The time for deals, discounts and prizes has arrived… 

The only thing that can temper the sting of Christmas being over is some serious shopping at the malls.

And luckily our favourite annual sale kicks off little earlier than usual this year, with the launch of the Dubai Shopping Festival 2017 today.

The month-long affair, which runs from December 26 to January 28, is jam-packed with offers, activities, discounts and prizes throughout many of the city’s shopping destinations.

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It’s the 22nd year that DSF has taken place, and up to five million bargain hunters are expected to flock to Dubai over the next few weeks to pick up a few treats.

So what’s on offer?

Well, there are too many deals to name, but we’ve cherry-picked some of our favourites for you below (you can find more at…

The launch-day party

To celebrate the start of DSF, there’s a spectacular show starting today, featuring fountains, fireballs, lasers and lights. The free waterfront extravaganza at Dubai Festival City Mall – which is the first show of its kind – will play twice an hour from midday, and the night will culminate in a huge fireworks display. There will also be more fireworks throughout the month at various locations.

The 90 per cent off sales

Starting from 12pm on January 1, a special 12-hour New Year’s Sale will kick off at Mall of the Emirates, City Centre Mirdif, City Centre Deira, City Centre Me’aisem City Centre Al Barsha and City Centre Al Shindagha. Shops taking part will slash prices by up to 90 per cent. For the rest of DSF, many shops will be offering discounts of up to 75 per cent.

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The raffles

Throughout DSF, plenty of prize draws will take place, including ones offering Dhs50,000 in mall gift vouchers, the chance to win an Infiniti QX70 car plus Dh150,000 in cash, a Nissan and Lexus prize draw, and a raffle for free gold.

A chance to shop local

Market Outside The Box will be held at the foot of the Burj Khalifa from January 19 to 28, where more than 100 local and regional designers will set up stalls. Think jewellery, accessories, homewares and clothing from Middle Eastern brands, and there’ll also be food trucks and live music, so you can make a real day of it.

Pick up a new carpet

Do your cold tiled floors need a little sprucing up? You’ll find plenty of handmade rugs from Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Iran and more at the Carpet and Art Oasis exhibition, from December 29 to January 15 at Dubai World Trade Centre. It’s worth just going along for a browse even if you’re not in the market for a carpet, as it’s a pretty spectacular display.

Top up your beauty cabinet

From January 6 to 14 at The Dubai Mall’s Fashion Catwalk, you’ll find a pop-up ‘Beauty District’. Expect promotions, new products, exclusive beauty boxes, and experts on hand to teach you some new tricks of the trade. Galeries Lafayette will also be holding a Beauty Week from January 5 to 14, where you’ll find skin consultations by Joelle Skin Lab and demos by international makeup artists.

Take in a catwalk show

Well, or several, as there’s plenty of fashion presentations taking place over the next 34 days. The alfresco Street Runways sound like a must-see (held at four locations – including The Beach and City Walk – over four days), and malls including Ibn Battuta, Dubai Festival City and Mall of the Emirates will hold catwalk shows in January.

Gawp at some diamonds

Several world-class jewellers will be hosting exhibitions and launching exclusive collections, including Van Cleef at Mall of the Emirates, and Korloff, Damas and Dhamani at The Dubai Mall (there’s some gorgeous pink diamonds to be snapped up at the latter).




And remember, the Boxing Day sales have kicked off around the world too, so if you don’t fancy trekking around a mall, just hop online. Not sure where to start? Check out our list of 10 British brands you didn’t realise shipped to the UAE.

Happy perusing, shoppers. (And apologies to you, beloved credit cards, for the bashing you’re about to get).

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Plus, here are some top tips from the experts for shopping the sales:

Keep calm. When your brain spots an offer it releases dopamine, an organic chemical that lights up like a firework in your brain, and makes you want that sale. Remaining calm and unstressed will keep your spending in control.

Be cheeky. Register on the site of your favourite brand, then go shopping, putting what you want in your virtual basket. Go through the stages of making a purchase and at the final step simply close the page. Ninety per cent of the time the brand will note that you’ve left and will send you a promotion code or deal via email soon after.

Don’t be fooled. A 30 per cent discount doesn’t call for a sale, and steer clear if the discount is more than 70 per cent – it means prices have been inflated.  There’s a sweet window between 30 and 50 per cent, which screams bargain!


Number crunch. Before the big sale, work out your budget so there’s no guilt after the shop. If shopping online add items to your Wish List so you can find your favourites really quickly on the day.

Style no-nos. If it’s not fabulous then avoid it. If you don’t feel great the moment you put it on then you never will.

Style go-gos. Sales are a great time to invest in timeless classics. Everyone should have a capsule wardrobe with the essentials: leather trousers, ballet flats, a cashmere sweater and a blazer.

Stick to a sensible motto. Only buy pieces that you would consider paying full price for. If you find something you really love, don’t hesitate, discount items don’t hang around forever.

Buy one size up on budget items.  This means you’re getting a little extra fabric, which can make all difference from looking cheap or chic.

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Images: Getty