The Dubai shopping festival is a month long event that is held in Dubai, UAE on the first quarter of the year on that is promoted as a tourism activity and promotes retail sales. The festival started on 15th February 1996 as a retail sales promotion activity but has gone on to be a traditional activity. The shopping festival has grown to be the largest and longest running event in the Middle East and is said to attract about 3 million tourists. This year Dubai Shopping Festival 2011 will start on the January 20th 2011 and its closing ceremony will be held on 20th of February 2011
The popularity of the shopping started with campaigns in 1996 that invited the world to the festival. The idea of the city of gold was coined during the awareness campaigns; the festival attracted the idea of having a shopping global village. The shopping festival also attracted the idea of displaying the cultural and traditional aspects of the nation.
The Dubai shopping festival is an event that is quite popular due to the fancy displays and deals that are offered in the festival. The retail sector flourishes during this period since the shops offer great discounts on products, due to the tax free shopping that is encouraged during this period. There are also daily car raffles held during the 32 days of the festival and a great nightlife that is highlighted by the lighting of fireworks that light up the skies of Dubai.
The Dubai shopping festival has a large role in the tourism sector and it also presents great economical significance with a number of over 35 million tourists since 1996, tourists who have spent over 74 billion buying goods and services such as shopping from shopping malls, hotels, restaurants, casinos, airlines and entertainment spots. The festival is quite promising to both tourists and traders with increased numbers of both parties taking part in the festival every year.