If you are considering visiting Dubai, there is no better time to plan a trip than the eagerly awaited Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF) 2018/19, a six-week long extravaganza offering shoppers unbeatable deals on everything from fashion and jewellery to electronics and entertainment. The 24th edition of the world’s biggest shopping festival will run from 26 December 2018 to 2 February 2019, making it the longest in DSF history. A host of exciting events awaits visitors this year, including firework displays, fashion shows, and live concerts across the city. Shoppers will also get the chance to win exciting prizes, such as SUVs, cash, and gold.
As a key sponsor and long-time official partner of DSF, Visa offers international travellers heading to the festival an array of discounts on travel, hotel, and leisure spends. Visa cardholders attending DSF can also get 25% off their stay at select Jumeirah hotels and resorts, in addition to up to 20% off select Meraas restaurants, attractions, and cinemas.
Given that the UAE is home to more than 200 nationalities, Dubai is ably equipped to meet the needs of international travellers from every corner of the world. According to the Visa Global Travel Intentions Study (GTI) 2018, 20% of travellers consider good weather as an essential factor behind their choice of destination, while 19% look for a location that fits their budget, and 17% consider safety and security as important aspect. Going by the preferences of international travellers, Dubai is one of the world’s most sought-after travel destinations, with the six-week long DSF period being the best time to visit. In fact, a recent research from Euromonitor International shows that the city was the seventh most visited globally in 2018, and even figured ahead of many popular destinations in Europe and America.
According to the Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing, Egypt was among the top twenty source markets for visitors to Dubai, accounting for 29,000 people during January 2018. Dubai’s flagship airline Emirates in January said it had seen an increase in the number of visitors from Egypt during the DSF period. As per the Visa GTI study, for travellers from Egypt and the wider Middle East and Africa region, activities are a main consideration when choosing a travel destination, with 44% indicating it as an essential factor. This is followed by budget (39%) and weather, safety, and cleanliness (37%). Dubai scores well on all these parameters, making it a hotspot for Egyptian tourists.
Although many travellers globally use cards while on vacation, 77% still prefer to use cash when making purchases. However, the study further revealed that travellers cited loss of cash or theft as a top money concern while on trips. Therefore, to better manage your money on your next adventure to Dubai, here is a list of travel tips from Visa to keep in mind:
1. Paying by credit or debit card is safer and more convenient than carrying cash.
2. Check your card to make sure it will not expire while you are away.
3. Save money: when traveling out of country, paying by card in local currency can offer a competitive exchange rate.
4. Make two copies of important travel documents, including your passport, in case of emergency.
5. Notify your bank and card issuer about your travel plans to help monitor for fraud.
6. Set alerts so you can keep track of spending on your phone.
7. Data roaming charges can skyrocket while abroad, so set up your cell-phone to avoid international data roaming or ensure you have an international plan.
8. Keep a list of important contacts in case your phone is lost or stolen.
9. For fun, check out the Visit Dubai website for local events happening during DSF.
Through its long-standing partnership with DSF, Visa is committed to ensuring a smooth and hassle-free experience for international visitors to the festival by offering them convenient, secure, and frictionless payment options. And it is these illuminating benefits that help make Visa the best way to pay and be paid for everyone everywhere.
Ahmed Gaber – Visa’s General Manger for North Africa