New Year feat to shopping fest in Dubai

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The New Year has brought with it chances to win half-a-million dirhams.

The sound and fury from the record-breaking fireworks spectacle on Tuesday have hardly died down, but Dubai has already shaken off the hangover to welcome yet another mega event on its round-the-year calendar — the 19th edition of the Dubai Shopping Festival which opens today.

The shopping fiesta, organised by the Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment (DFRE), an agency of the Dubai Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM), has been fine-tuned this time to put the spotlight back on the shopping element of the festival.

“DFRE has adopted a number of strategies to promote DSF 2014 to attract visitors from our regional and international markets, and also ensure that when they leave Dubai they feel enriched and are able to take home great memories. One of our key strategies is to put the spotlight back on the shopping element of the DSF and for this we have adopted a new theme — Shop at your Best — aimed at showcasing Dubai as a tourism destination that offers multiple and unique shopping experiences,” DFRE chief executive officer Laila Mohammed Suhail told Khaleej Times.

The New Year has brought with it chances to win half-a-million dirhams. Starting today, the DSF has something for everyone. From discounts of up to 75 per cent at 70 malls and over 6,000 retail outlets across the city, to 150 kinds of entertainment programmes, Dubai is set to live up to its reputation as the global shopping destination for residents as well as people across the world. DSF 2014 will run till February 2.

Speaking on how the success of DSF has over the years created a template world over for shopping festivals to be organised, DTCM director-general Helal Saeed Almarri said: “The launch of the Dubai Shopping Festival is a fitting way to start 2014, a year in which we intend to build upon the successes of 2013 including the recent winning of the Expo 2020 bid; the 42nd National Day celebrations; and last night’s breathtaking and record-breaking fireworks displays. In line with our Tourism Vision for 2020, 2014 will also be a year in which we launch a range of new initiatives which will contribute to increasing visitor numbers to Dubai and there can be no better way to start the year than with the launch of the 19th edition of the Dubai Shopping Festival.”

Officials in Dubai were clearly thrilled to enter the record books once again with the New Year fireworks. “Dubai celebrates the New Year with optimism,” Sultan bin Sulayem told Khaleej Times.

“Ten months in planning, over 500,000 fireworks were used during the display which lasted around six minutes, with Guinness World Records adjudicators on hand to confirm that a new record had been set,” the Guinness website said.

US firm Fireworks by Grucci designed the display, Guinness said, using 100 computers and 200 technicians to synchronise the pyrotechnics at a reported cost of around $6 million.

Taking advantage of the event’s huge success, the DSF is now gearing up to give a solid boost to the emirate’s retail and tourism industry.

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