After more than seven weeks of sensational sales, mega promotions and giveaways worth millions of dirhams, plus huge deals on big name brands, the 23rd edition of Dubai Summer Surprises (DSS) came to an end last week on 29 August. The ideal way for residents and visitors to celebrate the easing of lockdown regulations and welcome a gradual, and safe, return to normal life, this year’s DSS was an incredible 52 days, or 74,880 minutes, of citywide retail excitement and family fun.
More than 900 world famous brands and over 3,000 stores in 31 malls across Dubai participated in over 140 shopping promotions during DSS. More than 17,000 lucky customers boosted their summer shopping trips by taking home great prizes worth a combined value of AED6.2 million, including 10 luxury cars given away as part of Spend & Win promotions at Dubai’s most popular malls and venues. Shoppers browsed the deals in complete peace of mind, safe in the knowledge that all of the important health and safety protocols, including temperature checks, social distancing and the compulsory wearing of face masks, were in place across the city.
Throughout the festival 80 regional and global celebrities and influencers joined in the celebrations. The Burj Khalifa, the landmark centrepiece for the launch of DSS on Thursday 9 July, was illuminated with DSS themes four times, 270 events and entertainment packed the calendar to include 154 firework displays and live shows that wowed crowds at malls and venues around Dubai, while Modesh and his best friend Dana made 28 appearances to meet new fans.
Residents and visitors also enjoyed a great summer in the city thanks to more than 280 huge hotel deals, restaurant offers and savings at Dubai’s leading attractions and family destinations. This year’s DSS also witnessed an official Guinness World Record being set at Mall of the Emirates, with packaging from 8,600 Funko Pop collectable toys used to create the world’s largest mosaic – in the shape of Modesh! Just under 88,000 games of the Yalla DSS video game were played online with fun challenges completed around a virtual map of Dubai, while 550 budding cooks boosted their culinary skills during the DSS Chef Masterclass sessions.
Ahmed Al Khaja, CEO of Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment (DFRE), said: “Each year, DSS showcases the very best of Dubai by inviting residents and visitors to enjoy summer at the city’s best loved and most popular destinations, malls and entertainment venues. To have successfully achieved its goals this year, given the unprecedented challenges of COVID-19, makes this edition of DSS even more special. DSS has shown the world that Dubai is open and ready to welcome everyone; the city is a safe, fun and friendly destination and the perfect choice for travellers from across the region and beyond.
“I thank our strategic partners for delivering an exceptional DSS, where an incredible sense of fun, excitement, joy and discovery continued nonstop for 52 days. Combined with amazing surprises, such as the unveiling of Modesh’s fun new look and his new friend Dana, have helped make this the 23rd edition of DSS a summer season to remember.”
DSS’ strategic partners shared in the success of the event, with each organisation playing a key role in helping to make the 2020 edition of DSS one of the biggest, best and most memorable summer shopping seasons ever.
Frederic de Melker, Managing Director Personal Banking at RAKBANK, said: “Organised by DFRE, this year’s Dubai Summer Surprises was well timed as the country has gradually and safely come out of the slowdown caused by COVID-19 lockdowns and restrictions. Given the circumstances, this year’s DSS was a great success that resulted in lifting the consumer mood by offering fantastic deals supported by RAKBANK’s Cashback promotions. RAKBANK customer spends witnessed a tremendous double digit surge and we are delighted that our strong partnership with the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) provided our customers with well-deserved benefits during these difficult times.”
Steven Cleaver, Director, Shopping Centres Dubai, Al-Futtaim Malls, said: “We are very pleased to have been part of the 23rd edition of Dubai Summer Surprises. Our dedicated discount zone, Festival Souk, operating in Dubai Festival City Mall and Dubai Festival Plaza, saw high numbers of customers participating in the daily draw to win prizes of AED 1,000 in Festival City Gift Cards each day. We feel consumers appreciated our value proposition and rewarding offers and shoppers trusted us to consistently deliver a safe and comfortable shopping environment.’’
Michel Ayat, CEO Arabian Automobiles Company / AWRostamani Group, said: “We at Arabian Automobiles, the flagship company of AW Rostamani Group and the exclusive dealer for Nissan, INFINITI and Renault in Dubai, Sharjah and the Northern Emirates, are proud of the strategic partnership that has bonded us with Dubai Summer Surprises since its inception. This relationship reflects our willingness to support the vision of the wise leadership to make Dubai the ideal destination for holidays, shopping and tourism. This year’s event was a platform for us to communicate with our customers, highlight our special offers and latest car models as well as offer prizes and rewards to help translate DSS’s message and bring happiness to the hearts of residents and visitors. We also set out to spread an atmosphere of joy and fun across the city, especially as the event coincided with the return to normalcy and a celebration of the UAE’s achievements and ability to contain the pandemic. We express our congratulations and gratitude to the organisers, who coordinated efforts with us and ensured that the event was rewarding for all parties.”
Omar Khoory, Managing Director, Nakheel Malls, said: “This year’s Dubai Summer Surprises has been a great success, despite unprecedented circumstances. We have seen a significant increase in customers returning to Nakheel Malls’ destinations, with full recovery in terms of footfall at some of our malls proving that customers are venturing out and spending. Shoppers have taken advantage of great promotions and mega-sales during DSS, with a return to spending on homeware, fashion and entertainment. In addition, our exciting range of DSS events brought people together to enjoy unique, first-in-Dubai experiences, including an abundance of cash prizes, a three-night fireworks fiesta and collaborations with LEGO and local art institutions. As DSS 2020 draws to a close, we look forward to the winter event season, which will see more new and exciting experiences across our malls.”
Stuart Elder, Vice President – Mall Management, Meraas, said: "Dubai Summer Surprises has built a strong legacy over the decades. It is a major activity for retailers as they enjoy a significant increase in footfall during this period. This year, despite the current challenges, we have seen DSS succeed in revitalizing the retail and entertainment sector. Our family-friendly destinations and attractions offer visitors an incredible and safe shopping experience. For instance, we launched a contactless pick-up service in City Walk, La Mer, The Beach and Boxpark enabling customers to stay connected to their favourite brands in a safe and convenient way. Given that most travel plans for the summer have been postponed, we also teamed up with Dubai Canvas and Brand Dubai to host the ‘Travelling Through Art’ exhibition in City Walk, offering visitors the opportunity to get their fill of inspiration and out-of-this-world wonder.”
Nisreen Boustani, PR and Communications Manager of Mercato and Town Centre Jumeirah, said: “Dubai Summer Surprises combined superb retail offers with unrivalled, family-friendly entertainment that celebrated Dubai as a world-class shopping and leisure destination. DSS continues to boost the business environment in Dubai by driving footfall to retail destinations, benefitting both tenants and shoppers.”
Colm McLoughlin, Executive Vice Chairman & CEO – Dubai Duty Free, said: “The 23rd edition of Dubai Summer Surprises went ahead as usual and it was a good indicator that Dubai is very much ready and open to visitors. The event usually attracts visitors during the important summer season and plays an important role in driving the retail sector across the board. The retail sector’s great deals during DSS have definitely generated a positive response from residents and tourists alike.”
Fuad Sharaf, Managing Director of UAE, Oman and Bahrain Shopping Malls at Majid Al Futtaim Properties, said: “This year, Dubai Summer Surprises took on an even greater importance following the outbreak of COVID-19. The seasonal celebration accomplished much more than treating mall visitors to discounts and promotions — it brought our communities together, offering a snapshot of the community spirit that the region is renowned for. We are pleased with the success of the events and activations we hosted. From launching an exclusive 12-hour-only flash sale, to setting a new Guinness World Record at Mall of the Emirates, as well as fun activations like the BoomBox and the OPPO Gaming challenge, our DSS programme of experiences helped to enliven the summer holidays, and put a smile on our customers’ faces. We thank our partners for joining forces with us to create even more great moments for the people of Dubai.”
The 23rd edition of Dubai Summer Surprises (9 July - 29 August 2020) is part of Dubai’s annual Retail Calendar that features major retail-based festivals, mega sales and exclusive retail experiences and attractions.
Dubai Summer Surprises 2020 is supported by key sponsor RAKBANK and MasterCard and strategic partners which include Emaar (The Dubai Mall), Majid Al Futtaim (Mall of the Emirates, City Centre Mirdif, City Centre Deira), Al Futtaim Group (Dubai Festival City Mall), Nakheel Malls (Ibn Battuta Mall, The Pointe, Nakheel Mall, Dragon Mart 2), Al Zarooni Group (Mercato Shopping Mall), Meraas (City Walk, Boxpark, The Beach, The Outlet Village, Al Seef, La Mer), Emirates Airline, Dubai Duty Free, AW Rostamani Group, Enoc, National Food Products Company and Etisalat.
To see the full calendar of events, please visit www.dubaisummersurprises.com and @DSSsocial on social media.