Now in its 20th year the Dubai Shopping Festival is one of the best-loved events in the city.
Famous around the world for offering up brilliant discounts, amazing promotions and world class entertainment it is a tourist attraction bringing visitors from all over the world to the city.
This year’s line-up looks like the best yet with a fascinating blend of entertainment and bargain-friendly shopping experiences.
Check out shopping malls and independent retailers across the city for more information and look at our pick of the 10 events to get excited about.
DSF Celebration nights
In what has been described as one of the biggest and best line-ups of Arab musical talent 20 of the most popular musicians in the Middle East will take to the stage at Media City Amphitheatre between January 8-30. The outdoor venue has the capacity to entertain an audience of 5,000 people on each night. The line-up of famous Arab singers who will feature in this concert series includes Mohammad Abdo, Amr Diab, Kadim Al Sahir, Ahlam, Nancy Ajram, Najwa Karam, Diana Haddad and many more.
• 8th January Saber Rebai and Milhem Zein
• 9th January Najwa Karam and Assi Hellani
• 10th January Nancy Ajram and Amr Diab
• 15th January Elissa and Majid Al Mohandes
• 16th January Balqees and Khaled Abdul Rahman
• 17th January Ahlam and Mohammed Abdo
• 22nd January Shireen Abdelwahab and Rabeh Saqer
• 23rd January Nawal Kuwaitia and Abdullah Rwaished
• 29th January Mohammed Assaf and Diana Haddad
• 30th January Kadim Al Sahir and Hussain Al Jassmi
The smash hit musical has been seen by more than 54 million people and is the 9th longest-running show on Broadway. So successful has it been, in fact, that it was transformed into a movie that became the highest-grossing musical of all time. The music of Abba will be brought to life on the Dubai World Trade Centre stage. Read Time Out Dubai’s exclusive interview with the production’s director, Nick Evans here.
The Celebrity Pop-Up Shop
Entertainment power-couple Giuliana and Bill Rancic are two people who know a thing or two about fashion and business. They will be the star attraction at a pop-up shop at The Beach Mall in JBR. The Celebrity Pop-Up Shop is, as if you couldn’t have guessed, a temporary store specialising in celebrity designers and brands. Many of the ranges available at the pop-up are not on offer anywhere else in the region meaning this is a chance to snap up style bargains. Giuliana and Bill will be in the store offering tips on the G by Giuliana range as well as signing autographs.
He’s no stranger to Dubai but any time the Bollywood legend performs it attracts huge crowds and rave reviews. Whether you are familiar with his music or are new to the genre, the spectacle and scale of performance mean this four hour non-stop extravaganza is going to be an experience to remember. With a 50-member backing troupe of singers, dancers and musicians this is a show truly deserving of its name – The Epic Event. Buy tickets for the January 16 concert right now.
In almost two decades DSF has earned a reputation as one of the world’s ‘priziest’ festivals. Yes we made up a word, but there are no superlatives to do it justice. Look at the facts. Since launching DSF has offered more than Dhs1.7billion in prizes including 33 Rolls-Royce cars and almost 750million kilos of gold. Loads of malls and stores are offering competitions but look out for the DSF Gold and Jewellery Mega Raffle, which is giving away kilos of gold and a carat diamond and the Infiniti Mega Raffle. This Nissan promotion is available in selected stores (check social media for more information) a whopping prize worth Dhs500,000 consisting of two luxurious Infiniti models, QX 60 and Q 50, plus Dhs100,000 in cash every day.
Hankook 24-Hour Dubai
It is not all about shopping and if you need a breather from all the mall-trawling look in at the Dubai Autodrome between January 9th at 2pm and January 10th at the same time to see a 24 hour motorsports challenge. The Hankook endurance race has become a mainstay on the international calendar and is the 2nd largest 24-hour race grid in the world receiving entries from all over the globe. The impressive line-up consists of over 80 touring and GT cars including Porsche, BMW, Ferrari, Audi, Lamborghini and Mercedes. Visit the Facebook page for more information.
Gulzaar Theatre Fiesta
To call Sampooran Singh Kalra a legend is to do an injustice his decade-spanning career. As a writer, poet and film director he has earned rave reviews in his native India for more than 50 years. Best known by the name Gulzaar and as a film director this celebration of his work is a theatre performance at Ductac. Three plays Kharaashein, Sunte Ho and Arre Henry on the 15th, 16th and 17th of January will be followed by an interactive face-to-face session with the man himself. Buy tickets to any or all the Gulzaar performances here.
Romeo & Juliette
Culture has always played a surprisingly important role in the Dubai Shopping Festival schedule and performances by the official National Ballet Company of Monaco will enhance that reputation. The acclaimed European ballet company will take to the stage to perform the classic tragic tale of Romeo and Juliet. This magical performance will include 40 dancers and is directed by one of the world’s finest choreographers, Jean-Christophe Maillot. Check the Facebook page for ticket information and further details.
This, at the end of the day, is the main reason to love Dubai Shopping Festival. A dizzying number of discounts are on offer to the dedicated shopper this year. From sunglasses to home décor to designer fashion, prices have been slashed from 25 to 50 percent, and even up to 75 percent. Many purchases come with free gifts, accessories and other enticements. Looking for new clothes? Hit the malls. Looking to upgrade your home electronics? Hit the malls. Want to start the new year with new jewellery? Hit. The Malls.
You don’t have to spend a penny to enjoy the Dubai Shopping Festival. You don’t even need to see the concerts, plays, and recitals or win a competition. Just window shop and visit your favourite mall and you’re likely to find something to entertain you. Raffle kiosks, art exhibitions, jugglers, live entertainment, fireworks, beach events a fun fair and much more besides.
Like the Dubai Shopping Festival on Facebook for daily updates of follow on Twitter for further details.