Dubai shopping blitz pulls in record number of punters
Dubai's annual shopping extravaganza attracted a record 2.5 million visitors and unprecedented sales of $1.17 billion, the organizers said Tuesday amid preparations for the 2001 edition.
Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF) chief executive Hussain Ali Lootah said a further increase in numbers of five to seven percent was expected for the event, which runs the whole month of March this year.
DSF 2000 pulled in 2.5 million visitors and incremental sales of $1.17 billion dollars — more than eight percent of GDP — in the Gulf emirate, which has a population of only 850,000.
The celebration of consumerism is combined with culture and sport, turning the whole of the Gulf trading and leisure hub into a party.
In 2001, three major sporting events are likely to help the organizers reach higher records. The world's richest horse race, the $15-million Dubai World Cup meeting will be run on March 24, after the $1.5-million Dubai Desert Classic golf tournament and the Dubai Tennis Open in the first week of the month.
A partnership of government and the retail and tourist sectors organize the festival, which includes hundreds of sideshow events such as luxury car lotteries, concerts, fashion shows, fireworks displays and a giant carpet oasis. — (AFP, Dubai)
© Agence France Presse 2001
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)