The time to visit Dubai is now. The summer festival has begun  with shopping extravaganzas, fashion shows, lucky draws, special hotel packages and sporting events.
Omani citizens and residents have another reason to plan a vacation to Dubai - the much-awaited, month-long Dubai Summer Surprises (DSS)  festival is on, with a range of activities for families.
Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment (DFRE), an agency of the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM)  unveiled a fun-filled calendar of events for the 16th edition of DSS, which began on June 7, as part of the ‘Summer is Dubai’ campaign that will run till September 7.
DSS 2013 is focussing on families and children, offering events and activities designed to create celebrations across several sectors including tourism, retail and leisure.
While events and attractions will be held at city’s malls, entertainment venues and parks, leading hotels are offering family packages giving children under 12 years a free stay. Laila Mohammed Suhail, CEO of DFRE said the festivals and events industry has become one of the main pillars to sustain a robust tourism sector.
“Its direct impact on the tourism scene and other related sectors is highly notable; this is most evident in the form of our own DSS. Since its inception in 1998, this event has capitalised on the fast-paced prosperity and development of the city of Dubai to become one of the most awaited summer events,” she said.
“The state-of-the-art infrastructure combined with its peacefulness and tranquility will always give Dubai the cutting edge over other destinations, the city is simply built for summer vacations. DSS and the wider ‘Summer is Dubai’ campaign are a crucial part of our tourism strategy for attracting 20mn visitors by 2020 that was announced by Sheikh Mohamed bin Rashid al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE, and ruler of Dubai.”
During the three-month ‘Summer is Dubai’, DFRE will run a mega promotion in collaboration with the Dubai Shopping Malls Group (DSMG), offering up to AED5mn in prizes.
Of this total prize money, up to AED1mn in prizes plus eight BMW cars will be given away to lucky shoppers during DSS. Shoppers spending AED200 will get a coupon that will be entered into raffle draws of ‘Summer is Dubai’.
The city also has something for sports enthusiasts - the Middle East’s largest indoor sports event by Dubai Sports World from June 21 to August 21 in a pro-standard, air conditioned arena at the Dubai World Trade Centre Here, leading sports academies, clubs, sports professionals and enthusiasts will congregate.
The dedicated indoor arena will feature action in football, basketball, fitness, athletics, rugby, volleyball, tennis, cricket, action sports and more. From June 30 to July 6, the Dubai Festival City Mall will see little fashionistas walk down the ramp in a special event dedicated to children’s couture.
On show will be colourful, cool and practical designs for children from the best global brands. There’s more for children, at Modhesh World with games, contests, activities and fun skills workshops.
The list doesn’t end here. They can also experience Heritage and Culture World, the Art and Crafts Zone and a Boot Camp Challenge, Mothers’ Zone, Princess Spa, Snow Park, Graffiti Wall, Kids Adventure World, Fun Fair rides and a kids’ football field. Malls too have planned various activities.
From June 24 to 30, five Smurfs will be seen on stage live at The Dubai Mall in The Smurfs - A Very Smurfy Festival, a 25-minute show featuring a great story, fun, music, dance and drama.
Hollywood comedians, Shawn and Marlon Wayans will make their Middle East debut with their live show at the Mall of the Emirates on June 21 and 22.
The brothers found fame through their hit TV comedy series in the ‘90s, The Wayans Bros and blockbuster movies such as Scary Movie 1 and 2 and, A Haunted House.
For stay, the options are many. Jumeirah Group, the global luxury hotel company and a member of Dubai Holding, is having summer promotions with a selection of rooms and suites at Madinat Jumeirah, Jumeirah Beach Hotel, Burj al Arab, Jumeirah Zabeel Saray, Jumeirah Emirates Towers  and Jumeirah Creekside Hotel.
Jumeirah is also participating in the DTCM promotion for Dubai. The ‘Summer is Dubai’ package (valid from June 6 to September 7) offers free stay for children under 12 years within an existing room set-up with the maximum of two children, and a minimum three-night stay.
This offer also includes 20 per cent discount on Talise Spa treatments when two treatments are booked, 20 per cent off dining at certain restaurants. Children under the age of 12 years eat for free at certain restaurants. This offer is valid from June 6 to September 7, 2013.What activities will you be joining? Please share by commenting below.