Month-long Dubai Shopping Festival 2002 to roll out bargains, promotions and live entertainment

Lucky visitors can win daily prizes like luxury cars, gold & cash

Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF), an exciting and colourful shopping-cum-entertainment extravaganza in the Middle East, will be held for the seventh consecutive year in Dubai from March 1 to 31, 2002.

The month-long festival, which offers shopping bargains, pulsating live entertainment, world-class musicals and concerts, international sports events and numerous promotions giving away fabulous prizes such as luxury cars, cash and gold, has lined up an exciting programme for Dubai Shopping Festival 2002.

Dubai Shopping Festival, launched in 1996 by the Government of Dubai in collaboration with the private sector, has now gained global recognition, attracting more than 2.55 million visitors. Its formula of mixing shopping with entertainment and fantastic prizes has found instant popularity.

DSF 2002 had lined up an exciting programme of events based on the theme One World One Family One Festival, 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 big 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.

"DSF 2002 will have many new activities, specially those pertaining to art and culture, as part of our commitment to create something unique for each festival," Mr. Ibrahim Saleh, Chief Operating Officer, said. "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."

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

Adding to the entertainment calendar will be big singers from Arab states taking part in a daily programme called Layali Dubai organised by Dubai TV. In addition, there will be concerts by Asian and Iranian singers.

"The Opening Ceremony of DSF 2002 will be a big huge surprise in concept and execution, with inputs from some big names in international stage production," Mr. Saleh said.

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 (US$ 135,870).

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

Some 70 Dubai hotels are gearing up to welcome a rush of visitors, by giving discounts on room rates ranging from 25 to 40 per cent and a special offer in which DSF visitors staying for three nights will get two nights free during Dubai Summer Surprises between June and August 2002.

Among the star attractions on the entertainment calendar will be a dazzling stage production called Two Thousand and One Nights created by Caracalla Dance Theatre, presenting in a quintessentially Arabian setting the beautiful Sheherazade's legendary stories that have been enjoyed by generations down the ages.

The brand-new stage show, involving a team of over 300 international and Lebanese artists and technicians, boasts high standards in every respect, including set designing, music score, choreography, costumes, sound, lighting and world-class production values which have been consistently associated with the Caracalla group.

An impressive array of sports events is lined up during Dubai Shopping Festival 2002. The highlights of the March sports calendar are the Dubai World Cup, the world's richest horse race; Dubai Tennis Championships and the Dubai Desert Classic golf tournament.
Major highlights of the annual Festival include nightly fireworks, street carnivals and live entertainment featuring international cartoon characters. Concerts featuring international and regional stars are held throughout the month.

The DSF Global Village is a pulsating venue that presents the arts, crafts and culture of 50 different countries in an open-air setting. Visitors can purchase handicrafts at the different national pavilions, sample authentic food of different countries and enjoy folk programmes.

Carpet Oasis is another major attraction offering the finest handmade carpets from the most reputed carpet-producing countries in the world. Visitors can watch carpet weavers in action as they demonstrate the painstaking methods of making carpets.

For culture seekers, the Heritage Village, the Diving Village and the Dubai Museum offer a series of special events to catch glimpses of the Arabian heritage and lifestyle, transporting visitors to a period before the discovery of oil when the main occupations were fishing and pearl diving.

During DSF, Dubai offers a rich variety of brands at bargain prices. Over 2,500 retail outlets across the emirate participate in the Festival, offering goods and services that range from the latest in haute couture and perfumes to gold and jewellery, electronics, cosmetics, textiles and traditional handicrafts.

Emirates airline, the official carrier and a key sponsor of Dubai Shopping Festival, flies in visitors from 52 destinations in 40 countries. Emirates offers discounted fares and extra baggage allowance during the festival.

Dubai is the sports capital of the Middle East. The endless miles of clean beaches welcome sea and surf enthusiasts with water and jet skiing, sailing, cruising, fishing, diving and wind surfing. Other sports enthusiasts can tee off at two of Dubai's picturesque golf courses (including facility for night golf), or indulge in go-karting, bowling, shooting, archery, or partake in some of local adventure experiences - dune bashing, dune driving, sand skiing and sand boarding.

Dubai has been chosen as the venue for the 2003 Conference of the Board of Governors of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank.