December 8. The Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF) will, of course, feature promotions, retail deals and raffle draws, but the 38-day event is much more than just shopping and big wins.

Taking place from December 8 to January 14, the 29th edition of the festival will feature pop-up markets, dining experiences, art installations, and sporting events.

Here are some of the key free events to watch out for; and how to try your luck at winning cash, gold and cars.

Let there be light

Dubai Lights is a public art show that’s free to attend, and as its name suggests, features lighting installations.

Anooki.
Anooki.

Anooki, the inflatable characters: These larger-than-life characters will illuminate Al Seef and d3. Created by French designers Moetu Batlle and David Passegand, the characters are ambassadors for the environment.

Journey of lights: About 40 of Dubai’s abras — traditional boats — will illuminate in neon lighting as part of the event, making the Creek glow.

World of neon.
World of neon.

World of neon: At the old Gold Souk, visitors can stroll through the marketplace adorned with neon signs.

Walkable lights: The West Beach in Palm Jumeirah will feature walkable scenes that include life-size installations of Amazonian parrots, intricate floral artwork and more, all inspired by the world’s largest tropical rainforest.

Dancing drones that tell a story

According to organisers, this year’s drone show will be DSF’s “most sensational” yet. From December 10 to January 14, over 800 drones will light up the sky over Bluewaters twice every evening. The dancing drones will take off at 8pm and 10pm, to narrate two stories — one about the significance of the Pearl in Dubai; and the other about an Emirati space explorer who enters a portal that takes him to the future.

Khaleej Times got an exclusive, behind-the-scenes look at the show last year. Read about it here.

Win cars, cash and gold

  • IDEALZ DSF grand prize is a cool Dh2 million.
  • DSF mega raffle lets winners drive away with a brand-new Nissan Patrol V6.
  • 300 shoppers to win a total of 25kg gold with the Dubai Jewellery Group raffle.
  • Shop, spin, and win up to Dh1 Million with the digital raffle promotion by Dubai Shopping Malls Group.

All things cars

The Dubai Police Carnival will take place on January 4-8 at City Walk, featuring an impressive line-up of vehicles for visitors to view.

Emirates Classic Vehicles Festival at City Walk on December 15-24 will take visitors back in time.

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