The sixteenth international Dubai Shopping (DSF) Festival is all set to kick start at the Burj Khalifa, Dubai Creek Park, Global Village, and the Dubai Outlet Mall on Thursday.

An idea generated by UAE’s prime minister Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum in 1996 turned out to be world’s biggest shopping extravaganza that begins on January 20 and lasts till February 20, 2011, the local media reports informed.

According to experts, the festival that began as an event for retailers to showcase their brands has over time become one of the biggest contributors for tourism sector.

The sixteenth edition is important to us as it crowns 15 years of achievements ever since DSF was launched in 1996. Looking back, DSF has welcomed over 40 million visitors, recorded a consumer spending of AED 84 billion, and given away prizes worth AED 35 billion, Ebrahim Saleh, festivals coordinator general and deputy CEO of Dubai Events and Promotions Establishment (DEPE), was quoted as saying by Gulf News.

“These remarkable accomplishments that were achieved in the past 15 years have helped position the city of Dubai in the global tourism map,” Laila Suhail, CEO of DEPE, told Khaleej Times.

The shopping festival here puts out everything from gold to electronics, clothes and more on exciting offers during the festival. Airlines worldwide offer attractive package deals just for the festival and hotels in Dubai have discounted tariffs.

Dubai was recently named the world's top shopping destination beating New York, Paris, Beijing and London.

Main attractions at the Dubai Shopping Festival 2011:

Burj Khalifa
Travelers visiting Dubai can look forward to putting up at a private apartment in Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest tower. An UAE-based online company,, is offering to rent an apartment on the nineteenth floor of the 188-floor tower at a price of $285 per night.

Room for creativity
This year’s festival will have launch of region’s emerging fashion talents, so look forward to unique designs in jewelry, clothes and accessories.

Carpet oasis
A thousands of square meter area showcasing carpets, rugs like from Turkey, Iran, Pakistan, India and Afghanistan will be another main attraction at the 2011 edition of the shopping festival.

Kavi Sammelan and Mushaira – a confluence of renowned poets from all across the Indian sub-continent, live performances, music shows and more will keep the visitors entertained during the festival.

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