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Date: 20/12/2016

Shop ‘til you drop in Dubai for an entire month


The festival, which concludes on 28 January, is an extravaganza of entertainment and retail opportunities and is the largest festival of its kind in the Middle East. It is also the longest continuing festival of its type. Shopping, of course, is one of the emirate's favourite activities, but there are plenty of other activities to enjoy apart from the amazing offers on all kinds of merchandise. Other things to enjoy include performances by celebrities and there will be daily live raffles with fantastic cash prizes - and maybe even a new car for some lucky shopper to take home.

Vibrant slice of the Middle East

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is a country found at the south-eastern tip of the Arabian Peninsula. The Persian Gulf makes up one of its borders and the UAE's immediate neighbours are Saudi Arabia and Oman. The city with the biggest population in the UAE, Dubai is also the capital of its emirate, the Emirate of Dubai. Seven emirates in total make up the UAE. Dubai is a significant transport hub for the region. The metropolis has evolved as a business centre in the Middle East and become a global city known for its lavish hotels, tall buildings and major sports events. The Burj Khalifa, which is the tallest building in the world, is found in Dubai. Oil revenue drove early development of Dubai, but its main income is now derived from aviation, financial services and tourism. With a hot climate, Dubai is a desert city that gets plenty of sun. Temperatures hover around the mid-20s during December and January, making it a good time to visit.

Bargains galore

Dubai offers stunning shopping all year round in its atmospheric souks and superbly appointed glossy malls; however, during the shopping festival, the opportunities become better and brighter. Those searching for good deals on electronic gadgets will find much to choose from. Shopping destinations also include markets, bazaars and stores. International fashion shows are part of the events that are held, where visitors can see some of the alluring garments they can purchase; in addition, there are film festivals, fireworks, cultural events and impressive street displays to help tourists enjoy the festival.

Offers to suit everyone

There are different packages that can be enjoyed for visiting the festival. The five-star package, for example, includes accommodation at a top hotel, airport pick-up, and a dinner cruise. A visa is needed for visiting the UAE, which may not be part of the package; however, this can be arranged for a fee.

And there's more

Once the credit card is weary, there are other attractions in Dubai to experience. Take a cruise on a dhow, or go out into the desert on a safari. Then there is sightseeing in the city itself. The dhow is the traditional two-masted ship of the Arab world and the dinner cruises along the Dubai Creek are very popular, offering a different way to look at the city. A desert safari can encompass several options, from an adventurous tour riding a camel to taking on the dunes in a 4WD. To truly experience the magic of the desert, stay in one of the overnight camps, where visitors can lie on the sand gazing up at the immense starry blanket of the stars. An overnight desert stay might include a tempting outdoor barbecue meal and some belly dancing. Another way to have a thrilling desert experience is to go up in a hot air balloon for views that you will never forget. For the energetic, there are also opportunities to go mountain biking or quad biking in the desert.