Do the Dubai Shopping Festival like a local

18 January 2018


Ditch your flip-flops and don your diamante heels for the Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF) which continues until 27 January 2018.

Expect a dizzying array of promotions and shopping discount ranging from 25% to 90% off – the main location for the DSF being Global. But that doesn’t mean you won’t get a retail buzz elsewhere in the city as malls across Dubai promise their own dose of retail therapy, including The Dubai Mall, City Walk, Mall of the Emirates, City Centre Mirdif, City Centre Deira, City Centre Me'ai-sem, City Centre Barsha and City Centre Al Shindagha.

With such a shopping buzz, where do you even start? Flight Centre approached Dubai residents to share their best DSF advice so you can make the most of your shopping trip:

Locals’ top Dubai Shopping Festival tips

Head to Outlet Mall and Outlet Village, where you can find some of the best deals, instead of going straight to the main malls, says Dubai local Dom Katib. “You can get the same stuff, often at a cheaper price.”

Elena Zhukova suggests DSF goers remain patient when it comes to nabbing the best discounts. “I made a point of watching and waiting. Last year I bought most things in the last week that were discounted by up to 50%. I see plenty of people in my building come home with a gazillion shopping bags, so there are definitely bargains each day.”

Jay Goswami urges locals and visitors to head to Market Outside The Box (MOTB) in Downtown Dubai during the DSF.  “It’s a very cool, cultural experience with arts, music and street vendors and it’s also not as crazy!”

Families should get the Dubai Shopping Festival Pass, says local Dubai mom Khatere Kalali. “It gives you quick access to attractions in between shopping, like Atlantis' Aquaventure Waterpark and IMG Worlds of Adventure.”

“For me, it’s all about the make-up. Set aside two days at places like the Dubai MalI also keep energised with my sugar hit at the Cheesecake Factory (go for red velvet) before I scout out those Dior and Chanel bargains,” says Nadine Joubert, a South African expat who’s been living in Dubai for seven years. 

Had enough of shopping?

“DSF is not just about the shopping,” says Fiona Cogar, Associate Director Arabian Adventures, based in Dubai. “Don’t forget to look at the night’s sky for spectacular firework displays near The Beach, La Mer and Al Seef. The closing night is a true extravaganza and is held on 27 January.

“For some added variety, get the Dubai Shopping Week Pass. It offers discounts on various attractions, dining and even tours like our city and food tour.”

The Dubai Shopping Pass is a cashless card that can save you time and money. You can order it online here.


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