DSF 2016 – Key Performance Indicators

  • Dubai shopping malls record increased footfall during DSF
  • Dubai shopping malls record growth of 12% in business activities during DSF
  • Gold and Jewelry sector sales projected to increase by 25%
  • Carpet and Art Oasis 2016 achieves AED 44 million in sales
  • Hotels in Dubai record high occupancy levels during DSF

Retail Sector Flourishing

The DSF 2016 presents great opportunity for retailers as the sector is benefiting the most from ongoing event with apparel, fashion, gold and jewellery segments being the top beneficiaries. It is estimated that 25-30% of annual retail sector sales is obtained during the Dubai Shopping Festival period as a result of increased tourist arrivals in Dubai.

Statistics reveal that Visa card holders from MENA region spent a total of AED 355 million ($96.75 million) in the first half of DSF 2015 whereas the local residents and international travellers spent AED 196.54 million ($53.7 million) towards restaurants. Similar spending patterns from the retail sectors are expected in DSF 2016 as well, which will boost the food retail sector.

Euromonitor International expects DSF 2016 to contribute approximately AED 600-700 million towards Dubai economy, which will increase the overall retail spending in UAE by 7.6% in 2016/17. After London, Dubai is the second global city with highest percentage (55%) of international retailers and DSF event further testifies the attractiveness of Dubai’s retail sector for future investments.

Dubai – The New Fashion Capital

With Dubai being labeled among the most fashionable cities in the world, the apparel and fashion sector is also set to record higher sales during DSF 2016. The increase in tourist arrivals for the festival as well as enhanced interests among the local residents provides a massive boost to the sector. Paris Gallery, a leading luxury retailer in the Middle East reported a 9% increase in footfall since the beginning of the DSF 2016.

Gold and Jewelry Sector Prospering

Dubai’s Gold and Jewelry sector projects strong sales growth of 25% during DSF 2016. According to gold and jewelry retailers, the trade has increased by 20% compared to last year. Similar to gold and jewellery, the Carpet and Art Oasis 2016, a key attraction of DSF drew more than 10,000 visitors and achieved sales in excess of AED 44 million in value.

Footfall and business activities increased in Shopping Malls

DSF has paved way for increased footfall in Dubai’s shopping malls with anticipated 12% growth in business activities. The Majid Al Futtaim Group that owns Mall of the Emirates, Deira, Mirdif and Me’aisem City Centres is seeing a substantial increase in footfall during the ongoing DSF 2016.

Dubai Hotels Record High Occupancy Levels

The hotels across Dubai are witnessing high occupancy rate during the ongoing DSF 2016 compared to last year. Various hotel chains anticipate full occupancy levels and positive impact on hospitality sector, as the event continues to attract families and tourists not only from the region but also globally.

The DSF 2016 has seen high influx of visitors from Saudi Arabia and UK as well as from other Emirates in UAE. Likewise, travel and tourism agencies in Dubai have recorded growth of near around 10% in travel bookings, compared to same period last year. The number of tourist arrivals in Dubai during the festival increased by 12% in 2015. It is expected that tourist arrivals in 2016 will increase by 12% or more during the festival.

DSF 2016 to Positively Impacting Dubai Economy

The ongoing DSF 2016 has bolstered economic activity in Dubai at a time when oil crisis have impacted the global financial markets. As Dubai offers some of the most affluent consumers in the world, it will continue to progress at a reasonable rate, replacing Paris as the third most popular tourist destination in the world by 2018.

With Dubai government striving to enhance tourism growth in line with the Dubai Tourism Vision 2020, the DSF 2016 event when concluded will make a huge impact on the economy of Dubai by stimulating the retail, tourism, hospitality and logistic sectors.

Author: RKonnect
The author is the Managing Director of Research Konnection, a Dubai based market research and consulting firm that helps local and international companies to identify emerging business opportunities and successfully expand in the Gulf region. The author can be reached at
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