WITH 1.51 million visitors and a total visitor spend of Dh1.72 billion in 2005, the annual Dubai Summer Surprises has grown beyond out of the shadow of the Dubai Shopping Festival.
And in typical Dubai fashion this year’s event is slated to be bigger and better than its predecessors, says the event’s Laila Suhail, who expects both those numbers to go up by another 10 per cent, which should bring total spending to nearly Dh2 billion.
“Preparations by the various government departments handling the 10 surprises and other related events have already begun. The activities spread to over 30 malls this year, with each adding individual events to complement the themed weeks,” she says.
The event is an audacious idea that has created a new business season for retailers in the summer, traditionally a time when nationals and expatriates alike went on an extended vacation. “Thanks to DSS, now there is so much to do in Dubai during summers that families decide to stay back and partake in the fun and frolic of the two-and-a-half-month long event,” she says.
So what's new this year? “DSS 2006 will see Nature Surprises making its debut and Food Surprises with its international cuisine staging a comeback,” says Suhail. Besides events at the new malls, the government departments are working on new ideas to generate renwed interest among visitors and residents alike. “It's their commendable job that's brought visitor turnout from 600,000 in the first year, 1998, to last year's 1,510,000,” says Suhail.
Themed around children with events such as the Modhesh Fun City,
DSS offers adults discounted shopping and raffle draws.
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