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H.E. Laila Mohammad Suhail, CEO of Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment (DFRE)

Dubai sees surge in visitors and spending during first two weeks of Dubai Summer Surprises

: Tuesday, August 26 - 2014 @ 16:23

The Dubai economy has been given a significant boost during the first two weeks of Dubai Summer Surprises (DSS), with shopping malls and retailers across the Emirate reporting major increases in visitor numbers and sales compared to last year, and hotels registering high occupancy levels, as the DSS effect permeates the retail and other economic sectors.

The Dubai Shopping Malls Group reports that there has been an average 10 per cent increase in footfall across 27 malls participating in this year’s summer promotion while AW Rostamani Group, a Strategic Partner of Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment (DFRE), an agency of the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) and the organisers of DSS, says that special summer promotions and deals have seen a 39 percent sales increase this summer.

Malls have found themselves magnets for visitors in the first two weeks, as DSS continues to further enhance its reputation as the summer destination of choice by offering a fabulous range of world-class events and activities combined with an array of unbeatable deals offered by their retails outlets on a wide range of merchandise.

Perfumes have proved hugely popular for shoppers at Dubai Duty Free and at leading specialist stores like Paris Gallery who have reported a year on year sales increase of 20 per cent during this DSS season that began on 2nd August and will end on 5th September.

Emirates Airline have reported that they have seen thousands of extra passengers attracted to Dubai by DSS with visitors coming from both the GCC region and international destinations who are discovering how the Emirate is a strong year-round family tourism destination.

Commenting on the performance of key economic sectors at the halfway stage of DSS, H.E. Laila Mohammad Suhail, CEO of Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment (DFRE), said: “The first two weeks of Dubai Summer Surprises has seen excellent results, with retailers reporting increased sales and malls averaging double digit growth in visitor numbers compared to last year. Apart from the exciting shopping deals and promotions on offer, we are also delighted that visitors from around the world are discovering that Dubai is truly geared for summer and enjoying world class family entertainment. Indeed, our strategy of partnering with some of the world’s top international licensors of entertainment characters during this year’s DSS has proven to be a huge success.

“But our success would not be possible without the enduring support and commitment of our strategic partners and sponsors who have put so much time and investment into ensuring we deliver once again a fantastic DSS that is being enjoyed across the city of Dubai. Feedback from visitors and shoppers from overseas and across the region and other Emirates has been very positive and our retail partners are finding that increased footfall is being matched by increasing sales – helping to once again boost the wider economy of Dubai.”


“Dubai Summer Surprises has become an important part of the Dubai calendar and Emirates has once again played a significant role in bringing thousands of extra visitors to Dubai,” said Sheikh Majid Al Mualla, Emirates’ Divisional Senior Vice President, Commercial Operations, Centre.

“Given that the festival is heavily geared towards families, Emirates is the obvious partner for travellers to begin and end their DSS journey. With the exciting and varied events which have been taking place across the city, coupled with the great family offering provided by Emirates, we’re sure that those who have come for DSS have had a wonderful experience. We hope everyone returns next year, bringing additional family members and friends with them. DSS is an event to be shared by all and yet another reason to visit Emirates’ visionary home of Dubai.”

AW Rostamani Group

Michel Ayat, CEO Arabian Automobiles/ AW Rostamani Group, explains their successful summer so far: “We are absolutely delighted with this year’s figures. Since the start of DSS we have seen a 39% growth in sales compared to the same period in 2013, and in the first half of 2014 the UAE automotive market as a whole has grown by 13% compared to the first six months of 2013.

”This DSS, we are offering free insurance, free service contracts and scratch and win coupons to every Arabian Automobiles customer. The feedback has been very positive because people know that they are getting practical help with financial incentives. Free insurance and free servicing takes away the hassle and not the cash.

“DFRE initiatives are an important factor in the development of Dubai. DSS is an exciting period for both shoppers and retailers alike, with lots of fantastic prizes up for grabs. We have been a strategic partner of the DSS for many years now. We focus a great deal of attention on the month of DSS and have always seen it as an opportunity to thank our customers for their loyalty, for their confidence and for their support. Whether it is practical help such as the free insurance and servicing packages or a chance to win unique prizes, DSS is a great chance to reinforce the bond we have with our customers.”

Majid Al Futtaim Properties (City Centre Deira, City Centre Mirdif, Mall of the Emirates)

“As the region’s largest and longest-running summer festival, Dubai Summer Surprises has always been a key event in Majid Al Futtaim’s retail calendar, and this year we are pleased to embrace the DSS theme “The Fun Side of Summer” with a program of events, entertainment and prizes worth AED 1 million to be given away. During the first half of Dubai Summer Surprises, we have already witnessed a strong increase in footfall since Ramadan, demonstrating the tremendous impact the festival brings to promote Dubai’s economic and tourism aims,” said Hussain Moosa, Associate Director for Majid Al Futtaim – Properties.

“I would like to congratulate the Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment and the Dubai government on a successful start to Dubai Summer Surprises and we remain optimistic that this positive momentum will continue to a strong finish.”

Al Futtaim Group – Dubai Festival City Mall

Murray Bell, Managing Director, Retail, Al-Futtaim Group Real Estate, says: “This DSS, Dubai Festival City Mall is giving away five all-expenses paid ‘Disney Fantasy Cruise’ family holidays through a very exciting month-long promotion. The mall is also playing host to some of the finest activities, including the signature ‘Modhesh Summer Fashion’, live performances from the hit cartoon ‘Dexter’s Laboratory’ and the extremely popular ‘Meet the Nicktoons’ that are attracting a significant number of visitors from the UAE and the region.

“DSS has impacted Dubai’s image as a shopping and entertainment hub, driving customers from around the country to visit our mall and benefit from the widest range of deals from our retailers. By providing exceptional retail experiences, DFCM appealed to a wider range of residents and tourists compared to last year, and we expect an extremely larger number of mall-goers to visit us before the end of this annual event.

“Dubai Festival City Mall is proud to be one of DFRE’s key strategic partners of this laudable initiative that has earned its position as a one of the UAE’s must-do activities during the summer season.”

Al Zarooni Group – Mercato

“Mercato is pleased to announce great results during the first two weeks of Dubai Summer Surprises (DSS). Every time Dubai Summer Surprises (DSS) starts, the emirate becomes a livelier and much more vibrant hub for tourists and residents to enjoy. Mercato is buzzing this summer with an exciting line-up of jungle themed shows, eye-catching mall decorations, great discounts and an exciting shop and win promotion. This month Mercato aims to provide shoppers with an extraordinary shopping experience and memorable and engaging family entertainment.

“We have witnessed many GCC families and tourists looking for the most attractive shopping deals and best quality entertainment line-up indoors during the August heat,” said Nisreen Boustani, PR and Corporate Communication Manager at Mercato & Town Centre Jumeirah.

Dubai Summer Surprises is the region’s most anticipated summer entertainment and shopping extravaganza and this particular festival has always been a popular event for GCC visitors, she added.

Paris Gallery

“Dubai Summer Surprises has elevated Dubai’s status as one of the best international summer destinations. The world-class festivities of DSS have positively influenced the economy, especially that of Dubai. The DFRE has played a very positive and constructive role in working alongside malls and other related sectors to make shopping, entertainment and leisure exciting and rewarding for visitors and residents, “ says Mohammed Abdul Rahim Al Fahim, CEO, Paris Gallery Group of Companies.

“Dubai has been instrumental in attracting huge crowds into the country through its yearly events, and DSS is one of them. The atmosphere in most malls during this time is charged with excitement, energy, and expectation. DSS influences the steady growth in the number of tourists entering the country during the summer months, and this has proved beneficial for the retail sector in terms of growth, and the profits are healthy.

“Malls management and retailers have gone the extra mile to make sure that customers are having a great shopping experience indoors. We have launched special summer promotions to benefit our customers and complement the overall shopping experience. Sales have been good this year. We have had an increase in sales to the tune of about 20 percent over last year, and this includes sales during Eid and the promotions that ran during DSS.”

Dubai Duty Free

Commenting on the impact of the Dubai Summer Surprises on their operation, Salah Tahlak, Senior Vice President-Corporate Communications of Dubai Duty Free, said: “We are very pleased with the retail performance of Dubai Duty Free during the DSS period. Our promotion to win Dhs20,000 shopping vouchers per week for five weeks has received huge response from our customers. This is a great indication that successful events such as Dubai Summer Surprises, which attracts visitors to Dubai, have a positive impact on the retail sector.”


Leigh Regan, Chief Operating Officer, BurJuman, said: “DSS has evolved into a much-anticipated summer retail and entertainment extravaganza, and as a partner of the festival since its launch, BurJuman can testify to the role that DSS has played in establishing Dubai as a popular summer shopping destination. DSS gives a huge impetus to the retail sector as the festival’s promotional framework – with across-the-board sales and discounts – supports consumer readiness to spend.

DFRE events have helped to position Dubai as a year-round family tourism destination. The success of DSS has been nothing short of remarkable, considering how the festival has transformed Dubai into a summer destination and managed to reverse the trend of city residents moving to cooler countries to spend their summer vacation.

BurJuman has put together a busy calendar of entertainment events during DSS this year, headlined by the world premiere of a live TRANSFORMERS show – ‘The Decepticon Clone’ – that brings to life legendary characters from the hugely popular series. Our DSS entertainment line-up also features fun acts such as the ‘One Man Band’, ‘The Air Crew Show’, the ‘Modhesh Celebration Show”.

Dubai Properties Group

Speaking about DSS, Mr. Mohammed Al Habbai Chief Officer Urban Planning & Infra Struture at DPG said: “Attracting tourists from all over the world, DSS offers families a variety of fun activities and special promotions. DPG has been a strategic partner of DSS for several years and this time around we have noticed an impressive increase in visitor numbers to our destinations including The Walk at JBR and Bay Avenue at Business Bay.

DSS continues to be one of the main drivers for Dubai’s tourism, and as master developer of some of the emirate’s world class destinations, we will continue to support the long-term vision of Dubai through strategic partnerships and activities such as DSS.”

Dubai Shopping Malls Group

Commenting on a highly successful first two weeks, Majid Al Ghurair, Chairman, Dubai Shopping Malls Group, said: “DSMG’s summer season campaign offering over AED 5 million in cash and prizes has had a substantial impact in promoting mall and retail offerings to the customers. This year the campaign extended over three months beginning from June 1st till September 5th and the 27 participating malls have indicated a healthy rise in sales and footfall. During the promotion, most of the participating malls offer spectacular events and activities which serve as a pull for shoppers.

“Customers not only visit the mall to experience the series of events, but also spend time shopping, dining and doing other such leisure activities, which have led to a double digit increase in footfalls for the participating outlets on an average of 10%. Going by the demand, in the remaining two weeks, we expect the momentum to continue with AED 2 Million worth in cars and gift vouchers still to be won for the DSS segment. We predict the malls maintaining this growth, which in turn will result in the overall business development in the city”.

Jumeirah Group

Mr. Gerald Lawless, President and Group CEO of Jumeirah Group, said: “In the summer period to date, from the start of June to mid-August, Jumeirah’s Dubai hotels have recorded an average occupancy rate of 70.2%, an increase of 3.6% on the same period last year. We are encouraged by this upward trend and feel confident as we prepare for the busy autumn season. This positive trend reflects the success of the Dubai Summer Surprises and the efforts made by the DTCM to encourage visitors to Dubai during the hot summer period.”

Jumbo Electronics

Nadeem Khanzadah, Head – Retail, Jumbo Electronics, said: “Dubai Summer Surprises is a great platform for retailers in the emirate to connect with consumers and engage them through unique deals and offers. We saw the difference in just two weeks in to the shopping season this year, with an increase in footfalls to our stores in Dubai by at least 15% more than other months. Notably, much of the customer traffic this DSS is being driven by visitors from neighbouring countries. This far-reaching impact of the event is very important to retailers, especially because it broadens the customer base, and increases the chances of repeat visits from buyers across the region.

“Smartphones continue to top the list of most popular DSS products this year, with tablets, mobile accessories and cameras following closely behind. We also have a number of young buyers looking to buy laptops and PCs ahead of the new school year in September. The DFRE has really gone the extra mile with packaging DSS as an event for all demographics, young and old. We are confident of seeing more success, and more importantly a great many satisfied customers through the remainder of the season.”

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Tuesday, August 26- 2014 @ 16:23 UAE local time (GMT+4) Replication or redistribution in whole or in part is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Mediaquest FZ LLC.

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