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Dubai Summer Surprises through the years

The 15th edition of the Dubai Summer Surprises (DSS) is set to kick off come June 14th. Kipp takes a look at the significant changes in the summer long shopping extravaganza over the last ten years of DSS.

June 11, 2012 4:51 by

  • 2001

    Dubai recorded an increase of Dhs.1.18 billion in sales and 1.96 million in visitor numbers (from within and outside the country) for DSS – a record feat in all respects. Also, 2001 was the year when Modhesh merchandise, like Modhesh souvenir and stationary, was launched and retailed at Modesh Fun City.

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  • 2002

    Created on the theme of ‘Big Ones for Little Ones,’ DSS was by inaugurated by Sheikh Saeed bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum at BurJuman Centre. Sponsors for this edition included, Al Futtaim Group, Seven-up, Jumbo Electronics, Deira City Centre, Emarat, Mastercard, Dubai Shopping Malls Group, Saif Al Ghurair Group and Emirates airline. The edition also saw a special promotional tour of Modhesh around the GCC.

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  • 2003

    DSS 2003 recorded 1.5 million visitors (an increase of 20 percent over DSS 2002) achieving Dh1.5 billion in sales. According to an independent market study, the shopping expenditure increased by 13.04 percent from Dh3.45 billion to Dh3.9 billion.

  • 2004

    According to the International Tourism Organisation (ITO), about 1.5 million tourists visited Dubai during DSS 2004. The DSS 2004 was supported by 10 key sponsors including the Jumeirah Beach Residence, MasterCard, Emarat, Emirates airline, Dubai Shopping Malls Group, Dubai Festival City, Deira City Centre, BurJuman Centre, Pepsi and, for the first time, Dubai Duty Free.

  • 2005

    Around 1.51 million visitors spent a total of Dh1.71 billion during the 10-week DSS.

  • 2006

    DSS 2006 offered 22 shopping malls and 1,500 retail outlets participating. It was during this festival that the first indoor mall walking programme specifically designed for kids was launched. Retailers in Dubai owed nearly two-thirds of total annual sales to DSS and DSF in 2006.

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  • 2007

    In 2007, DSS saw a big shift in its strategy by focusing on not just children but also adults. DSS 2007 saw an increase in visitor numbers at 2.16 million with a consumer spending of Dh3.08 billion.

  • 2008

    The DSS 2008 saw a departure from the usual weekly surprise theme. Instead a new idea called ‘Tens of Surprises’ was introduced, whereby the theme of activities would change almost every other day.

  • 2009

    DSS 2009 witnessed a total of 2.2 million visitors with consumer spending of Dh3.37 billion. The theme for this year? 'Surprising Dubai.' But the biggest surprise was the drop in spending. The spending in malls during DSS 2009 fell 10 to 15 per cent. Nonetheless, DSS 2009 attracted over 4 million visitors. The signature events include: Sheila and Abaya Fashion, World of Stories, Junior Chef of the Year Awards, Min Bladi Al Emarat, Arts Oasis, Kids Fashion Week, Kids Olympic Games, The Collectors, and the Photography Exhibition.

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  • 2010

    Now in the heart of the recession, DSS 2010 saw sales picking up slightly with participating malls reporting Dh440 million in total sales during the first three weeks of the event. DSS attracted more than 2.2 million visitors who spent Dh3.37 billion. Dubai Duty Free’s annual turnover reached $1.14 billion.

  • 2011

    Market research study conducted by DEPE revealed that a total of Dh 8.8 billion was spent by over 4 million visitors during the DSS. The three-month DSS 2011 ran under the theme ‘Summer in Dubai 2011’ (No shit, Sherlock!)


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