By Jamil Khan

SHEIKH Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Dubai Crown Prince, inaugurated the 16th Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF) at a function near Burj Khalifa on Thursday evening.

Burj Khalifa
Burj Khalifa

There were spectacular shows of laser lighting, fireworks and dance and music during the opening ceremony.

With the opening of the  shopping festival, the wait was over for hundreds of thousands of shoppers in Dubai, the other emirates and from around the world for this 32-day shopping extravaganza.

The 16th edition of the DSF was heralded with a dazzling opening ceremony at the Dubai Creek Park in the presence of hundreds of families who had flocked from different parts of the Emirate, to be part of the historic event.

Besides the opening of the festival, the Dubai Creek Park had lined up numerous events starting at 4pm, to celebrate the beginning of DSF. Entrance to the park was free during the celebratory opening. This was to facilitate visitors in large numbers being part of an entertaining evening loaded with games, sports and water activities, besides various shows that were presented by bands and dance troupes on multiple stages specially erected across the park.

Floats depicting cultures of different Arabic nations moved from one corner to another entertaining the crowds.

A carnival featuring clowns portraying a number of characters and musicians was also featured in the evening gala.

This year, organisers have promised that the activities, promotions, prizes, entertainment and shopping attractions would be bigger and more fun as compared to previous years as more than 6,000 retail outlets and over 50 shopping malls across Dubai are slated to be part of the 32-day festival.

The retail outlets are all set to give away luxury prizes through raffle draws, while many are offering gift vouchers and other attractive giveaways, including discounts up to 75 per cent on the purchase of a huge range of products during the festival.

The first week of the festival will witness a wide range of performances and attractions, including live performances by clowns, dance troupes, musicians, jugglers and other performers across malls and public parks in Dubai.

Special events such as the Carpet Oasis at Airport Expo Dubai, events at main streets in Al Seef, Riqqa, Diyafah roads are also planned, as well as at the popular night souq which is located on Riqqa street.

Besides the daily dolphin shows, mega raffle promotions and the desert camp are part of the exciting attractions in store during this DSF.

Coming to the opening, the major attraction of the day was the scintillating pyrotechnics display at UAE’s iconic Burj Khalifa. Lending a burst of colour to the official opening ceremony, the fireworks lit up the Dubai sky in a most spectacular fashion to continued applause from the hundreds of spectators around.

Similar firework displays, to enthrall visitors are planned for the duration of the festival.

The other attractions for the hordes of families assembled at the Burj Khalifa included a range of cultural shows in tradition style, all in all which provided the shopping crowds a memorable evening.