Dubai eyes 5pc more DSF visitors this year

The Global Village will be one of the major attactions at DSF 2002.

The Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF) this year hopes to attract 5 per cent more visitors than last year despite a global slump in the tourism industry, according to the event's chief operating officer, Ibrahim Saleh.

The month-long annual festival which begins on March 1 is this year being held under the theme of One World, One Family, One Festival.

Chief marketing officer of DSF Saeed Al Nabouda said during a roadshow in Bahrain promoting the event last month that they were hopeful of achieving the target through the new DSF marketing campaign, with a strong focus on new markets.

He also said more Arab visitors are expected to visit DSF this time. Last year, 728,000 overseas visitors came during the festival.

Saleh said DSF 2002 had lined up an exciting programme of events to provide a rich diversity to visitors coming from all corners of the globe. Among the key attractions are the Global Village, the Heritage Village, Carpet Oasis and spectacular fireworks over Dubai Creek.

A highlight of this year's festival will be the opening of the Children's City, the first and biggest dedicated entertainment venue for kids in the Middle East.

"A new mega production of Caracalla's Two Thousand and One Nights will be premiered in Dubai during the Festival, offering top quality stage entertainment," said Saleh.

The Global Village, one of the most exciting projects of DSF, has been moved to a more spacious venue at Dubai Festival City.

The usual promotions and raffles will be there as well, with new enhancements. The Lexus Mega Raffle will offer a daily prize of two luxury cars and cash with a total value of half a million dirhams ($ 135,870).

There will be a daily shopping-linked promotion offering a daily prize of Dh 100,000 ($27,170) and a gold promotion will give away a total of 41 kilos of gold in prizes throughout the month, he said.

Some 70 Dubai hotels are gearing up to welcome visitors, by giving discounts on room rates from 25 to 40 per cent and other special offers.