Dubai has emerged as the top luxury shopping break destination, according to recent research from Mintel.
The company revealed there was movement away from traditional short-haul city breaks, towards mid-haul destinations such as Dubai where there has been a significant growth in short break travel.
According to Mintel, in 2007 there were over 7.5 million short break holidays taken abroad. The UAE market grew by an outstanding 46 per cent in 2007 to reach an estimated 8,540 short breaks.
The short-breaks industry is now worth over £2 billion, having tripled over the last decade from £600 million, and one in ten UK adults has been on a short-break holiday in the past 12 months.
Dubai has capitalised on this growing market, offering travellers a range of pioneering new developments.
Ian Scott, director of the UK and Ireland representative office of Dubai Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM), said, ‘Dubai is becoming the city-break destination of choice, particularly for couples seeking an alternative to more traditional destinations such as New York and Paris.
“Offering a fusion of the old and the new, Dubai caters to all tastes boasting excellent luxury hotels, fantastic world class facilities, the ultimate shopping experience, fine dining at internationally-renowned restaurants and sensual spa treatments, all set to a stunning backdrop of breathtaking desert landscapes, azure waters and pristine beaches.”
But he cited shopping in Dubai as the major draw card for the short-break visitor. It offers shops sporting leading designer brands, available tax-free, more than 50 shopping malls as well as the traditional Arabian souks of the Deira and Bur Dubai districts.
It also offers the Dubai Shopping Festival.
Dubai’s spa industry was also growing rapidly and of huge appeal to short-break travellers. International spa brands include the Givenchy Spa at the One&Only, the The Ritz-Carlton Dubai’s Balinese themed spa, and in 2009 the first Armani Spa, designed by Giorgio Armani, will open in the world’s tallest building, Burj Dubai.
With an increasing number of travellers opting for shorter and more frequent holidays, Dubai has witnessed a surge in visitors. Its myriad diverse and world class attractions mean that the emirate is fast establishing itself as the city destination of choice.
DSF starts January
The major annual event for dedicated Dubai shoppers is happening again next year. The Dubai Shopping Festival 2009 (DSF), taking place from January 15 to February 15, will be offering shopping enthusiasts a variety of events, activities, bargains, sales, raffles, promotions, concerts, performances, carnivals and games.
The DSF was started in 1996 by the government to promote retail trade in the city, and has since grown into the foremost shopping event in the world, an annual extravaganza of shopping and entertainment that promotes tourism and attracts millions of people from around the world every year.
His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE vice president and prime minister, and Ruler of Dubai wanted to position Dubai on the world map as an unmatched tourist and business haven, and so the DSF was created as an event that goes hand-in-hand with the emirate’s aim of attracting 15 million tourists by the year 2010.
For an entire month thousands of retail outlets offer reduced prices or shopping specials, with hotels, travel companies and airlines also extending special discounts to visitors during this period.
Shopping malls and souks are open late, and one of the most popular shopping spots is the Carpet Oasis, showcasing thousands of exclusive carpets from around the world. Other events include nightly fireworks, laser/light shows, international fashion shows, street performances, music concerts, cultural events and daily raffles offering fabulous prizes of money, vehicles and gold.
The venues include shopping centres and malls in various parts of the city and there is also a Global Village, with pavilions offering products from retailers and manufacturers from around the world.
TTN is the most established trade publication in the Middle East distributed on a controlled circulation basis to members of the travel and tourism industry.
Published monthly by Al Hilal Publishing and Marketing Group, the region’s foremost trade publisher, TTN is aimed at professionals in the industry, from travel agents to airline and hotel personnel.
TTN provides in-depth and extensive coverage of relevant issues in the Middle East and North Africa as well as in other parts of the world. Travel related news, analysis, and new appointments together with information on up-coming exhibitions, marketing and promotional campaigns are presented in an innovative and striking colour tabloid.
Every issue also contains a collation of international and regional news and topical features of interest to readers.