Dubai Shopping Festival, the annual shopping extravaganza that attracts millions from across the globe has kicked off here, as the UAE attempts to boost its indifferent retail sector.
In its inaugural year, DSF attracted 1.6 million visitors in 1996 who spent about Rs 139 billion dirhams in 43 days. The year 2009 saw visitor numbers touching 3.35 million who spent approximately Rs 633 billion.
The month-long festival, which is awaited by bargain hunters both in and outside the UAE, is expected to boost an otherwise indifferent retail industry over the last few months.
Shops try to outdo each other over discounts while malls have erected facades for this 15th edition of the festival.
Hundreds gathered to watch a dazzling fireworks display on Al Seef Street to herald the beginning of the festival.
As has been the case in recent year, the focus is going to be Global Village where different countries set up their pavilions.
Coinciding with the beginning of the festival, an Indian Republic Day Kavi Sammelan and Mushaira was also held yesterday at the Indian High School, presided by Chief Justice of Orissa I M Quddusi, with MP Jagdambika Pal as chief guest.
Rahat Indoori, Manzar Bhopali, Ramendera Mohan Triphathi, Manju Lata, Azam Shakri, Shabeena Adeeb and Jauhar Kanpuri were some of the poets who attended. The festival is organised by Dubai Events and Promotions Establishment (DEPE), formerly known as the Dubai Shopping Festival Office.