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DSF: Time for change?

DSF: Time for change?

Year in, year out the DSF has pretty much stayed the same. Is it time for a fresh start? wonders Eva Fernandes.

January 31, 2011 5:17 by

There was a time when the DSF was something people looked forward to all year. And why wouldn’t they? It was the one time in the year Dubai turned into Carnival City. The usual streets of Rigga, Al Diyafah and Al Seef would be lined with street vendors, dancers and acrobats in the most colourful costumes. Dance troops and musical acts from Rajasthan to Berlin would be the highlight of the evenings for those out on the streets, and as they watched in awe parents discretely plucked away at the giant pink cloud of candy floss that their children were nibbling at. The shops would run impressive sales, and although the Dubai shopping scene was far less sophisticated and developed than it is today, it all seemed so impressive at the time.

And then there were the fireworks. Prior to the inception of the DSF, we in Dubai would only get the random National Day and Eid Al Fitr special fireworks and other such events, but they were few and far between. But come DSF, every night the sky would be broken by eruptions of fiery red and yellow marigolds. I remember how the tenants of my entire building would run down to the sandy lot behind our apartments as soon as we heard those thundering murmurs of the starting fireworks.

Fast forward sixteen years, to the current DSF: Though I still live in the same apartment, when the daily fireworks start up not even a single person budges. The most reaction the fireworks evoke from the residents is more likely the shutting of a window or the closing of curtain to block out the noise. And though the lack of appreciation (for what is undoubtedly an expensive display) is a little upsetting, who can blame them?

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  1. Kate on February 1, 2011 2:38 pm

    Personally think, having experienced each and every DSF that it is time for a radical change or drop it all together – let’s be honest, Dubai is currently the world’s biggest outlet mall – whatever time of the year – even HSBC is on sale.

  2. Andrew on February 2, 2011 11:53 am

    Ah I miss the days of the first DSF, when “sales” meant companies ratcheted up their prices days before DSF kicked off, and the “sale” was a return to the regular price.

  3. Andrea on February 22, 2011 7:24 am

    Back in the day, the shopping festival actually meant great deals and slashed prices on almost everything. This year it seemed to just be the winter sales tarted up. How that’s a festival I struggle to understand.


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