Dubai Shopping Festival returns for 2013

The 18th edition of the Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF) is due to begin on January 3rd.Taking place at six main venues across the emirate, the festival will run for 32 days and offer visitors a wide range of retail-themed events, special promotions, discounts and family activities.According to the slogan of the Dubai Events and Promotions Establishment (DEPE), which organises the DSF, the event is designed to showcase "Dubai at its Best".A grand opening ceremony, featuring a sound and light show used to depict the history of Dubai and a spectacular fireworks finale, will take place at Dubai Creek on January 3rd.Other anticipated highlights of the festival calendar include the DSF Carnival, during which hundreds of performers including jugglers, stilt walkers, unicyclists and musicians will display their talents on Al Seef Street.At the DSF Fun Fair, which is set to run for the duration of the DSF at Festival Promenade, visitors can enjoy Dodgems, Ferris wheels and many other thrilling rides.The organisers have also succeeded in attracting international stars to Dubai for the event, with legendary guitarist Slash due to perform live on January 31st as part of the closing weekend.Of course, there will also be plenty of opportunities for shopping. A total of 7,000 retail outlets have registered for the festival, meaning they will be offering discounts of up to 75 per cent and special giveaways.Suhaila Ghubash, events director at DEPE, said the festival has been "successfully pushing the bar higher and higher in terms of the variety and quality of it offerings" since its foundation in 1996."This year, we have exceeded all previous benchmarks with the breadth and depth of the activities we have organised," he added.DEPE's festivals coordinator Ibrahim Saleh pointed out that last year's DSF attracted 4.36 million shoppers, while spending reached 4.7 billion dirhams (£785 million). The stage is set for the 2013 festival to be even more popular.

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