Dubai Shopping Festivals, a Must Visit in 2010
Dubai and shopping go hand in hand, with Dubai often referred to as a global bargain shopping destination. Besides the massive modern malls with designer goods and brand name products and the traditional souqs and bazaars along the old streets, Dubai has another aspect of shopping – the Dubai shopping festivals. The two most prominent among these are the annual Dubai Shopping Festival and Dubai Summer Surprises.
The Dubai Shopping Festival was launched in 1996, aimed at energising the existing Dubai retail trading sector. Attracting approximately three million visitors to Dubai during its hosting, the Dubai Shopping Festival has since then been primarily recognised as a yearly tourist attraction. The festival is generally held between December and February and lasts 30 consecutive days. Unlike street markets and festivals, the Dubai Shopping Festival is celebrated all over Dubai city, with shops located everywhere joining in with discounted offers on whatever they sell. The night skies are lit up with fireworks and bright party lights, raffle draws are aplenty and the general atmosphere is of a jubilant nature. Tourists come to Dubai during this time not just because it's a haven for tax-free shopping, but for the variety of entertainment events taking place during the festival as well.
Along with the Dubai Shopping Festival each year, Global Village comes to life too. Global Village is an innovative concept designed to invite global traders to sell goodies native to their country in specified stalls. Segregated to country-specific sections, the Global Village houses halls upon halls of unique products from countries such as India, China, Iran, Egypt, Bangladesh, South Africa, Russia and many more. In addition to the shopping gala, entertainment events, children's activities, amusement rides and shows are all included in the Global Village festivities.
The Dubai Summer Surprises festival is the summer counterpart of Dubai Shopping festival, although it's not yet as popular as the original winter season celebration. The Dubai Summer Surprises was launched as a means of attracting tourists to Dubai even during the sizzling summer days, which often sees only a handful of tourists visiting the city.
Photo by austinevan http://www.flickr.com/photos/austinevan/