Visiting any of Dubai’s popular malls or souqs in the last few weeks gives one an idea of the kind of transformation that has stepped up the excitement in the city during the ongoing 17th edition of Dubai Summer Surprises (DSS), which kicked off on 2 August this year and will run until 5 September, under the theme, “The Fun Side of Summer”.
Such have been the massive crowds of families and youngsters thronging these shopping hubs, and so extraordinary has been the city’s DSS-spurred transformation into a veritable summer shopping destination of choice, it’s hard to imagine there was a time – before DSS rolled to town in 1998 – when summer was a lean season for many of Dubai’s retailers.
And it should surprise no one that spearheading the summer shopping rush in Dubai is the city’s flagship shopping landmark – The Dubai Mall. Residents and visitors from around the world, and across age and nationalities, are descending on the iconic mall in unprecedented numbers this DSS as they look to take advantage of across-the-board discounts, fabulous special promotions and a never-ending line-up of family events and entertainment – all under one convenient roof.
Alla Mohamed has been to Dubai more times than he can remember, but the charm of the city, says the Saudi-based Egyptian national, refuses to wear off on him, which is why he keeps finding himself coming back for more, this time with his family in town. And no visit to the city is complete for him without a shopping fix at The Dubai Mall. “What I like most about The Dubai Mall is that everything is so well-segmented here. If electronic goods are what that you’re hunting for, you’ll find an entire row of large electronics stores rubbing against each other; or if you’re looking to show your kids a good time, there’s a raft of entertainment attractions all grouped together in a designated kids zone. It’s super-convenient,” he said.
For H. Srikrishnan and Suguna Srikrishnan, a couple from the Indian city of Mumbai, it’s the friendly vibe and the unique shopping experience at the mall that is most alluring. “There’s something very welcoming and relaxing about the atmosphere at The Dubai Mall; you really feel satisfied at the end of it all, no matter how long it must have taken you to finish doing the shopping or trawling the mall’s enormous spaces,” said Suguna.
Gary Cross, a British national who has been frequently visiting Dubai along with his family, couldn’t agree more. “The Dubai Mall is such a vibrant place to spend the day at, and has such a fascinating mix of premium brands and entertainment.” When asked about what he likes best about the mall during this period, he said: “That’s tough, there’s so much to choose from, especially during DSS, when there are so many deals and discounts all around.