Dubai shopping fest brings in $3.26bn in revenue

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Dubai's annual summer retail event generated revenues of more than AED12bn ($3.26bn) to the emirate's economy last year, officials have announced.

Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment, an agency of The Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM), revealed that Dubai Summer Surprises attracted a total of 4.36 million shoppers over 32 days last June and July.

This represented a 10.4 percent rise from the 2011 edition, a statement said. It added that out of the total number of shoppers, 914,228 were international and regional visitors to Dubai.

The research results come on the eve of this year's edition that opens to the public on June 7 and will run until July 7.

It showed that spending by DSS 2012 participants increased by 39.9 percent.

Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, president of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, chairman and CEO of Emirates Airline and Group and chairman of Dubai World said: "The success of Dubai in the summer shows the powerful attraction of Dubai as a truly year-round visitor destination.

"The continuing growth of the city for visitors in the summer months is an important step in helping us achieve the ambitious but achievable goal of attracting 20 million visitors a year by 2020."

He added: "We know that promoting Dubai in the summer has traditionally raised a few eyebrows and seen a sceptical response from some people. Indeed for some, it is almost as unusual as promoting the North Pole as a winter destination.

"But that is the beauty of Dubai: its ability to redefine what the word 'Impossible' means. The fact that almost three out of four of our international visitors described their summer holiday in Dubai as 'excellent' says it all."

He said the "twin pillars of tourism and retail" would be two of the most important foundations for the future success of Dubai.

Researchers attributed the rise in expenditure to the overall increase in visitor numbers and a significant increase in spending on the food and beverage sector allied to a sharp increase in the spending on leisure and entertainment.

DTCM director general, Helal Almarri, added: "It is clear that DSS is enormously popular and that our retail partners, hoteliers and other businesses in Dubai are securing the economic benefits of increased visitor numbers and spending.

"As the first major event of our 'Summer is Dubai' campaign we are also looking forward to DSS 2013 delivering a high impact launch to the 13 week celebration that is to come."

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