Month-long extravaganza also offers wholesome entertainment for the family.
Dubai: Spectacular shows kicked off the Dubai Shopping Festival on Thursday during the opening ceremony of the 32-day bonanza at Creek Park.
The 18th festival began with fireworks and sound and light shows over Dubai Creek, the location of the first DSF in 1996.
As pyrotechnics filled the skies with colour, a high-tech show took place on the creek. A moving water wall created out of a fine jet spray of the creek waters, showcased still and moving images depicting the history of Dubai.
The first venues to host DSF fanfare yesterday, taking place at the same time, were Creek Park, Heritage and Diving Village, Al Seef Street and the Festival Promenade at Dubai Festival City.
An eclectic line-up of shopping deals, raffle prizes and entertainment shows is taking place this DSF. Organised by Dubai Events and Promotions Establishment (Depe), an agency of the Department of Economic Development, many new features have been added in this event, taking place under the banner of Dubai at its Best.
Debuting this year is the Tea Oasis at Al Seef Street, running throughout DSF. It features a tea market where visitors can buy the best from a wide collection of teas from all the major tea growing and consuming countries of the world — Morocco, Egypt, United Kingdom, Japan, India and Sri Lanka. Expert tea tasters will be on hand to show people how to brew the best tea and educate them about its varieties and finer points, as well as its history.
Also new on Al Seef Street is the World of Souvenirs, a corner hosting several stalls and kiosks, each representing a particular country. There are kiosks dedicated to the USA, the UK, Brazil, France, China, India, Turkey and Africa in general, apart of course from the host country, the UAE. Each kiosk will have products related to the particular country that the kiosk represents.
Several other attractions are taking place this DSF for the first time. DSF fans can get more details through www.dubaicalendar.com
As is customary with past DSF events, there will be daily fireworks, raffles and prizes to be won. Street shows and stage performances are taking place every day until the end of the festival. Great shopping bargains and eating-out options are also on the menu.
Ebrahim Saleh, festivals coordinator general for Depe, said in a statement that last year, DSF drew 4.36 million shoppers and total spending reached Dh4.7 billion.
“We expect DSF 2013 to keep up this momentum and do even better to consolidate Dubai’s status as the region’s leading shopping and entertainment destination,” he added.