Dubai – MENA Herald: With the 21st edition of Dubai Shopping Festival crossing its halfway mark, key economic sectors have reported improved performances, generated by high hotel occupancy and increase in footfall at malls, retail and food outlets, and a number of family entertainment destinations.
The Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment (DFRE), an agency of the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM), and the organisers of DSF, is working closely with its partners to bring shoppers unique experiences and life changing rewards during the 32-day festival that truly reflects the tagline for DSF 2016, ‘Unwrap the Exceptional’.
Commenting on the results achieved in the first two weeks of DSF, Her Excellency Laila Mohammed Suhail, CEO of DFRE, said: “Dubai is welcoming the world this month with the Dubai Shopping Festival, one of the most important features of Dubai’s annual retail and tourism calendar. At the halfway stage this year, DSF 2016 has already given robust economic indicators from across the retail sector. Feedback collected from retailers, hoteliers and businesses across other key economic sectors are quite positive and promise a healthy start to 2016 for the retail community in Dubai”.
“DSF 2016 has also elevated the shopping experience by encouraging retailer-led activations themed around the key retail segments of Beauty, Gold and Jewellery, Apparel and Fashion and Perfume while maintaining its focus on its three key pillars of shopping, winnings and entertainment– all of which has brought Dubai a bigger and brighter DSF in its 21st edition”.
DFRE’s Strategic Partners for 2016 are: Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank, Emirates, AW Rostamani Group, Al Futtaim Group, The Dubai Mall, Majid Al Futtaim Properties, Mercato Mall, Paris Gallery, ENOC, Nakheel, Dubai Duty Free, Meraas and Etisalat. In addition, the Key Sponsors of DSF 2016 are: Visa, Jumbo and Global Village.
Emirates experiencing amazing Dubai Shopping Festival
Sheikh Majid Al Mulla, Emirates’ Senior Vice President Commercial Operations Centre, said: “It’s great to see the Dubai Shopping Festival in full swing for its momentous 21st edition and Dubai is buzzing with bustling shopping malls and numerous associated events, activities and promotions happening around the city. We know many of the visitors that we are bringing to Dubai during this period are coming to avail the best deals during DSF, and this further establishes Dubai as a centre of a broad range of attractive events”.
Dubai Duty Free gets positive response from tourists
Salah Tahlak Senior Vice President of Corporate Communications, Dubai Duty Free, said: “This year’s edition of Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF), which attracts so many visitors to Dubai during the beginning of the year, plays an important role in driving the retail sector across the board. As many visitors travel through the Dubai International Airport and Al Maktoum International during DSF, many shop first at Dubai Duty Free before heading out into the city. Dubai Duty Free operates in a competitive retail environment, offering the best products at the best prices and, in addition, provides an excellent level of customer service. The retail sector’s great deals during DSF have definitely generated a positive response from tourists all over.”
Dubai Gold & Jewellery Group sees 25% rise in sales
Tawhid Abdullah, Chairman of Dubai Gold & Jewellery Group, said:“When we are half past the DSF campaign, our participating jewellery outlets mark an average growth of 20-25% compared to their corresponding sales last year.There is a positive wave among the jewellery shoppers in Dubai, retail jewellers are extremely enthusiastic about the festival and participation from the trade has gone by 20% compared to last year which is an optimistic sign by itself. This year, our strategy was to have more winners everyday and that seems to have added lot of excitement among the shoppers”.
AW Rostamani Group’s Arabian Automobiles Company experiences 15% Increase
Michel Ayat, CEO of Arabian Automobiles Company, the flagship company of AW Rostamani Group and exclusive dealer for Nissan, Infiniti and Renault in Dubai and the Northern Emirates, said: “We are delighted to announce an increase of nearly 15% in sales during the first two weeks of the festival compared to the same period last month. We attribute this success to the strategic partnership we enjoy with the Dubai Shopping Festival year after year.”
“The campaigns that we launch throughout the year stem from a strategic vision of being an integral part of the community in which we operate. This sees us committed to building bridges of communication with our valued customers and rewarding them for their loyalty. Arabian Automobiles Company plays an active role in the development of Dubai and achieving its objectives as being a number one destination for tourists and visitors and a world-class city for its citizens and residents.”
Enoc Retail looks to DSF to continue its strong growth
Burhan Al Hashemi, Managing Director of ENOC Retail, said: “As a founding partner, ENOC has been a strong supporter of DSF since its inception. Year on year, we have seen the initiative grow to become more and more successful in promoting the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, to position the Emirate as the region’s retail, tourism and lifestyle hub.”
“For us, DSF is the main promotional activity of the year and it helps us reward our loyal customers. This year’s response has been exceptional so far, receiving extremely positive feedback from our regular customers whilst also attracting new visitors from all over the region.”
Paris Gallery’s unique in-store activities are Increasing footfall by 9% during DSF
Mohammed Abdul Rahim Al Fahim, CEO of Paris Gallery Group of Companies, said: “DSF 2016 has been very exciting so far with a number of unique activities taking place in malls thus bringing in good footfall to the stores. DFRE has brought to the fore a lot of creativity this year by employing new ideas that adds a lot of excitement for customers. We are witnessing heightened customer engagement in our stores and sales have increased to the tune of about 9% since the beginning of DSF. We hope to see this continue throughout the month and expect to have better results by the end of it. We are making sure everyone has a memorable time shopping with us during this festive season through our special offers that includes corporate gifts and brand-based gifting. We have had amazing customer feedback and engagement, especially during the beauty week where makeup masterclasses were conducted in our stores by celebrity beauty bloggers in association with DFRE.”
Etisalat reaching larger segment of audience thanks to DSF 2016
Fares Hamd Fares, VP of Corporate Communications at Etisalat, said “Dubai Shopping Festival is a much-awaited annual event that is incredibly enjoyable, entertaining and hospitable on a regional and international level. With millions of local, regional, and international tourists flocking to Dubai during DSF, there is no doubt that it is a catalyst of economic prosperity. DSF plays a pivotal role in the retail and hospitality sectors in the UAE, solidifying the pioneering status that Dubai holds on the global tourism map. In specific relation to Etisalat, DSF allows us to reach out to a larger segment of the audience to cater to their needs using our wide range of products and services and to educate them about our competitive offers and advanced infrastructure.”
ADIB ‘Dubai Festivals App’ received 25,000 Downloads
Sarvesh Sarup, Global Head of Retail Banking at ADIB, said: “The Dubai Shopping Festival is the landmark shopping event in the UAE calendar and has put Dubai on global map as a tourist, retail and shopping destination. As one of the key supporters of the UAE government’s economic vision to creating a thriving commercial sector, we are proud to be the strategic banking partner of the festival and showcase our world-class banking services to visitors and potential customers to DSF. We have seen a great response to our Dubai Festivals mobile app with over 25,000 downloads. The app allows visitors to view the latest DSF offers by stores, brands and mall location, get personalized offers by adding their preferences and win prizes such as iPhones, PlayStations and shopping and wellness vouchers. We see our partnership with Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment as a great opportunity for us to appeal to a wider segment of the UAE customer base.”
Global Village welcoming tourists from all over the world
Ahmad Hussain bin Eissa, CEO of Global Village, said: “Global Village is one of Dubai Shopping Festival’s key sponsors and we have had a long standing and fruitful relationship with DFRE over the years. We offer exceptional shows and concerts that are specifically created for DSF, as well as our own continuous family entertainment. As usual the Dubai Shopping Festival and Global Village’s partnership has led to a very successful shopping festival, with there already being a considerable rise in footfall in just half a month of the festival – a fantastic way to also mark Global Village’s halfway point during its 20th anniversary, which will come to a close on the 9th April, 2016. There has also been a growth in sales in amongst our retailers and stalls in pavilions. We have seen great numbers of people flocking to Global Village to enjoy the fantastic range of shopping that is available, and also to experience special entertainment that we have running throughout DSF. During the weekends Global Village has experienced a large increase in the number of visitors, including a large amount of tourists who are in Dubai for DSF and we are looking forward to welcoming more guests. The mix of shopping, entertainment and winning that each guest can enjoy maintains a continuous flow of new and old visitors over the course of Global Village’s season during DSF.”
Carpet and Art Oasis achieves over AED 44 million in sales
The Carpet and Art Oasis 2016, a longstanding key attraction of Dubai Shopping Festival, achieved sales exceeding AED 44 million. Carpet and Art Oasis, which was organised by Dubai Customs, drew more than 10,000 visitors from 20 December to 15 January at the Dubai World Trade Centre Community malls, a focus for DSMG during DSF 2016 – sees a 12% growth in business Majid Al Ghurair Chairman of Dubai Shopping Malls Group said:“The Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF) is one of the most awaited shopping seasons in Dubai and has been introducing an array of activities enticing visitors and residents alike. This year the Dubai Shopping Malls Group (DSMG) has taken a step ahead by signing on 18 new neighborhood malls, offering a vital platform for community malls and neighborhood malls in Dubai, creating a whole new twist to the shopping scenario.
By launching instant winning scratch cards in community malls and offering gold prizes, the two promotions of DSMG currently cover a total of 23 malls. This collective initiative ensures a remarkable growth in the business, accounting for an increase of approximately 12% and further highlights Dubai as a place where innovative retail ideas flourish.”
The Dubai Mall looks forwards to record visitor arrivals this DSF
Nasser Rafi, Chief Executive Officer of Emaar Malls, said: “As a strategic partner of the Dubai Festivals & Retail Establishment, Emaar Malls has been working with Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF) to ensure 2016 is one of the best editions to date. DSF has typically been among the busiest periods for our mall assets and this trend is certainly continuing during DSF 2016. The Dubai Mall, our flagship asset, has been a hub of activity, with roaming entertainment, raffle draws and value deals across the participating retail outlets and we are thrilled by the tremendous response to the Beauty Theme activity during the first week of DSF. A fantastic number of visitors attended the Beauty District activation at our Fashion Catwalk area, to enjoy six days of beauty tutorials and meet and greet opportunities with high profile beauty influencers, and to shop for exclusive beauty products from a pop-up boutique. With lots more activity planned for the remainder of the month, we are looking forward to continuing to set record visitor arrivals during DSF 2016, establishing The Dubai Mall as the go-to destination for family retail and leisure.”
First two weeks of DSF sees substantial increase in footfall to Majid Al Futtaim Malls
Fuad Mansoor Sharaf, Senior Director – Property Development, Shopping Malls for Majid Al Futtaim, said: “As a strategic partner of the festival for over two decades, Majid Al Futtaim would like to express our congratulations to the Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment for a successful start to the 21st Dubai Shopping Festival. The Dubai Shopping Festival 2016 has been a resounding success for our four shopping malls in Dubai; Mall of the Emirates, City Centres Deira, Mirdif and Me’aisem. We have recorded a substantial visitor increase during the first two weeks of the festival as our schedule of compelling and world-class events, such as OMI performing live at Mall of the Emirates; international stage shows such as the incredible Golden Cirque performance; unique winning opportunities and extensive shopping options have attracted both residents and tourists from the region as well as emerging markets. Feedback from our retail partners and customers has been positive, and we look forward to delivering an unrivalled experience for the whole family over the coming two weeks as we create more great moments for everyone, everyday.”
Italian themed entertainment encourages shoppers to visit Mercato
Nisreen Boustani, PR and Corporate Communication Manager at Mercato & Town Centre Jumeirah, said:“Mercato is pleased to announce a very positive response during the first two weeks of the 21st edition of the Dubai Shopping Festival. The wonderful array of Italian live entertainment and exciting ‘Shop and Win promotions have certainly played a major role in attracting more tourists and residents to benefit from the considerable price reductions across many stores in the mall. DSF 2016 provides retailers with their biggest footfall of the year and most profitable annual sales period; we have noticed an increase in the mall’s footfall during the first half of DSF 2016 compared to the same period last year during DSF 2015. The shopping extravaganza will continue until 1st February, under the theme ‘Unwrap The Exceptional’ – which ensures the very best visitor retail experience in Dubai.”
Dubai Shopping Festival offers vibrant experience at properties of Meraas
Saleh Al Geziry, Vice President Retail Marketing, Promotions and Recreation, Meraas, said “Over 21 years, Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF) has set very high expectations amongst residents of UAE, and visitors from across the world. The festival has become a permanent feature on the global calendar and it always delivers on its promise. This year, the Dubai Shopping Festival has been extremely vibrant at CITY WALK, THE BEACH and BOXPARK. All the assets have received a great response to the DSF activities, with visitors keen to witness the entertainment lined up at the assets. Tenants have also been happy with the footfall at the assets and this reflects well on their business. We hope that this trend continues through the rest of the month – our tenants are especially excited about the last two weeks, as this is typically a stronger trading period.”
Nakheel sees 40% rise in average number of visitors at Dragon Mart
Omar Khoory, Director of Nakheel Retail said: “We are honoured to be a strategic partner of DSF 2016 through our flagship Ibn Battuta Mall and, for the first time, our world famous Dragon Mart retail and trading hub. The response so far has been overwhelming: footfall at Dragon Mart has broken all records, with peak-time daily visitor figures topping 110,000 – 40 per cent up on the average.
“Our AED1.1 million new car prize draw, in which four Mercedes Benzes and four Jeep Wranglers will be won, is a huge attraction at both Ibn Battuta and Dragon Mart. In addition, Ibn Battuta Mall is gearing up for a spectacular Fashion Express event this coming weekend (22/23 January) which is sure to pull in the crowds.
“DSF is the ideal opportunity to promote Nakheel’s growing retail offering to Dubai’s residents and visitors, and to further highlight our position in Dubai’s retail sector. The success of our participation is clear at this half way mark.”
Dubai Festival City Mall experiencing fantastic DSF
Brad Merchant, General Manager, Dubai Festival City Mall said: “Dubai Festival City Mall is one of the most sought after shopping and entertainment destinations during the Dubai Shopping Festival. With loads of activities planned around the mall and endless shopping possibilities, visitors will surely be spoiled for choice during every visit. We invite everyone in the UAE to come to our mall with their loved ones for a shopping spree at the 75 brand new stores that were launched over the past year, while also unwinding and enjoying the great atmosphere.”
Jumbo says electronics proving to be in high demand during DSF
Nadeem Khanzadah, Head of OmniChannel Retail, Jumbo, said: “Jumbo Group is delighted to be a part of another season of DSF. Over the years, the festival has proved to be Dubai’s busiest shopping season, with a host of exciting retail and entertainment offerings. We are pleased to have the privilege to be a key sponsor of this iconic global festival once again. DSF has consistently provided Jumbo with a strong platform for growth, and once again, we have gotten off to a great start in 2016.”
“Our customers have been delighted with our offers and promotions this year, especially with our key promotion, the ‘DSF Gold Bonanza’, where 32 lucky daily winners will be rewarded with 10 grams of gold each, and 4 weekly winners will be rewarded with 500 grams of gold each. In addition, we have lined up more offers than ever before on all major categories.”
In the past two weeks, we have noticed that smartphones, wearables, gaming, and accessories continue to lead the market as the top selling goods. We have also witnessed that in the smartphone category, the most popular brands are Apple and Samsung. Lenovo and HP are the most popular laptop brands and the best-selling cameras are Canon and Sony. In the category of TVs, it is Samsung, LG, and Sony. All in all, it has been a fantastic start this DSF and we expect the momentum to continue well through the rest of the festival.”
Visa Offering Amazing Deals like 85% off on Infiniti QX70
Karim Beg, Visa Head of Marketing for MENA, said: “Visa has been a key sponsor of the Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF), the region’s leading shopping and entertainment event, since its inception in 1996. This year, DSF 2016 has in the first two weeks delivered promising results, with over half a million people actively engaging with our Impossible Deals campaign on social media. So far, we have had over 2.5 million views on our video (https://www.facebook.com/VisaMiddleEast/videos/499090456930128/) and more than 50,000 customer registrations for the Impossible Deals campaign – including both UAE residents and visitors.
“Some of the biggest deals include an Infiniti Q70 car – worth AED161,000 – for just AED25,000, or 85% off the retail price; an iPhone 6s for AED600; and a Tag Heuer Women’s Watch for AED2,000 instead of a retail price of AED9,950. Over 400 lucky Visa cardholders have already received their deals, and another 500 individuals have a chance to win over the next two weeks. Additionally, we are pleased to announce that this campaign has led to over 135 banks being activated in 20 countries, compared to 65 banks in 18 countries last year, another measure of the positive response we’ve received to this campaign. Visa has had a promising start this DSF and we expect similar performance during the rest of the festival.”
Hotels register high occupancy levels
Mahmoud Sakr, General Manager of Jumeirah Beach Hotel said: “Jumeirah Beach Hotel, the best resorts destination for families, has recorded an increase in occupancy rates during Dubai Shopping Festival 2016 compared to the same period last year. The average room rate is 2400 Dirhams per night. We are anticipating full occupancy levels during DSF thanks to the festival organizers, Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment – an agency of the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing. It plays an important role in attracting families and tourists from the region and the globe. Moreover, DSF is coinciding with the Spring vacations in KSA, therefore we can see a high influx of Saudi visitors, alongside other countries such as UK and residents from other emirates in UAE.”
George Anastasakos, Director of Revenue Optimization, Radisson Blu Hotel, Dubai Deira Creek, said “DSF continues to grow in Dubai year on year and this affects in a positive way on our hotel too. We have been experiencing high occupancy levels for the first 2 weeks in January this year and for a minimum length of stay of 3 nights. And as it usually happens during DSF most of our guests carrying back to their rooms, more than the usual amount of retail shopping bags; a sign that DSF is once again a success. Although we maintain high occupancies, we have noticed that the booking window of our guests is getting shorter, as everyone is looking for the best last minute deals.”
Travel Agencies: 10% Growth in bookings
Saeed Alaabdi,, Chairman of Alaabdi Holding LLC, said: “Dubai Shopping Festival is proving more successful than ever despite challenges in the region. We have witnessed a 10% increase in travel bookings to Dubai compared to the same period last year, given that Dubai Shopping Festival is as vibrant as usual. There is also an increase in the number of hotel bookings from inbound tourists, as they look to enjoy a wide range of hotels and accommodation choices available for every budget.”
Money exchange house sees 7 % increase
Osama Hamza Al Rahma, Chief Executive Officer at Al Fardan Exchange, said: “We have witnessed an ever growing number of tourists at our outlets. Today, Dubai has become a global destination for people from around the world and not just regionally. Given the festival’s huge popularity, Dubai is experiencing a higher volume of tourists with the beginning of the year, with a large influx from Saudi Arabia due to the spring vacation which is creating a positive impact at the exchange outlets and on currency exchange transactions – eventually contributing to Dubai’s economy. Currency exchange transactions have increased in the first two weeks of DSF by 7% compared to the same period last year.”
Landmark Group offers amazing 25-70% discount for DSF shoppers
Vipen Sethi, CEO of Landmark Group, said “The Dubai Shopping Festival is one of the most important initiatives in the retail calendar for the region. Over the years, the Festival has grown from strength-to-strength, and is today easily one of the best shopping festivals across the globe. It is certain that an event of such magnitude will always gather a lot of attention and attract a large number of tourists. As retailers, we aim to create a strong and attractive offer for our shoppers, across our brands, so that we can add greater value to the overall DSF offer. Our focus is to provide our customers with some great promotions, this combined with an exceptional product offering and great customer service will work towards enhancing the overall shopping experience.
“Landmark Group’s brands operate across various categories, and each of these brands has its own set of top-selling items, especially during DSF. The Festival appeals largely to shoppers who are seeking great value, discounted products, bundles offers, and other promotional activities, each of our brands then cater to the demands and trends that have been observed during the season and selections are then made to be on offer. Customers can hope to see discounts ranging from 25% upwards to almost 70%, with several brands hosting store-wide end of season sales”