Dubai Shopping Festival woos Saudi visitors

JEDDAH: The road show for promoting Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF), described as the “biggest shopping and entertainment extravaganza in the Middle East” was launched, with Saudi Arabia as the first stop, on Sunday.

The road show tour will cover the rest of GCC, China and India.

While the Dubai Events and Promotions Establishment (DEPE), an agency under the Department of Economic Development (DED) and organizers of the DSF, showcased the highlights of the 2012 edition, Emirates airline followed suit with its special DSF 2012 packages for Dubai.

The 17th edition of DSF will run for 32 days from Jan. 5 to Feb. 5.

Ibrahim Saleh, festivals coordinator general and deputy CEO of DEPE, said the regional road show had begun with the Kingdom due to its importance as a strategic target market for Dubai’s tourism, with Saudis representing around 50 percent of all GCC tourists in the city for 2010.

“The 2010 figure demonstrated an increase of 25 percent (for DSF 2010 or the whole year) on the previous year, and we have witnessed a considerable increase in 2011 as well.”

He stressed that DEPE would market and promote the 17th edition of the shopping and entertainment extravaganza to media organizations, travel agents, and tour operators, familiarizing them with the attractions of DSF which is held annually, and this year under the slogan “Dubai at its Best.”

“More than 6,000 retail outlets and around 70 shopping malls will take part in DSF 2012, offering a host of discounts and sale prices of up to 75 percent on a wide range of goods and services. The 32-day event will additionally feature more than 150 activities taking place across the emirate,” he added.

Adil Al-Ghaith, Emirates vice president Saudi Arabia, said: “We are pleased to invite people across Saudi Arabia to visit Dubai during the period of DSF and take advantage of the attractive activities and great shopping deals offered during this important event. Traveling from Saudi Arabia to Dubai has now become easier with Emirates strengthening its services across the country through double daily flights from Riyadh and Jeddah, in addition to a daily flight from both Dammam and Madinah.

Al-Ghaith added: “Saudi Arabia is one of Emirates’ most important markets and we strive to ensure that we are offering the best service to our customers. The operation of our flagship Airbus A380 from Jeddah is yet another example of what we have done to provide our customers with an outstanding travel experience.”

Al-Ghaith also said DSF 2012 will offer a wide range of activities, including daily draws for Infiniti cars, an impressive collection of gold and jewelry, and millions of dirhams in cash prizes.

He said the 2012 show will witness exclusive events, kicking off with a world-class DSF launch ceremony, entertaining activities across main streets, souks and bazaars.

Al-Ghaith said children will love DSF and everything it stands for, with interactive shows, colorful kiosks, and hundreds of street performers and jugglers in a massive carnival during weekends.