Dubai Shopping Festival
With its unrivalled range of products and hundreds of air-conditioned malls, the glamorous city of Dubai is the destination of choice for millions of shopping fanatics every year.
And for maximum retail therapy many visitors ensure their trip coincides with the Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF). For the month of January, the city is even more lively than usual as it plays host to DSF, the longest-running event of its kind in the world and the biggest such event in the Middle East.
In 2016, the 21st festival will get underway, lasting from 7th January until 7th February. Dubai provides the stunning backdrop for the event, which encompasses shopping malls, local souks, pop-up restaurants and food trucks, and artisan market stalls.
It goes without saying that a huge array of goods can be purchased during the festival, including clothing, cars, spices, souvenirs and electric gadgets. Visitors can try their luck at luxury raffles - where they can win cars, gold and jewellery - and enjoy frequently-changing performances taking place in shopping malls.
But DSF extends far beyond the realm of shopping. There is a wealth of family-friendly activities and entertainments on offer across the city too, from pop concerts to sporting events, circus performers to heritage days and folk dancing to fireworks displays.
Large events include Hankook 24-hour Dubai, a thrilling motorsport endurance race at Dubai Autodrome – regarded as one of the best tracks in the world - with professional, semi-professional and amateur drivers competing for glory in various classes.
The 2016 line-up has still to be confirmed, but the 2015 festival played host to Mamma Mia!, the Welsh National Orchestra, Latin Art Fest and the Dubai International Kite Festival, to name but a few, which gives a tiny taste of the festival’s eclectic nature.
Then there are the smaller but no less entertaining events, as parks across Dubai are transformed into open-air performance spaces, with outdoor theatre, musicians and children’s entertainment.
People of all ages are sure to enjoy the atmosphere of DSF in sun-soaked Dubai, which in January has a comfortable average temperature of 24ºC.
Get InspirationAll about where to go and what you can do
Al-Ain Centre is a specialist computer mall in the heart of Dubai and a hub of high-tech knowledge and activity. Also known as Computer Plaza, this is the place to go for anyone hunting for the latest laptops, tablets or cutting-edge electronic gadgets.
Visitors to Dubai who want to stay somewhere that will allow them immediate access to shops and restaurants should consider the Al Bustan Centre and Residence. Guests at the Al Bustan can dine at the hotel's stylish Fountain Restaurant as well as the eateries in the mall's food court.
In a region that is famous for pearl diving, Al Fardan stands as one of the most well-known names in the Gulf states' pearl jewellery industry. Their shops, like the one in Dubai's Mall of the Emirates, sell a wide range of pearl, gold and diamond jewellery, both of their own design and from international brands.
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