Expect the world, and get it! That’s what the eleventh annual Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF), which runs from January 4 to February 4, hollers to the world, and the world might as well listen to its clarion call.
For, the promises are already a reality in as much as everything is going bang on target. The Global Village has been with the people of the world for several weeks now, setting the tone for DSF 2006, and the shopping malls and participating outlets are ready to welcome the visitors, the roads and bridges are all lit up and festooned, and raffles have started enticing the early bird.
Over 2,000 outlets will be part of this DSF, and there are 25 patrons and key sponsors. Everybody is ready for the big show to begin. There’s an air of expectancy and anticipation, and the weather is also playing fair.
The DSF Office has unveiled the Events Calendar for DSF 2006 boasting over 115 events, beginning with a special opening on January 4. The month-long fireworks, courtesy Al Zarooni Group of Companies, will be held at Al Mamzar Park, Dubai Creek and Global Village at 8pm, 9pm and 10pm respectively.
The most sought-after DSF event, Dubai Fashion 2006, sponsored by BurJuman, will run from January 17 to 19, at the Dubai Park Hyatt. Creations 2006 provides a fitting platform for budding amateur designers from the region to display their talents from January 22 to February 3 at BurJuman, while the House of Talents, running from January 18 to 24 at Al Boom Village, will play host to a number of talented ladies seeking the arclights.
For Eid revellers, DSF brings the five-day-long Eid Al Adha celebrations from January 10 to 14 inclusive of fireworks, carnivals and regional cultural shows in the evenings as Circus Oz (January 12-13) at the Dubai World Trade Centre Hall No 3 takes on the daring route, with international circus artistes recreating feats of sheer daredevilry.
Then there’s the Masters – An Art Exhibition, where the works of Van Gogh, Picasso, Renoir and Monet will be displayed to the Middle East’s art connoisseurs for the first time ever, from January 4 to 14 at the Dubai World Trade Centre Hall No 2.
The Deserts of Arabia offer an insight into the way of life of the region’s founding fathers, and the Desert Camp 2006 shall give a rare opportunity to experience the true character of the desert, the harmonious relationship between man and nature and the art forms, cultures and traditions that have evolved from this unique setting. DSF Desert Camp will be held next to Mushrif Park from January 4 to February 4.
The Global Village boasts 38 national pavilions which bring the flavours of world cultures and cuisine to one location. It’s one place where Iranian-coloured glass, Indian folk art and Coco De Mer hats from the Seychelles vie for attention, along with a vast variety of entertainment events. The Carpet Oasis, which showcases the best of hand-woven carpets from the world over, including the finest Persian carpets from Iran, Turkey, India and Afghanistan, will be held at the Dubai World Trade Centre Hall No 1, from January 4 to 14.
And what is DSF if not a venue that allows you to almost lose yourself to a maze of great bargains, performing artistes and fun fairs? The Dubai Night Souk, one of the prime attractions of the Festival, runs from all throughout the festival at its permanent venue on Al Seef Road.
The concept of the World of Bazaars showcases unique developments of Islamic culture of different periods in history, through an ambience of Khan Al Khalili in Cairo to Shah Souk in Isfahan to the Al Madina Souk, with workshops on crafting, painting, carpet weaving, copper engraving and many more. The World of Bazaars event runs from January 4 to February 4 on Al Seef Road.
Under ‘Shopping Mall Events’ the DSF shall see the Young Entrepreneurs’ Souk from February 1 to 3 at Al Reef Mall, while the festival where everyone goes back a winner, has over Dh100 million prizes to be given away. These include the Daily Lexus Mega Raffle, the draw taking place at the DSF Stage in Global Village, the Daily Grand Nissan Raffle, the Daily Gold Raffle, the Weekly Dubai Gold Coin Raffle and the Visit and Win promotions.
DSF 2006 also brings forth an adrenaline-inspiring mix of entertainment events, including sports events like the Al Maktoum Challenge Championship, being held from January 11 to 13 at the Emirates Racing Centre, Nad Al Sheba; the Fazza Falconry Championship next to Global Village from January 10 to 13 ; the Dubai Marathon, which will be flagged off from the Dubai World Trade Centre on January 6; the Rugby Championship at the Dubai Police Officer’s Club on January 4 and January 5; the Dubai Terry Fox Run on January 27 which starts from Wonderland; and the Dubai Traditional Rowing Race, taking place on the Dubai Creek on January 20.
The DSF every year has hosted a platform for global superstars and artistes from the region, and the events this year includes the Layali Dubai Concerts; Fatboy Slim live at the Dubai World Trade Centre Hall No. l on January 5; Bryan Adams Concert on February 2 at Dubai Media City; Nancy Ajram and Gypsy King live at Al Zabeel Park on January 12; and concerts of artistes from various countries including Pakistan and India with Indian music composer Anu Malik Live in Concert on January 12 at the Dubai Country Club. There will also be an English play by Children’s Theatre on January 26 at the Madinat Jumeirah, and Dial M for Murder, again at the same venue for four consecutive days from January 30 onwards.
Traditional events that celebrate the customs, the vision of the leaders and the history of the region shall include Zayed – the Enduring Legacy and the Jordan History Exhibition at Sheikh Saeed Al Maktoum House; the Arabian Horse Exhibition, the Folklore Group Show and shows by Emirates Children at the Heritage Village; and the Hatta Heritage Celebrations at Hatta.
Entertainment shows include the Jump – Martial Arts Show at Al Riqqa Road, the Acrobat Fun Show, the Juggling on Drums show and the Entertainment Fun Show. Events at Zabeel Park include the Young Creative Investor show, the Food Fiesta and the Sports Zone. This year, Creek Park hosts an event unique to the DSF – the World of Islands, which offers a rare insight into the ways of life, the traditions and cuisine of five tiny islands that dot the Indian and Pacific oceans. The event will take place by the waterfront at Creek Park, from January 4 to February 4. Events on January 24 will be dedicated to young people with special needs.
Al Seef Road Events include the Fun Fair Area and the Traditional Café. In addition, there is a bouquet of events taking place at Al Bastakiya and on Al Riqqa Road, and Al Safa Park, which will also host the Guinness World Record Events and the Dubai Records. In addition, DSF 2006 will also have a wealth of exhibitions and conferences and other entertainment events like the Third Cyber Food Festival featuring cuisine and food from all corners of the world from January 22 to 26 at Dubai Internet City and the Emaar International Art Symposium, hosting top artists of the world, next to Dubai World Trade Centre from January 21 to February 3.
The stage is set, thus, for expectations to be exceeded, as the DSF once again promises to bring shoppers, revellers and communities from far and wide together with the message of One World, One Family, One Festival!
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