The emirate basks in the glory of the 19th edition of the shopping festival
After the record-breaking display of fireworks across the Dubai skyline on New Year’s Eve, a second round was witnessed by residents and visitors at the launch of the 19th annual Dubai Shopping Festival carnival.
The launch, on January 2, began at 7pm at several locations along the Dubai Creek and from 9pm over the Diving and Heritage Village.
The fireworks display was just one of the many attractions at Dubai Creek on the evening of January 2 which was part of the carnival parade touted as the biggest in the history of the Dubai Shopping Festival.
Thousands of stage and street performers from all over the world came together to enthrall the public on Al Seef Street. They included musicians, dancers, acrobats, gymnasts, clowns, stilt walkers and inflatable and animal characters. The music was from all over, strains and instruments incorporated from every region. If you missed it live, your next best in Youtube.
Thirty-two days of the theme ‘Shop at Your Best’ hopes to give unique shopping experiences to residents, families and visitors through more than 150 events and activities spread across the city.
At a special media dinner hosted by the Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment (DFRE), an agency of the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) at the Shaikh Saeed Bin Maktoum House near Heritage and Diving Village – DFRE CEO Laila Mohammed Suhail thanked media professionals for covering the festival since its inception in 1996. In scenes reminiscent of New Year’s Eve, roads leading up to Dubai Mall, Festival City and Mall of the Emirates were choked with traffic. Signs for sales are up everywhere — 50 to 75 percent off — to say nothing of all the prizes to be won every day for a month.
The Carpet & Art Oasis opened on the first day of DSF, giving several visitors and families the opportunity to browse through and buy from a range over 150,000 handmade carpets worth Dh1 billion. One lucky visitor took home a beautiful carpet from the exhibition that was given away as a raffle prize.
The Michael Jackson concert, ‘The Immortal World Tour by Cirque du Soleil’, at the Dubai World Trade Centre was another spectacle as fans of the King of Pop gathered to celebrate his eternal music.
Burj Park was not to be left behind. Arabic singers Fares Karam and Hatem Al Iraqee took to the stage for the DSF Music Nights concert, making the first night of the DSF come alive.
The first day of the festival proved a brand new start for a lucky winner of the DSF Infiniti Mega Raffle at the Global Village who picked up two luxury Infiniti models – QX60 and G25 plus a mind-boggling Dh100,000 cash. More winners to come will take home luxury cars, gold and cash.
At Burjuman, kids had a blast as the Teletubbies characters made the audience dance and set the tone with their lively performances, which will continue till January 11.
Local flavour wasn’t in short supply, either, with characters from Emirati show Shaabiat Al Cartoon appearing on the opening day. Countless Arabic fans watched its four performances at the Mushrif Park. Far from just light entertainment, the show featured an important message. An ageing bachelor, desperate to tie the nuptial knot uploads a video on platform Al Keek to attract marriage proposals from interested females. The idea goes severely wrong for the bachelor when one of the uploaded videos aggravates a series of negative responses from the public, sending an important message about the potential hazards of using digital platforms. The show was a hit — with its Emirati backdrop and Arabic characters portraying the lives and traditions of Emiratis. Its comic flavours, presented with the intention to enlighten audiences on issues relevant to Arabic society have worked well with the audience.
Shaabiat Al Cartoon with its social messages will continue to draw Arab fans at Mushrif Park throughout DSF 2014 at 4pm, 5pm, 6.30pm and 8pm every day.
To find more out more on events and the best deals, log on to mydsf.ae.
For the detailed DSF calendar, check www.khaleejtimes.com/dsf
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