2008 News Archive - Holidays - Dubai courts tourists with shopping festival

05 01 2007

Shopaholics from around the world are currently revelling in self-indulgent fantasy, as they battle for bargains at the Dubai Shopping Festival.

Described as a "shopping-cum-entertainment mega event", the festival was pioneered by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum back in 1996.

More than 1.5 million shoppers attended the first ever event, which lasted for 43 days. In 2003, when the festival ran for just 32 days, 2.92 million people visited and Dubai's tourism sector receives a massive boost each time the shops open for business.

With brands including Visa, Pepsi and Emirates all now associated with the festival, it has developed into a truly global event and, for many, it is a gateway to Dubai's other major attractions and natural beauty.

Figures from the Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing reveal that hotels and apartments accommodated 1,647,450 visitors between July and September last year, representing an increase of 3.2 per cent on the third quarter of 2005.

With beautiful sandy beaches, a cosmopolitan atmosphere and a whole host of remarkable historic sites, Dubai is one of the gems of the region. It has become a favourite with celebrities, including David Beckham and Peter Ebdon, and continues to boast some of the most extravagant and grandiose festivals in the world.

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