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Dubai is known for its culture, history, and awe-inspiring infrastructure in the middle of the UAE and the Arabian Desert. It’s a dream world of sorts that no globetrotter can miss, and also the place to go to with empty suitcases. Yes, this big-on-tourism city attracts millions of people every year, not for sightseeing alone, but also for its month-long Dubai Shopping Festival! This year, the shopping paradise will be celebrating its 25th year into the festival, with some precautionary measures, of course. Here’s everything you need to know about the Dubai Shopping Festival 2020!
What is the Dubai Shopping Festival?
Dubai Shopping Festival is an annual event organised by the Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment. It is a month-long party for shopaholics as they can enjoy heavy discounts on branded and non-branded products and participate in contests to win big prizes. Tourists throng the city from all over the world during the festival, majorly for the shopping experience, but there’s no dearth of leisure activities, too.
Dubai Shopping Festival is the brainchild of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, ruler of Dubai, and the Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE. It was first organised in 1996 to increase the city’s retail trade, but as years passed, it gained the status of a major tourist attraction. What’s more astounding is that it took only 45 days to be constructed and launched back then, and presently, hundreds of brands, almost all malls and several marketplaces participate and make it successful every single year!
When is the Dubai Shopping Festival Held?
The Dubai Shopping Festival is usually scheduled during winter, between November and March. This year, it will begin on the 17th of December 2020 and go on till the 30th of January 2021.
Where to Shop
It’s always better to know the best places to shop to get good deals on authentic products. Head to these places for a breathtaking shopping experience.
- Traditional Marketplaces or Souks
While most shoppers have an idea of the brands they can easily buy in Dubai, they often want to explore the traditional market scene. If you are game, head to the souks for anything and everything you’ve got on your shopping list. Pamper yourself with some fine gold jewellery from the Gold Souk, purchase traditional memorabilia or gifts from the Textile Souk, get a taste of Middle East at the Spice Souk where you can find numerous homegrown spices, or escape in the fragrant Perfume Souk. These local, exotic market experiences are unparalleled.
- Global Village
Global Village is Dubai’s premier destination, where shopping is clubbed with entertainment and culture. It is designed in a way that makes it an instant favourite among families touring the city. Here, one can easily expect to catch concerts, events, and carnivals in between their shopping sprees.
- Malls or Shopping Centres
For a luxurious shopping experience, you can head to Dubai’s world class shopping malls, where you can find international brands, as well as, leisure and entertainment activities and a variety of restaurants. Some of the most visited and famous malls are – The Dubai Mall, Mall of the Emirates, Ibn Battuta Mall, Deira City Centre, Mercato Shopping Mall, Dragon Mart, Dubai Outlet Mall, Dubai Festival City Mall, Dubai Marina Mall, BurJamun and so much more!
- Plan your visit and make all the bookings well in advance.
- Wear a mask at all times.
- Keep a safe distance when exploring malls or souks.
- The local markets are bound to be overcrowded; you may want to steer clear of any areas where there are increased chances of contact or exposure to the virus.
- Opt for malls or shopping centres that check body temperature and strictly adhere to hygiene and safety guidelines.
- Malls have a cap limit to allow visitors to maintain social distancing.
- Carry your own sanitiser and keep using it as and when needed.
- Some mall executives may even request you to use sanitiser prior to touching the products on display.
- Book a cab or rent a car in advance and ensure it is sanitised.
- You may want to skip trying on clothes or wearables altogether; therefore, be sure about the size, especially for apparels.
- Stay indoors and quarantine if unwell with cold or flu-like symptoms.
What Can You Buy?
If you are wondering what you could buy at this extravagant festival, well, you can buy almost anything you can think of – apparels, accessories, footwear, fine gold jewellery, precious and semi-precious stones, leather products, cosmetics, perfumes, gadgets, dry fruits, spices, and even home décor. The variety of products available here is unimaginable, and there’s something to suit everyone’s budget, right from local, affordable products to international luxury brands items.
The pandemic has raised several concerns which were never ever the cause of worry for travel buffs or shopaholics. Therefore, one must take some precautionary measures to stay safe. It won’t be the same experience, but we promise it will still be enjoyable. Here’s what you need to remember:
Retail therapy might need more effort than one had imagined this year, but if you are careful enough, you can make the most of it at the Dubai Shopping Festival. It might just be your exotic escape this holiday season. Do not miss the marvellous fireworks; they complete the entire extravaganza!