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Dubai Shopping Festival

A commercial holiday that has turned into a city-wide celebration.

If you happen to be one of those people that loves shopping and enjoys it a hundred times more when everything is on sale, the city of Dubai in the United Arab Emirates has the festival for you.  The Dubai Shopping Festival is a month-long collection of festivities and deals designed to promote tourism within the country.  From January 3rd to February 3rd, the city becomes one grand celebration with consumerism at its core.

Begun in 1996, the festival was originally just a shopping event where people could find good stuff at good prices.  Since then, it has grown to encompass the entire city.  Now, hundreds of presentations and activities accompany the shopping frenzy giving you plenty to do even if you have nothing you want to buy.  This year parks the 18th year of this popular tradition and people from all around the world will be coming to Dubai to experience the celebration.

One of the reasons for such an event is the fact that Dubai is second only to London when it comes to having a diverse selection of international products all gathered in one city.  During the festival, everything is tax-free and discounted, so the deals are everywhere.  More than 70 malls take part, some of them even staying open all night for those 2am shopping sprees.

In addition to the shopping, there’s plenty more going on to celebrate the festival.  Thousands of raffles and contests feature prizes ranging from cash to brand new cars.  Many celebrities show up to make appearances during the festival.  There are concerts, musicals, theater, film festivals, sporting events, fashion shows and regular fireworks and laser shows at night.  The Dubai Shopping Festival Carnival features dancing, acrobatics and many other performances.  The Global Village is a collection of pavilions from all over the world, each showing off products unique to their culture.

The month of the festival can be a great way to both see the city and stock up on whatever you might need.  It’s not the cheapest of holidays, considering the theme, but if shopping is your thing, there’s no place and no time better to do it.