(MENAFN - Arab News) Aiming to boost the retail sector on a global scale, Dubai began its 19th Shopping Festival activities on Thursday with fun and fire-works.
Themed 'Shop at your best,' the festival features 150 events and activities that offers kilos of gold, luxury cars, cash prizes and hundreds of entertainment programs.
"Since it was launched in 1996, the Dubai Shopping Festival has attracted around 51 million participants and visitors, who have spent just under AED130 billion, whether it was for shopping, hospitality or on entertainment," said Laila Mohammed Suhail, CEO of Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment, or DFRE, the organizer of the event
"In the last few years, we have witnessed the number of visitors averaging around 4 million and we are anticipating an increase of 5 to 10 percent during this DSF that will run until Feb. 2," she said.
A number of top musicians and singers will take part in many programs at different venues including Madinat arena and Dubai World Trade Center.
Events during the festival include DSF carnival, Michael Jackson- The Immortal World Tour by Cirque du Soleil at The World Trade Center, Carpet and Art Oasis, DSF Mega Raffles and several music and fashion shows.
In addition, shoppers may enjoy discounts at 70 malls and over 6,000 retail outlets across the city.
Shoppers who purchase gold worth AED500 at any participating outlets will be entitled to one raffle coupon for a chance to win the one kilogram gold (worth around AD147,000) and a diamond solitaire ring.
Those who shopping at Barsha Mall, Century Mall, Etihad Mall, Madina Mall, Mazaya Center, Al Ain Center, Bin Sougat Center, Al Bustan Center, Karama Center, Times Square Center and Union Cooperative will get a chance to win AED500,000 for a minimum spend of AED200.
DSF also conducts an Infiniti Mega Raffle that will give away two luxury Infiniti cars - a QX60 and G25 - plus AED100,000 cash.
This year's carnival will be the biggest in the DSF history. Jumeirah Street, Riqqa Street, Al Seef Street, Shaikh Mohammad bin Rashid Boulevard and Global Village will have s performers such as the Pele Pele dance group from Swaziland, the Mexico Tierra Mestiza troupe, among others.
The Carpet and Art Oasis also kicked off on Thursday on the sidelines of DSF.
The event, which is organized by Dubai Customs at Dubai Festival City, has a display of the largest and unique carpets and rugs around the world.
"Dubai Customs' Carpet and Art Oasis is one of the most remarkable events regularly scheduled for Dubai Shopping Festival," said Ahmed Butti Ahmed, executive chairman of Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation, director-general of Dubai Customs.
This year, the organizers have decided to increase the exhibition area by 30 percent in a bid to position the Oasis as the biggest platform for handmade carpets worldwide.
The new edition showcases more than 150,000 pieces by 60 exhibitors, with a total market value worth AED1 billion.