The Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF) is back and this time, bigger than ever before, at least according to the country’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing.
Dubai is a city and emirate in the United Arab Emirates known for luxury shopping, ultramodern architecture and a lively nightlife scene. Burj Khalifa, an 830m-tall tower, dominates the skyscraper-filled skyline.
At its foot lies Dubai Fountain, with jets and lights choreographed to music. On artificial islands just offshore is Atlantis, The Palm, a resort with water and marine-animal parks.
The DSF offers a glimpse into one of the world’s largest retail events, as well as the emirate’s ever-growing portfolio of experiences for leisure travellers.
The 38-day festival is set to feature show-stopping performances, immersive experiences, innovative brand activations and family-friendly celebrations from Thursday, 26 December 2019 and run until Saturday, 1 February 2020.
Shoppers and deal-hunters use the event to find offers of up to 75% off across close to 4,000 outlets of more than 1,000 participating brands and have the opportunity to engage and collaborate with tailor-made brand activations from global fashion, beauty, home ware and lifestyle retailers.
On Monday, officials from the Dubai Tourism department interacted with journalists in Uganda at Serena Hotel in Kampala ahead of the start of the festival next week. The same interaction was earlier held in Kenya and Ghana.
Annet, a journalist working with Capital FM won a trip to Dubai where others were given different gifts.
Salim Ali Mohamed Dahman, the Head of Campaigns Africa at Dubai Tourism told reporters in Kampala that this year’s landmark event seeks to attract thousands of people from all over the world and showcase Dubai’s immense and unmatched beauty.
“Dubai continues to rank among the most popular destinations for travelers from Africa, particularly as retail emerges as a key component of their travel experiences, buoyed by flagship events such as Dubai Shopping Festival,” says Dahman.
“To further foster growth from across the African continent, we will continue to leverage our multi-layered marketing strategy to deliver specialised communications programming and bespoke experiences that can bolster Dubai’s world-class shopping credentials,” he adds.
In the first ten months of this year, Africa contributed 6% to the emirate’s tourism volumes. This, Dahman says is “testament to the success of Dubai’s market diversification strategies, ongoing strategic trade partnerships, bespoke integrated marketing campaigns, always-on social media activations and the diverse portfolio of attractions that continue to experience sustained interest amongst travelers.”
Nigeria emerged as Africa’s lead contributor and the fastest growing market with a stellar 34% increase in tourist arrivals, cementing its position as the 16th largest source market for travelers to Dubai. Nigeria is followed by South Africa, Ethiopia, Kenya and then Uganda.
The largest number of people who travel to Dubai (82%) do it for leisure – to have a good time, 7% go there to visit friends and relatives, 10% for business and only 1% go for other activities.