Filed on December 15, 2020 | Last updated on December 15, 2020 at 10.31 pm
Dubai's most-awaited shopping festival is back with live entertainment, great deals and unique sensory experiences.
In Dubai, the fun never stops, and what better way to mark the year-end than to indulge in one of the city's biggest festivals! Explore 100 exciting things to do this weekend, as the Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF) kicks off on December 17, 2020 and run until January 30, 2021, bringing visitors and residents a safe and welcoming destination.
Now in its 26th edition, DSF is not just a celebration, but a wholesome experience for the entire family, and yes, there's tonnes of activities in store specially for the little ones. It's a great time to shop till you drop, while enjoying some of the finest entertainment and leisure options across the city in a clean, secure environment.
PS : Take note and mark your calendars, dear readers. The shopping sales officially start from December 26 onwards, where you can enjoy shopping from more than 800 brands and close to 3,700 outlets, each offering up to 75 per cent off!
Here are 100 things to do with family and friends, as the Dubai Shopping Festival starts this weekend !
Library Circles: Maryam Al Dabbagh | Jameel Art Centre Broaden your horizons with a visit to Library Circles, an exhibition by Maryam Al Dabbagh
Theme Nights | Movenpick Grand Al Bustan Dine out with friends and family and choose your cuisine at the Movenpick Grand Al Bustan! Use the DSF offer of Buy 1 Get 1 Free on Theme Nights
Seafood and Italian nights | Swissotel Al Murooj Dubai Planning to dine out this weekend? Buy 1 Get 1 FREE on the buffet at this Thursday's Seafood Themed Night or the buffet at Friday's Italian Theme Night at the Swissotel Al Murooj.
Digital Art Show "From Monet to Kandinsky Revolutionary Art" | Souk Madinat Jumeirah Have you had a chance to see the new Theatre of Digital Art. We recommend 'From Monet to Kandinsky -Revolutionary Art'. A great day out for all the family
Free Shopping Vouchers | Armani Hotel Dubai - The Dubai Mall Book your room or suite at Armani Hotel Dubai during Dubai Shopping Festival and get 20% off stays, Dh200 shopping credit per day in any Emaar Malls and free tickets to Dubai Aquarium, Underwater Zoo & VR Park. Experience life at the heart of a landmark. T&Cs apply.
Sir Winston Churchill Cup | Al Habtoor Polo Resort and Club December 17-18 If you fancy a day at the polo, watching the sport of kings head to the Al Habtoor Polo Resort and Club to watch the final days of the Sir Winston Churchill Cup.
Jack & The Beanstalk | Al Baraha Ballroom, InterContinental Festival City December 17-27 One for the whole family, spend the evening watching Jack & The Beanstalk then head to the Festival of Lights the Dubai Festival City Mall promenade.
Do you remember what you are burning? Exhibition | Jameel Art Centre Discover the contemporary art experiences of displacement, belonging and resilience through the great work of Hiwa K at the solo showcase.
Carbon 12 exhibition | AlSerkal Avenue December 17-19 In scarce moments of contemplative silence, we find no short-lived consolation, only sobering reality. Witness New York-based artist Sara Rahbar's interpretation of the numerous contemporary issues within our society, starting with the build-up of frustration.
Nissan Grand Raffle Draw (Pre-DSF Winners Announcement) | The Global Village December 17 Head to Global Village this weekend and experience their 25th anniversary upgrade. Make sure you stay for the Nissan & Infinity Grand Raffle at 9pm.
Nissan & Infiniti Grand Raffle (Draw Date) | The Global Village - Live stage show December 19 If you have your hands on one of the already sold-out tickets for the DSF opening days, sit back, chill and watch the draw on Dubai TV at 9pm.
The Christmas Show | Palm Ballroom, Fairmont The Palm December 17-28 It's the time of the year when the city celebrates The Christmas Show with live stage entertainment and performances. Feel the Christmassy and enjoy non-stop musical shows this weekend.
Salt Camp X DSF | DIFC December 17-April 30 Experience city camping with interactive installations, food, live workshops. Be the first to taste Salt & the new 'Sugar' experience this weekend!
DSF Grand Opening Ceremony | Burj Park, Downtown Dubai December 17-19 Celebrate Dubai Shopping Festival's remarkable opening ceremony with an exclusive concert featuring legendary singers, Tamer Hosny and Hussain Al Jassmi. The doors open at 4pm. You can also watch the concert live on MBC1 or Wanasah TV at 8.30pm (Dubai time).
The Pointe Fountain show| The Pointe Listen to the new remixed DSF song throughout the festive season.
William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream | The Junction December 17-18 A Midsummer Night's Dream is one of Shakespeare's best-known comedies. It tells the hilarious tale of four young people and a group that gets lost in the woods one fateful night, and the magical fairies who help them find laughter, love and light - all whilst creating total and utter pandemonium!
Festive Forest of Light | Dubai Festival City December 17-29 Shoppers will discover a magical festive experience at Dubai Festival City Mall's market at Festival Bay. Highlights include a festive interactive maze, an enchanted polar bear valley, a candy factory and a socially distant Santa's grotto.
American Rag Cie X DSF | The Dubai Mall December 17-27 Experience augmented reality through American Rag Cie X DSF. Head along on Thursday, Friday and Saturday to experience local and international B-Boy showcases with live DJs all eyeing the Dh10,000 prize. Join in key workshops and hip hop cardio with live DJs.
The Snowman | The Theatre at Mall of the Emirates December 18 Come and see the longest running Christmas show in English theatre history. Based on Raymond Brigg's much-loved book and featuring Howard Blake's classic song Walking In The Air, this enchanting live show has thrilled audiences throughout the world since first appearing on stage over twenty-five years ago. Be a part of the magic, book your tickets today.
Anne-Marie and Clean Bandit concert | Burj Park, Downtown December 18 International sensation Anne-Marie and pop act Clean Bandit will perform a DJ set alongside vocalist Yasmin Green, as part of the Etisalat Market OTB. The marketplace will also feature unique F&B vendors and family activities. Doors open from 12pm and concert seating begins at 5pm. Tickets are priced Dh50 and available on DubaiCalendar.com, Platinumlist.net and the Dubai Calendar app (available on iOS and Android).
Lighting at El Greco | La Mer December 17-19 Go Greek and Dine at El Greco under the DSF Lights at La Mer this weekend, perfect for an instastories post to give your friends FOMO and a restaurant with beach vibes!
Jingle Bells Rock | Sheikh Saeed Hall, DWTC The ultimate festive, feel good, family Christmas concert, Jingle Bell Rock is coming to featuring the most loved Christmas songs with a stellar line up of international performers and musicians, you don't want to miss it.
The Simone & Garfunkel Story | Dubai Opera December 19 Following a sold out Worldwide tour, The Simon & Garfunkel Story is back! Using huge projection photos and original film footage, this 50th Anniversary Celebration also features a full live band performing all the hits.
DSF Daily Drone show | The Beach & Bluewaters Discover the extraordinary lighting display using innovation and the latest technology of Drone Show. The shows will take place daily - at 7pm and 9.30pm. It will run for 45 days only, so don't miss it!
Dubai Performing Arts | Malls across the city Dubai Performing of Arts kicks off this weekend with 80+ show across the city.
Meet Modesh and Dana this weekend | Etisalat Market OTB Dubai's favourite mascot, Modesh, will be present at the Etisalat Market OTB this weekend between 4pm to 10pm.
Dine under the DSF Lights | The Citywalk Book a night out with friends and Dine at Gran Caffe Londra under the DSF Lights on The Boulevard in Citywalk and enjoy this amazing weather.
Dine under the DSF Lights | La Mer Dine with the family at Stars N Bars restaurant under the DSF Lights at La Mer this weekend, and tuck into delicious American delights.
La Perle by Dragone | Al Habtoor City Experience the state-of-the-art theatre that promises to teleport you beyond the realms of live shows and into the magical world envisaged by Dragone.
DGJG Raffles | Gold outlets across the city Upon the purchase of gold jewellery worth AED 500, customers will be entitled to one raffle coupon, and two raffle coupons will be presented with the purchase of diamond and pearl jewellery worth AED 500. Each raffle ticket gives customers a chance to win:
In total 25 kilos of gold, with 4 winners (250 gm gold each) announced every second day from 18 th December 2020 to 30 th January 2021
On 30 th January 12 lucky shoppers, chosen from amongst the buyers and the winners, will take home up to 3 kilos (250 gm gold each) of gold as a final day DSF mega prize
DSF SuperCar Raffle December 15-January 30 Looking for a unique Christmas gift. Purchase a limited-edition W-Motors Fenyr replica and go in the draw to win the real thing - that is a gift and a raffle entry draw!
Participating DSMG Malls
Unique 3 category "Shop, Spin & Win" cash promotion from December 17 until January 30. With every spend of AED 150, AED 200 and AED 300, customers will be entitled to red, blue or yellow vouchers respectively. Shoppers with red vouchers can win a total of AED 250,000, whereas blue voucher holders can win a total of AED 350,000 and yellow voucher holders AED 400,000. Twenty-four lucky winners will be selected from the raffle draw to spin the wheel and have a chance to win prizes ranging from AED 2,000 to AED 20,000.
DSF Markets | Al Muraqqabat Street, Deira December 17-19 Go bargain shopping with your friends at Al Muraqqabat Community Market and in the evening visit for great street food.
Rooftop Festive Village | Nakheel Mall, Palm Jumeirah December 17-January 3 Nakheel Mall brings you the 'not so typical winter party' to the most instagrammable rooftop in the city! Catch the newly relaunched The Palm Monorail and to see the Rooftop Food Market and Retail Market.
The Winter Wonderland | Mall of the Emirates December 17-24 The West End Area of Mall of the Emirates will be transformed into a Winter Wonderland. Meet and take photos with a Virtual Santa (augmented reality).
Family staycation offers
Grand Cosmopolitan Hotel Kids up to the age of 12 eat and stay free, plus get a free upgrade on your half board package.
Doubletree by Hilton Dubai, Al Barsha Pack your bags and take advantage of 10% discounts on the best room at Doubletree hotel for Festive Season Family Staycation.
Atlantis the Palm Celebrate the festive season with your colleagues and dine at Hakkasan at The Atlantis. Enjoy their special festive menu for only Dh310.
Le Royal Meridien Beach Resort & Spa UAE residents' staycation offer: Be exposed to the uncommon, encounter the unexpected and ignite inspiration at Le Royal Meridien Beach Resort & Spa. From Dh900, you will get accommodation, breakfast, dinner and an additional 25% discount on food and beverage spends.
Versace Hotel | Jaddaf Waterfront, Al Jaddaf Receive 20% off on the best available rate for accommodation (with upgrade where possible) and breakfast, with 20% discount on F&B at selected outlets as well as a Dh150 voucher per stay for SPA massages and late check out!
Armani Hotel Dubai | The Dubai Mall Book a room or suite this week at Armani Hotel Dubai and get 20% off stays and Dh200 shopping credit per day as well as free tickets to Dubai Aquarium, Underwater Zoo & VR Park.
One and Only Royal Mirage December 19-January 30 Stay three consecutive nights at the One and Only Royal Mirage, get one day's complimentary access to AquaVenture water park at Atlantis the Palm, Dh500 credit per day for F&B and daily breakfast with late checkout on the last day.It's a staycation that has it all!
Festive Stay with Christmas Brunch | The Mercure Hotel Dubai Looking for an adrenalin filled weekend in Dubai? Make a reservation at The Mercure Hotel to stay in a suite and drive around town in a Lamborghini! Use this DSF promocode : DSF2021SD
Snapchat | Citywide Get yourself a unique DSF Snapchat-filter this weekend by heading to the malls! Snap the snapchat code on the DSF shopping bags in all retail outlets to unlock this week's DSF filter.
Smash Till You Drop This DSF 2020 at The Smash Room! Aside from the satisfying feeling of smashing glass into a million pieces, get to smash TVs, washing machines, and laptops at Dubai's very own The Smash Room! Get a 20% discount on all smash add-ons when you book any smash package!
Magic Planet | Citywide School holiday boredom hit your family? Head to Magic Planet to take advantage of their amazing DSF offer. Grab your DSF Family Pack: for Dh400 and get 400 cash credit + 4 wrist bands + 40 Blue Swipes split across 4 wristbands.
Flow Artist | The Pointe December 17-19 Meet the world's first Emirati Circus performer. With a combination of eccentric dance moves, slick circus tricks and lasers, which shoot from devices strapped to his hands and forehead, this will be an instastory you will want to show your friends.
Waterski Show | North Beach December 17-19 The high-octane choreography that includes spectacular stunts and jumps, guests of all ages will be left completely mesmerised. Includes a variety of stunts from swivel skiing, wakeboarding, barefooting, sky ski aerials, strap doubles, trios, trick skiing, and a three-tier pyramid and more!
Rainbow Wings Show | Ibn Battuta December 17-19 Rainbow Wings, part of the Performing Arts of Dubai calendar, is a vibrant colour-filled act, featuring elegant dance moves as the butterfly resembling dancers flow through the Ibn Battuta this weekend creating beautiful photo opportunities.
Winter Carnival | Zabeel park (Gate 1 and 2) Zabeel Park is transforming into a winter wonderland this weekend. The Winter Carnival has something for everyone - from the young to the young at heart. Let the kids explore the fun kids' area while the whole family checks out shops, food and live entertainment. It's also a great opportunity to over to enjoy the great weather outdoors.
Beauty and the beast | Theatre by QE2 December 17-27 Enjoy your school holidays go and see the 18th century French fairy tale, the Beauty and the Beast is back with an amazing performance and show for fairy tale lovers - book your tickets on Platinum List & BookMyShow.
Dubai Dolphinarium | Dubai Creek Park Enjoy 25% discount on Dolphin & seal show during the festive season.
Events at Last Exit Al Khawaneej
DSF Market Explore the enchanted market and experience a unique three-storey WonderMaze with three exciting experiences in each level. Try to visit by 6pm to avoid the queues.
Through Alice's Lens December 17-24 Come along to Al Khawaneej to see a one of a kind theatre show called "Through Alice's Lens" happening on the main stage. Take a journey with Alice and her friends as she explores Wonderland! On this week only, the kids will love it.
Alice in Wonderland game show December 17-24 Think you know the most about Alice in Wonderland? Join our host on the main stage at the DSF Al Khawaneej Market and take part in a unique game show to win a host of prizes!
Cosplay competition December 17-24 Come dressed up as your favourite characters and take part in the Cosplay Competitions at the main stage for a chance to win a prize, from 5pm this weekend!
Go down the rabbit hole December 17-24 Meet your favourite Alice characters Al Khawaneej this weekend, take a (socially distanced) selfie with them, and ask those questions you've always wanted to know...like what is it like down the rabbit hole?
Food trucks December 17-24 Enjoy the unique food trucks on offer at DSF Al Khawaneej Last Exit, and while eating great food our house band is on stage every day signing some of your favourite tracks!
Enchanted Storytelling Tree December 17-24 You think you know all about trees? Well, our magical Enchanted Storytelling Tree at DSF Al Khawaneej Market will tell you a thing or two about trees you never knew! Join us at the Storytelling Tree area for a unique story for all children.
Arcades Take on the challenge and play Arcade Games by the Al Khawaneej Mall lake for your chance to win a prize daily!
Mad Hatter's Tea Party | Last Exit Al Khawaneej December 17-24 Join us at the DSF Al Khawaneej Market at the Mad Hatter's Tea Party and get your craft on - transform a plain paper bag into Alice in Wonderland characters. Sessions open to all ages and craft levels.
Origami December 17-24 Are you an origami fan? If so, we will see you at the Mad Hatter's Tea Party at the DSF Al Khawaneej market where you can make your own paper teacup! Using different coloured papers, markers and glue, you will learn origami skills and decorate your teacup how you like!
Party arena December 17-24 The Mad Hatter would not be complete without his hat - come along to the Mad Hatter's Tea Party Area inside the Al Khawaneej Mall to design and decorate your own hat!
Mask up December 17-24 Hopefully you won't be late for this activation - just like the White Rabbit! At the Arts Area inside the DSF Al Khawaneej Market, you will practice your creativity by making and designing your own Rabbit's Mask from simple materials
Cheshire Cat DIY The Cheshire Cat has such a mischievous smile - in this workshop at the Arts Area you will be making your own Cheshire Cat masks so you can grin from ear to ear while at the DSF Al Khawaneej market this weekend!
Design your own greeting cards December 17-24 A cool way to show and express your gratitude for someone - send them a card! We will be hosting greeting card making workshops at the DSF Al Khawaneej Market this weekend
Cupagahwa break December 17-24 Grab a Cupagahwa while the kids play in the Enchanted Garden from 4pm until midnight. You deserve a break and we have their entertainment sorted this school holidays.
Sugar rush December 17-24 DOH have the kids and you covered with donuts and coffee. Head down to the market for a sugar rush as the kids venture around this year's Enchanted Garden themed entertainment.
Wish upon a lantern Setting the lake alight with your own Wishing Lantern. Write a wish and set it afloat on the lake!
Venus Fly Jump Feel like Alice when she shrinks down - jump off our high dive and get swallowed by the Venus Fly Jump at the market.
Shop till you drop Enjoy a unique collection of local retailers; it's also the best place to find unique festive gifts for loved ones.
Events at the Etisalat Market OTB, Burj Park Downtown Dubai
Emirates Community Symphonic Orchestra December 17 The Korean members will wow the crowds on the first night of the DSF Grand opening at Etisalat Market OTB in Burj Park. Make sure you have your tickets to attend!
Neon Ninjas December 18 Get a unique 2020 insta-photo this Friday at Etisalat Market OTB where Ninjas in neon will visit the market with their newtro attitude.
Nicky and the Niceguys December 19 The South African band is an energetic covers band, they will keep you entertained while you cruise the market stalls for your New Years' Eve outfit.
Traditional guzheng December 19 While tasting the best of Asian and pop-up cuisine at Etisalat Market OTB this year, experience a new musical performance concept by artist Grace, who will play modern tunes on the Chinese traditional instrument playing modern tunes.
Cosplay competition December 19 Join in or just come along to watch the Etisalat Market OTB Asian Cosplay competition. See your favourite game and anime characters come to life as people dress up in their favourite personas.
Running Cheogo December 19 Join the treasure hunt based off a popular Korean variety show. This MOTB adaptation will have participants solve clues, interact with vendors and explore the park in hopes of winning the race.
The Panda Dance-off December 19 A giant panda will be on stage with fun dance moves, encouraging the crowd to mimic his routines. A safe yet engaging stage entertainment that has fun audience interaction.
K-POP mania December 19 Experience a full dance work-out session to get everyone moving and learning dance choreography to famous K-Pop songs.
Japanese Flute Performance Indulge your ears with the amazing Japanese performance of the ancient traditional music.
Raheleh performs Come and see one of Dubai's budding vocalists; support local talent.
DJ Challenge | American Rag, The Dubai Mall December 18 See DJs Shebani, Jaymie Deville and Fafa battle it out in 30-minute sets to be crowned the DJ of the day!
Dubai Kartdrome Arrive & Drive Session | Dubai Kardrome Get the thrill of speed and enjoy a family challenge on the track.
Ferrari GT experience Drive alongside a professional instructor while enjoying pure exhilaration behind the wheel of a Ferrari 458 Challenge.
Dubai Aquarium discounts Enjoy special seasonal discounts on Penguin Encounter, Aquarium Tunnel, Underwater Zoo.
Ekart Zabeel Experience | The Dubai Mall Race around in the new Zabeel extension of the mall in a specially built track.
Ripe Market | Academy Park, Umm Suqeim Dubai's Favourite Community Market is back for another season, with a whole lot more on offer! The Ripe Market is the best place to get your unique Christmas presents.
City Centre Mirdif Experience outdoor movies, games, rides and delicious F&B. Get outside and enjoy the redesigned space for the whole family this year.
Mall of the Emirates Go see Santa at Ski Dubai this weekend. He is meeting families in a covid friendly space to ensure all the children get their letters to Santa in time, and maybe even the chance to have a uniquely 2020 'masked' photo with the man in red. Book your timeslot and Santa will see you at Mall of the Emirates.
The Pointe Go early to The Pointe to beat the traffic and enjoy dinner at one of the 40 restaurants while enjoying the newly launched fountains. Book ahead to get a table with a view.
City Centre Deira Stop for lunch while shopping this weekend at Food Central, the new City Centre Deira food hall which opened this year. This awesome new foodie haunt has the local homegrown burger joint Pickl, Asian Work, Raju Omlet, and Kitchen 35.
The Foundry, Downtown Boulevard Come and join us at Dubai's newest gallery, just open this month, The Foundry - A hybrid progressive Art Space in Downtown Dubai's Boulevard. View the Covid Benches - Wooden benches designed by Emirati designers Khalid Shafar, Aljoud Lootah and Ahmad Khoori.