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'Dubai - shopping capital of Mideast'

posted on 07/06/2003: 2067 views

Almost 30 per cent of Dubai's total tourist intake originates from exhibitions and events that are increasingly attracting visitors to the emirate. By offering the world's best brands at the best prices, Dubai has established itself as the shopping capital of the Middle East, while the UAE in general, has emerged as the events and exhibitions hub of the region, noted a report published in the UAE Yearbook, 2003.

The report drew particular reference to the Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF) that is a major highlight in the calendar of events. DSF 2002 registered a growth figure of five per cent, taking the total number of shoppers to 2.68 million, offering them bargains, attractive raffle prizes and carnival atmosphere. The official web site of DSF,, recorded over 25 million hits during 2002.

The Global Village remained the most popular and colourful venue of DSF 2002, offering something for every member of the family, from shopping rides and stage shows to food courts. It attracted in excess of 2.5 million visitors over the 31 days of the event. The dates of DSF 2003 which sported the theme 'one world, one family, one festival', were advanced because research indicated that families liked to stay in Dubai for longer periods during the festival.

In another record-breaking year, Dubai Summer Surprises (DSS 2002) posted an 18 per cent rise in the number of visitors, crossing the 1.3 million mark, while total spending rose 19 per cent from Dh118 million in 2001 to Dh1.3 billion in 2002. Mall traffic registered a sharp increase of 26 per cent to 7.56 million while total spending at the malls was worth Dh1.15 billion, a rise of 14.2 per cent. Modhesh Fun City attracted 259,000 visitors, including 127,000 children, during the 72-day extravaganza, and the festival's mascot Modhesh has become a household name and one of the most popular cartoon characters among children in the Gulf region.

Dubai will be in high gear again this year, which will host the 58th board meeting of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund in September. The high-profile event will focus global media and government attention on the UAE and present yet another opportunity to showcase its attractions. The UAE was selected for its highly developed transportation and logistics infrastructure, growing importance as a financial hub and its established position as the Crossroads for the New Global Economy, the report added. (The Khaleej Times)


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