Thursday 11, August 2016

Dubai – MENA Herald: The first half of the 19th edition of Dubai Summer Surprises (DSS) has seen an upswing in economic activity across diverse sectors in the emirate from retail to hospitality, automotive to entertainment and financial services, as the region’s popular family extravaganza continues to further enhance Dubai’s position as the summer destination of choice.

With special promotions and unbeatable deals combined with world-class entertainment providing residents and visitors the opportunity to ‘Own The Summer’ in Dubai, DSS has helped shopping malls and entertainment destinations like Modhesh World record sharp increases in footfall with many hotels enjoying high occupancy levels and the various retail promotions giving a boost to the fashion and consumer electronics business.

DSS 2016, which commenced on 9 July, is organised by the Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment (DFRE), an agency of Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism). Running until 20 August, DSS offers visitors plenty of opportunities to discover why Dubai is such a great year-round family destination.

Commenting on the performance of key economic sectors in the first half of DSS, Laila Mohammad Suhail, CEO of DFRE, said: “Once again, Dubai Summer Surprises proves to be an important catalyst for stimulating Dubai’s economy during the summer months. Feedback we have received from stakeholders at the halfway mark just goes to show that we are on the right path in terms of supporting the retail sector and enhancing the shopping experience.”

“The positive indicators can also be attributed to the unique collaboration between the public and private sectors to launch innovative, tailor-made retail promotions that are aimed at both rewarding shoppers for shopping in Dubai, and encouraging more spending across sectors.”

DFRE’s strategic partners for 2016 are: Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank, Emirates, AW Rostamani Group, The Dubai Mall, Majid Al Futtaim Properties, Al Futtaim Group, Mercato, Paris Gallery, ENOC, Ibn Battuta Mall, Dubai Duty Free, Meraas and Etisalat.

Modhesh World

Modhesh World, one of the region’s most popular family edutainment destinations in the summer, received 120, 000 visitors and registered an 8 % increase in revenue since it opened its doors on 27 June. This year, Modhesh World is celebrating its biggest ever edition, occupying an area of over 34,000 sq m across eight halls of Dubai World Trade Centre.

Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank

Commenting on the impact of the Dubai Summer Surprises on customers, Petr Klimes, Global Head of Marketing, ADIB said: “Our participation at the Dubai Summer Surprises has been very successful and we are seeing an increase in card transactions at Dubai outlets by 20%. In addition to that, we are proud to be the exclusive banking strategic partner of Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment to offer our expertise to power the Dubai Festivals app which has been very popular and helped iPhone and android users get the most out of the offers at the Dubai Shopping Festival.”

AW Rostamani Group

Michel Ayat, CEO Arabian Automobiles Company (AAC), flagship company of AW Rostamani Group and the exclusive dealer for Nissan, Infiniti and Renault in Dubai and the Northern Emirates, said: “Arabian Automobiles is proud to contribute to this annual fiesta, which makes shoppers happy and allows us to be closer to our customers. DSS gives us the opportunity to reward our loyal customers and thank them for their support throughout the year. DSS attracts millions to Dubai every year to enjoy the great bargains and promotions, as well as the world-class entertainment and spend quality time with their families and friends in summer.

“The partnership has been unique in more ways than one. We’ve received positive feedback through our customer insights, for the initial phase of this shopping season. The consumer response helps us further our efforts and align with the long term vision of DSS. We are proud of our long-lasting partnership with Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment, which aims to further promote Dubai’s attractiveness as a favourite tourist destination. In continuing our 17-year partnership with DSS, Arabic Automobiles is pleased to offer during DSS 2016 huge promotions on all models of Nissan, Infiniti and Renault”.

Dubai Shopping Malls Group

Majid Al Ghurair, Chairman of Dubai Shopping Malls Group, said: “The retail sector plays a major role in the economy and is witnessing a significant increase in sales due to the continuous promotions and increasing participation from malls in Dubai. The attractive promotions and offers that have been ongoing since Ramadan and through the summer by participating malls of the Dubai Shopping Malls Group (DSMG) has resulted in a sharp rise in footfall to the malls. With the current boom in the retail industry, we anticipate participating malls taking advantage of the upcoming ‘Back-to-School’ season to drive shoppers to the malls. The DSMG secretariat estimates that the ‘Back-to-School’ season will aid the retail business to grow an additional four to five percent”.

The Dubai Mall

Nasser Rafi, Chief Executive Officer of Emaar Malls, said: “The Dubai Summer Surprises 2016 marks another season of exciting activities across the assets of Emaar Malls to welcome families and assure that children have a memorable time this summer. The Dubai Mall and Dubai Marina Mall are at the centre of attraction with unprecedented value assured for shoppers in addition to entertainment activities for the entire family. Emaar Malls is committed to supporting the concerted tourism and retail-growth oriented initiative by Dubai Tourism to achieve the vision of HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, to welcome over 20 million annual visitors by the turn of the decade. DSS has played a catalytic role in driving the retail sector, and we are creating extra value this year through our amazingly diverse showcase of events throughout the season.”

Majid Al Futtaim Properties (City Centre Deira, City Centre Mirdif, City Centre Me’aisem, City Centre Al Shindagha, Mall of the Emirates)

Fuad Mansoor Sharaf, Senior Director – Property Management, Shopping Malls for Majid Al Futtaim Properties said: “As a Strategic Partner of DFRE for two decades, Majid Al Futtaim continues its commitment to contribute to Dubai’s tourism and retail sectors by hosting unique, first-time experiences that attract both residents and tourists. DSS is a key event in the yearly calendar, as visitors gather from around the world to celebrate and enjoy incredible promotions, compelling entertainment and family experiences. Mall of the Emirates, City Centre Deira, City Centre Mirdif, City Centre Me’aisem and for the first time City Centre Al Shindagha are hosting unrivalled experiences that excite and reward customers.”

Nakheel (Ibn Battuta Mall and Dragon Mart)

Omar Khoory, Director of Nakheel Retail, said: “We are proud to extend our support for Dubai Summer Surprises by bringing Dragon Mart into the festivities for the first time, and building on last year’s success at Ibn Battuta Mall with another exciting collection of shows and promotions.

“At this half way mark, we are pleased to report an excellent response to the entertainment and activities at our malls, with our live entertainment and prize promotions proving a huge hit with UAE residents and tourists – and resulting in increased footfall. With DSS now in full swing, we look forward to this success continuing as we line up yet more crowd-pleasers at Dragon Mart and Ibn Battuta till the end of DSS.”


Ms. Nisreen Boustani, PR & Corporate Communications Manager of Mercato & Town Centre Jumeirah, said:”Mercato is proud to be a Strategic Partner of DFRE and has been associated with Dubai Summer Surprises (DSS) since its inception. ‘Own The Summer’ is an ideal theme chosen for this year, as DSS is a great platform to promote an enjoyable summer of fun-filled events and promotions, not only for the tourists but also for UAE residents.

“The annual summer extravaganza offers great family entertainment, irresistible shopping deals and the chance to win amazing prizes. As a result of all the live entertainment and in-mall promotions, we have noticed an increase in the mall’s footfall as well as in sales during the first half of DSS 2016. We are enjoying a 15% increase in retail sales, compared to the same period last year during DSS 2015”.


Saleh Al Geziry, Vice President, Retail, Marketing, Promotions and Recreation at Meraas, said: “Meraas is delighted to collaborate with the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing for the second consecutive year in hosting the much-anticipated Dubai Summer Surprises 2016. Meraas has joined the celebrations by rolling out a range of enthralling activities across our urban outdoor destinations. Visitors to CITY WALK, THE BEACH and BOXPARK will have a chance to enjoy the festival fare and participate in ‘spend and win competitions’ to win exciting prizes. Our destinations have witnessed a high footfall during Dubai Summer Surprises in previous years, and we are confident this year will surpass expectations.”

Al Futtaim Group (Dubai Festival City Mall)

Steven Cleaver, Director – Shopping Malls Al-Futtaim Group Real Estate: “DSS 2016 at Dubai Festival City Mall was a strategic partnership initiative that has driven strong success across both footfall and sales in the first half of the event. Our inclusion in DSS 2016 was perfectly timed with the opening of our new food and dining outlets like Cheesecake Factory, Serendipity3, PF Chang’s, Chili’s and Sugar Factory American Brasserie which brings a new and exciting food offer to the mall. Dubai Festival City Mall’s AED 1.5 billion expansion plan is nearing fruition, and this momentum will continue with further announcements to come.”

Paris Gallery

Mohammed Abdul Rahim Al Fahim, CEO, Paris Gallery Group of Companies, said: “DFRE’s festivals have been the key driver of expansion of the tourism sector in the country, and this year Dubai Summer Surprises has influenced a steady growth in the number of tourists entering the country, which has proved beneficial for the retail sector. It has brought in new tourists to the malls, thereby increasing footfall and boosting sales. In the first half of DSS, Paris Gallery achieved a 15 % increase in sales. We expect this to continue for the entire DSS season.

“As always, DFRE has played a very positive and constructive role, and has worked alongside malls and other related sectors to make shopping, entertainment and leisure excitingly new and rewarding. The atmosphere in malls are charged with excitement, energy, and expectation. Malls and retailers have also played a major role in keeping the excitement on through various offerings and services. Proper and timely coordination has ensured that customers are having a great shopping experience indoors. DSS is not only living up to expectations, but also exceeding it, giving the economy a significant boost”.

Dubai Duty Free

Colm McLoughlin, Executive Vice Chairman & Chief Executive Officer, Dubai Duty Free, said: ”The Dubai Summer Surprises, which is on its 19th year, continues to attract so many visitors to Dubai and Dubai Duty Free has a number of initiatives in place to maximize the potentials and opportunities brought about by the impact of the consumers during the DSS period. We are pleased with the retail performance of Dubai Duty Free in the first half of Dubai Summer Surprises which is a great indication that successful events such as the Dubai Summer Surprises, have a positive impact on the retail sector”.

Salah Tahlak, Executive Vice President, Dubai Duty Free, said: “Dubai Duty Free has a number of initiatives in place to maximize the potentials and opportunities brought about by the impact of the consumers during the Dubai Summer Surprises period. The initiatives are customer friendly and focus on the essentials of understanding the needs and requirements of this popular and longest-running summer festival of its kind”.


HE Saif Humaid Al Falasi, Chief Executive Officer of ENOC Group, said: “We are delighted to be a strategic sponsor for Dubai Summer Surprises. Our partnership with Dubai Tourism provides an opportunity to contribute to Dubai’s prosperity by supporting an event that contributes significantly to business activity in the emirate and enhances citizens’ experience.”


Fares Hamad Fares, Vice President, Corporate Communications at Etisalat, said: “Dubai Summer Surprises is one of the highly anticipated summer events in the UAE and the region. The significance of this annual event can be underpinned by the millions of residents and tourists it attracts from around the world who come to Dubai to enjoy its shopping promotions and distinctive line-up of events and activities. It consequently helps maintain our nation’s rich heritage and contributes to the country’s tourism, business, economy as well as its overall growth and development. Partnering Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment and sponsoring this event aligns with Etisalat’s strategic objective to support UAE events that reflect our unique standards in hospitality and family entertainment and boost the position of the UAE on the world’s tourism map”.


Jumeirah Group

Charlie Taylor, Group Director of Brand Communications, Jumeirah Group, said: “Year after year, Dubai Summer Surprises continues to be a core driver of visitors to our Dubai hotels during the summer months. Awareness of DSS in the countries of the GCC is high and many of our customers from these countries report that DSS is the primary reason for their visit. Awareness is also increasing in other markets and even those customers who arrive at our hotels unaware of DSS soon find that it contributes to their level of enjoyment during their stay, especially when elements of the festival come into our hotels, such as the recent Angry Birds visit to Jumeirah Beach Hotel. We look forward to the continuing success of DSS for the remainder of this year’s festival and the ongoing success of Dubai’s incomparable calendar of festivals and events.”

Radisson Blu

Paul Uglesic, Executive Assistant manager, Radisson Blu Hotel, Dubai Deira Creek
July has been a particularly successful month for the hotel where we have met our budget and outperformed last year’s rooms revenue by over 7%, with the majority of our guests coming from Iran, Saudi Arabia, India and Great Britain. DSS is a great benefit to the city and I have personally seen many guests coming back to the hotel with their hands full of shopping bags. We look forward to next year’s 20th anniversary!”


Mr. Nilesh Ved, Founder & Chairman, Apparel Group, said: “DSS 2016 – the highlight of the city’s summer calendar – has offered residents and visitors from around the world the opportunity to enjoy a diverse range of events, in addition to the summer promotions that have rewarded shoppers with millions of dirhams worth of prizes. Brands under the Apparel umbrella too have offered a sale percentage of 25% to 60% on DSS 2016 merchandise, thus giving the customer a fashion edge and more value for money.

Overall, the retail sector remains healthy. We see a strong purchasing power in the country: a lot of shopping activity coinciding with the Back to School season, adding a significant resident mix to the DSS shopper base. Also, the region has seen a great influx of the style seeking shopper who is lured into the store due to the red sale banners, but end up buying the new products that are trendiest, but not necessarily on sale, leading to big-ticket items selling well. 2016 has definitely been a year of growth in choice and variety for the customer and real estate for Apparel Group. We have expanded tremendously and have opened close to 180 stores this year, with almost 10 new international brands added to our portfolio. Keeping these factors in mind, we expect to see a strong summer, with possible double-digit growth in sales, ending the year on a slightly positive note.”

Money Exchange

Osama Al Rahma, CEO of Al Fardan Exchange, said: “DSS continues to demonstrate its success since its launch 19 years ago. It has become a major annual event that plays a key role in enhancing Dubai’s position on the world tourist map. The annual summer extravaganza attracts tourists from around the world, especially from neighbouring GCC countries, who come to Dubai to enjoy the fun-filled family entertainment and grab the unbeatable discounts across the city with plenty of opportunities to win fabulous prizes, all at the same time.

“During the first few weeks of Dubai Summer Surprises 2016, we witnessed a surge in currency exchange transactions thanks to the increasing numbers of GCC and other tourists arriving in Dubai for DSS shopping and entertainment. Transactions of foreign currency into dirhams have increased by 10 percent so far during these busy summer months for us in Dubai.”

Gold & Jewellery

Deepak Jagjivan Soni, owner of Marhaba Jewelry, said: “Sales and footfall in the Gold Souk are always at their peak during the summer season. Regardless of the warmer weather, there is an influx of tourists who are always eager to discover the hidden treats of old Dubai and more notably, the city’s vast and renowned Gold Souk. Tourists coupled with our regular customers makes for a very busy summer indeed. The Dubai Summer Surprises festival goes hand in hand with our exciting jewellery offers that we launched at the beginning of the event.”

Consumer Electronics

Christopher Balisbik, Sales Supervisor at Plug-Ins Electronix, The Dubai Mall said that mobile phones, smartphones and home electronics were attracting more shoppers to the store, which is offering huge discounts and running amazing promotions during DSS, offering prizes worth AED 250,000 including a range of electronics. He expects an increase in the number of shoppers to his store in the next few weeks of DSS.

Full details of DSS can be found online and through related social media channels – check back every day to ‘Own the Summer’ and enjoy everything that DSS 2016 has to offer.