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10th Edition Milestone

After nine successful editions, the 10th year of DSS proved to be a landmark in the history of the summer festival. Lasting 72 days from 21 June to 31 August 2007, the tenth edition was special due to the implementation of a new strategy for the festival announced by His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman, Dubai Airports, and Chairman and Chief Executive, Emirates Airline and Group.  

As outlined in the strategy, the DSF Office was made responsible for the planning, organising, and execution of all DSS events and accordingly, the Ten Surprises, one of the major attractions of every DSS edition, was launched simultaneously with each of the Surprises organised for the whole ten weeks of the festival. Further, all events and activities were planned to cater to a wider audience consisting of children, teenagers, and adults. The new strategy realised instant success as shopping malls all over Dubai registered higher sales revenues and increased footfall in the initial weeks of DSS 2007.   

A unique opening ceremony marked the beginning of DSS 2007, with astounding entertainment performances by international show groups that combined to provide the grandest opening to a DSS edition yet. The ceremony started off with a traditional UAE folk show, reflecting the rich cultural heritage, followed by glitzy performances by a galaxy of world-famous artists who presented light and sound shows against innovative, vibrant and one-of-a-kind backdrop.  

The creatively designed stage of the celebration included a 20 diameter and 1.5 metre deep pool, fountains, light and sound accessories. The stage was designed to reflect and emphasize the themes of the Ten Surprises. A big screen behind the stage ran clips from the previous editions of DSS, highlighting the development of Dubai over the years.    
The opening ceremony heralded a new beginning for DSS and popular attractions like the Ten Surprises featured theme based activities and events in various state-of-the-art shopping malls, providing local, regional, and international visitors with a perfect combination of shopping and entertainment. The Surprises for DSS 2007 were Adventure, Global, Nature, Flower, Food, Heritage, Arts, Knowledge, and two new exciting inclusions for the tenth edition - Cartoon and Comedy Surprises.

While the Ten Surprises rotated in the malls, Modhesh Fun City was the other major attraction of DSS 2007. Spread over 30,000 square metres and with over twenty entertainment zones, the venue undoubtedly became the single largest entertainment destination in the region. The massive location also witnessed a number of regional debuts of international entertainment ventures, thus attracting visitors from all over the neighbouring region. Modhesh, the ever smiling mascot of DSS also made his presence felt through innumerable meet and greet sessions for children throughout the ten weeks.

DSS 2007 also contributed in highlighting Dubai's position as the fashion hub in the region. During the ten weeks of festivities, no less than three fashion events were organised. The 2007 Kids Fashion Week, the Dubai Fashion Fiesta that made its Middle East debut in Dubai, and the Sheila and Abaya Fashion that featured well-known international, regional, and local fashion labels and attracted numerous fashion enthusiasts and buyers apart from witnessing wide media attention.            

Shopping opportunities were abundant for travellers and shoppers during DSS 2007. Promotions on a large scale were launched by participating retail outlets on the onset of the festival making it possible to purchase leading international brands at competitive prices. Shopping efforts by visitors were well rewarded in the form of the biggest summer raffle draw held to date titled 'Shop & Win Millions', where AED 500,000 in cash was given away every week to one lucky shopper. 

The tenth edition of DSS 2007 proved to be a momentous occasion in the history of the annual summer fiesta and with the announcement a new strategy for the long term, Dubai Summer Surprises is poised to grow along with the major advancements being witnessed in the city of Dubai.


Tens of Surprises

The eleventh edition of Dubai Summer Surprises was based on the theme of Tens of Surprises, following up on the Ten Surprises in the previous edition. The change in the theme of entertainment meant that instead of a themed week, numerous world-class events were organised as Surprises for DSS visitors in 2008. 

The entertainment options during DSS 2008 consisted of Signature Events, Mega Events, International Entertainment shows, and the sprawling Modhesh Fun City, rightly labelled ‘The City of Endless Fun’.

The DSS 2008 opening ceremony marked the beginning of 65 days of summer festivities from 19 June to 22 August 2008 with a dolphin show at the Dubai Dolphinarium. The opening highlighted the need for sustainable development and conservation of the environment, especially marine life. 

The Signature Events were among the highlights of DSS 2008, having gained popularity in the previous DSS editions as In-Mall Events. The events under this segment were The World of Stories, The Collectors, Min Bladi Al Emarat, Arts Oasis, Kids Fashion Week, Photography Exhibition, Kids Olympics, and Sheila and Abaya Fashion. Each of the events witnessed high-profile openings and attracted participants from diverse backgrounds and segments in the society. 

The Mega Events line-up included some of the finest entertainment attractions for visitors to Dubai during the summer. Theatre events such as Oliver!, and Disney’s High School Musical made their much awaited Middle East debut in DSS 2008. Culinary highlights featuring the Junior Chef Awards, Jumeirah Giant Charity Cake Sale, Chocolate Event, Cup Cake Weekend, Ice Cream Day, Summer Fruits Day, and the Food Carving Exhibition attracted food enthusiasts from around the country. Musical concerts featuring Ustad Shahid Parvez and Anuradha Pal, Kyla and Jay-R, and stars of the South Africa Idol contest proved overwhelmingly successful with the various multi-national audiences in Dubai. 

Numerous international cartoon theatre shows and performing groups added the glitter to summer festivities. The Powerpuff Girls returned in 2008 due to popular demand after a successful debut in DSS 2007. Another highlight in this regard was the world premiere stage show of Ben 10, the internationally renowned animated television series. Another debut during the season was the Sesame Street show, recognised by children all over the world. 

Modhesh Fun City, the centre of entertainment during DSS, attracted around 00,000 visitors during the 2008 edition. With about thirty zones, there was no dearth of entertainment for children or adults. Apart from tie-ups with entertainment leaders such as Magic Planet and Toy Store, high-profile cartoon stage shows for Ben 10 and Powerpuff Girls were held at the venue. The numerous zones made it possible or visitors to enjoy a wide sphere of sports, cultural, social, and heritage activities. 

Shopping malls in Dubai also lined up incredible promotions for shoppers with international retail brands offering huge discounts on a wide range of products. The shopping experience was also enhanced with prize giveaways worth millions of dirhams. 

The main raffle draws organised during DSS 2008 were the Dubai Shopping Malls Group Mega Raffle, Dubai Gold & Jewellery Group Gold Raffle, the Emarat Raffle, and the DSS Grand Raffle, giving away shopping vouchers, gold vouchers, cars, cash prizes, and much more.


Surprising Dubai

The twelfth edition of Dubai Summer Surprises was a momentous one in the history of the event. The 65-day extravaganza was held during a global economic downturn that affected the GCC as well. The theme ‘Surprising Dubai’ was created to highlight the attractions of Dubai and how emphasize on how DSS could provide visitors from around the world a memorable holiday in Dubai. 

DSS 2009 witnessed an opening different from that of any other edition. Mall of the Emirates was the venue for an exclusive DSS 2009 opening on June 11 that lasted a mammoth twelve hours featuring massive discounts by leading retailers every hour, prize giveaways, and a whole day of entertainment activities. Shoppers to Mall of the Emirates were surprised by instant discounts up to 90 per cent on international brands throughout the day. 

The highlight of DSS 2009, which ran till August 14, was undoubtedly Modhesh World, the region’s largest edutainment venue that celebrated a decade of entertainment. Catering to visitors of all age segments, Modhesh World boasted of around 40 themed zones spread across 37,000 square metres at Airport Expo Dubai. A number of free zones enabled visitors to make the most of what the venue offered.

Another exciting addition to DSS 2009 was the DSS Beat the Heat Beach Activities. Located at the beach beside Jumeirah Beach Residences, the event was designed to give visitors a unique beach experience featuring spa treatments, a sports zone, a refreshments corner, an Inflatable zone, a beach games area, and a rent-a-tent for personalised service. 

Similar to all previous DSS editions, the Signature Events gave shoppers in malls the ideal opportunity to experience a unique combination of shopping and entertainment. The Signature Events for 2009 were the World of Stories, Sheila and Abaya Fashion, Min Bladi Al Emarat, the Middle East Junior Chef of the Year Awards, Arts Oasis, Kids Olympic Games, Kids Fashion Week, The Collectors, and the Photography Exhibition.  

DSS 2009 was also host to a number of high profile international shows and events. These included the Hello Kitty show, Mr. Men and Little Miss show, Imagine with Elmo show, Bob the Builder, the African Children’s Choir, Disney High School Musical 2, West End and Beyond, Bob Arno – the Comedy Pickpocket, the Keane Concert, the Dolls Exhibition, and the Egg Art Exhibit. 

DSS visitors were also treated to numerous other events such as the Fashion Fiesta, Arts Fiesta, the Jumeirah Giant Cake Charity Sale, House of Illusions, Choco Villa, and Flower Rain.

While shopping discounts were abundant throughout the 65-day summer extravaganza, draws gave away prizes worth millions of dirhams. The prominent draws held were the Dubai Shopping Malls Group Surprising Raffle and the Emarat raffle. The DSMG raffle gave away prizes worth a total of AED 5 million while the Emarat draw gave away prizes worth AED 1 million. These draws were in addition to the numerous prize giveaways organised by malls and individual retail outlets.


Dubai, Your Summer Destination of Suprises

The 13th edition of Dubai Summer Surprises was held for 52 days between 17 June and 7 August 2010. The opening ceremony was held across the participating malls of the Dubai Shopping Malls Group with a grand shop-and-win raffle where shoppers had the chance to win tickets to destinations around Dubai for a purchase of just AED 500 in 25 select shopping malls.    

The signature events of DSS were the main attractions of the summer festivity, bringing in visitors of all ages to shopping malls across the city. The Dubai Events and Promotions Establishment also brought in two international character stage shows for children, Dora the Explorer and Stories of SpongeBob, which attracted capacity crowds. 

Concerts and musicals were at the forefront of DSS this year, featuring a host of international artists and renowned musicals. Fame and Hairspray were two such musicals that received an overwhelming response from audiences. Renowned Indian artist, Pandit Shivkumar Sharma, enthralled music lovers with a concert called ‘Swaralaya’ and Boman Irani, famed bollywood comedian, also took the stage for an exclusive evening of laughter. 

DSS organises events for a wide range of audiences and the 13th edition saw many such spectacular events such as the Dubai Fashion Fiesta, the Jumeirah Giant Charity Cake Sale, and shows like the Bucket Boys. Shopping malls also organised numerous entertainment activities to entice shoppers, in addition to the colossal discounts and amazing giveaways.         

Modhesh World, the largest indoor edutainment venue in the region, was decked up spectacularly to welcome children and parents. With around forty themed zones and numerous entertainment additions for this year, Modhesh World attracted close to 500,000 visitors this edition, confirming its overwhelming popularity amongst all audiences.


An Unforgettable Summer in Dubai

Dubai Summer Surprises held its fourteenth edition in 2011 from June 22 to July 31 2011. DSS attractions gave travellers a once-in-a-lifetime holiday experience of shopping, entertainment, winning, and luxury lifestyle. Additionally, Modhesh World – the region’s biggest indoor edutainment venue, opened its doors to thousands of families.

Around 6000 retail outlets participated in DSS 2011 with spectacular promotions across Dubai’s malls. The Dubai Shopping Malls Group gave away a brand new BMW car every week throughout DSS and Ramadan.

Some of the international children’s shows staged during DSS included Mr Men, Bob the Builder, Powerpuff Girls, LazyTown, Thomas the Tank, and Chowder. The Dubai Events and Promotions Establishment also organized numerous events across fashion, culture, sport, and entertainment.  Min Bladi Al Emarat, Sheila and Abaya Fashion, Kids Sports Championship, The Collectors, and Kids Fashion Week were some of the DSS highlights. Environment was also a key focus of DSS 2011 with the EPIC exhibition that aimed at raising awareness on sustainable consumerism.  

Modhesh World, the region’s best-known indoor edutainment venue, had a host of surprises for its visitors during DSS 2011. Apart from the fact that Modhesh World was open all through summer that year, the venue also featured exciting new zones spread across a whopping 37,000 square metres.

DSS 2011 also brought together some of the best spas in Dubai in the ‘Spa Packages’.


Dubai Summer Fun and More

In 2012, the most popular summer event in the region succeeded in attracting 4.36 million participants, a 10.4 percent increase over the previous year, and contributed AED 12.3 Billion to the Dubai economy in the span of only 32 days.

The event, marketed with a campaign titled “Dubai. Summer Fun and More”, witnessed a spectacular opening ceremony at Ski Dubai to announce a season of more than 100 activities and shows. The DSS 2012 calendar of events included signature events such as World of Stories, Sheila and Abaya, Min Biladi, Kids Fashion Week, and Mind’s Pleasure. Eight cartoon character shows were presented in different shopping malls and Modhesh World as part of DSS such as Barbie, Hello Kitty, Sponge Bob, Charlie and Lola, and Teletubbies.

With a chance to win a Nissan Patrol and AED 150,000 every week, the DSS Mega Raffle was one of the exciting draws during DSS 2012. The DSMG campaign also distributed AED 3 million worth of prizes through DSS. 
Modhesh World opened its doors from June 14 to 25 August 2012 to celebrate the holy month of Ramadan and Eid Al Fitr with special events and activities for each occasion.


Summer Is Dubai

In 2013, DFRE introduced a 3-month long campaign titled “Summer is Dubai” that featured all the festivals, celebrations and special occasions of Dubai’s annual summer season. DSS 2013 from, 7th June to 7th July 2013, formed the first phase of “Summer is Dubai”, generating a grand citywide celebration covering several sectors including tourism, retail and leisure. DSS and the wider “Summer is Dubai” campaign are a crucial part of Dubai’s tourism strategy of attracting 20 million visitors a year by 2020 that was announced by His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE, and Ruler of Dubai.

The 16th edition of Dubai Summer Surprises (DSS) featured a fun-filled calendar of events and activities in addition to a mega “Summer is Dubai” promotion that was run in collaboration with the Dubai Shopping Malls Group (DSMG), offering up to Dhs. 5 million in prizes.  Of this total prize money, up to AED 1 million in prizes plus  8 BMW cars were given away to lucky shoppers during DSS. 

Among the highlights of DSS 2013 were Modhesh World , the main summer attraction for families and children, Dubai Sports World, the Middle East’s largest indoor sports event, Kids Fashion Week, Pillow Fight, and Cartoon Character shows including Bananas in Pajamas , the City of Friends,  the Smurfs Show  and the Strawberry Shortcake Show.

Connoisseurs of music and theatre also had a summer feast, thanks to a range of concerts and threatrical performances including the Elvis Forever show, a tribute to the King of Rock n’ Roll, the Dubai Rock Fest 2013, featuring some of the greatest musicians in the world, Taal featuring two of India’s highly acclaimed singers, Alka Yagnik and Sukhwinder Singh, and  Under African Skies at Madinat Theatre,  a nostalgic production that will take you through the history of South African music.


The Fun Side of Summer

The 17th edition of Dubai Summer Surprises (DSS)  from 2 August to 5 September 2014, successfully showcased  “The Fun Side of Summer” in Dubai with a month-long agenda of world-class entertainment combined with an enriching shopping experience attracting visitors from around the world.

The plethora of events and activities held as part of DSS opened a whole new world of opportunities for both residents and visitors of all ages as they discovered reasons galore as to why Dubai is the summer destination of choice.

Leading the line-up of entertainment were the world premieres of The Decepticon Clone TRANSFORMERS show at BurJuman and the Skylanders Spyros’s Adventure at City Centre Mirdif and City Centre Deira, along with the much-anticipated Angry Birds Universe Interactive Experience at Modhesh World, which is inviting thrill-seekers to capture unforgettable memories of the wonderful summer season at the region’s most popular edutainment destination. 
Modhesh World witnessed a flurry of families coming in to enjoy the vast array of events and activities. Home to Dubai’s beloved mascot, kids of all ages were seen revelling in the DSS festivities with a variety of immersive experiences awaiting them at all the halls and zones. Modhesh World will stay  until 8 September – offering families from around the world some more time to savour a fun-filled summer season in Dubai.

Shopping experiences in Dubai continued to be enjoyable as well as rewarding, with DSS-led campaigns and promotions offering added value to all the bargains dished out by all the leading malls and souks of Dubai. Leaving the malls with bags filled with discounted merchandise, including home ware, home décor, electronics, fashion, accessories and more, were shoppers and their families who took full advantage of every aspect of the DSS festivities including the countless in-mall attractions.  On top of this, shoppers had the opportunity to win up to AED 2 million worth of prizes including 6 BMW cars in the DSS promotion run by DFRE and the Dubai Shopping Malls Group.

The overwhelming response received to the 17th edition of DSS was testament to Dubai’s enormous popularity as a family-favourite summer destination for visitors from around the world. DSS events were organised keeping in mind the cosmopolitan fabric of Dubai, and witnessed the participation of people from all walks of life and diverse nationalities, who came out in huge numbers with their families to experience the city’s fantastic summer offerings and take home memories of a lifetime.


45 Days of Summer

The 18th edition of Dubai Summer Surprises came to a successful close on 5 September 2015 after delighting families from around the world with a wide array of shopping, entertainment and winning experiences. DSS 2015 kicked off on 23 July 2015, under the theme “45 Days of Summer” raising the curtain on an exciting calendar of events headlined by celebrity appearances, the largest number of international cartoon characters shows including world premieres at a summer festival in the region, the most number of retail promotions in a single season, and many more unique concepts. 

Visitors and residents in Dubai during DSS got the opportunity to get up close and personal with their favourite artists from within the region and beyond such as those marking the debut edition of the first DSS Starz series that saw Laura Marano, Jaden and Willow Smith, Zendaya, Hala Turk and Nancy Ajram touch down in Dubai, in addition to Diana Haddad, Nawal Kuwaitiya, Abdallah Ruwaishid, Hussein Al Jasmi and Kadim Al Saher, who performed as part of Dubai Summer Concerts. 

Modhesh World, one of Dubai’s key summer attractions, left families and children thoroughly entertained at its biggest ever edition in Dubai World Trade Centre featuring an enticing mix of world-class attractions across its eight halls. 
With shopping and winning being the other two main pillars of DSS, thousands of shoppers rushed to Dubai’s world-class shopping malls and retail centres during DSS to pick up unbelievable bargains on a wide range of merchandise. Thousands also found their way to The Big Summer Sale – a unique initiative organised by DFRE to bring products of various high end and luxury brands to consumers at incredibly low prices. 

In addition to The Big Summer Sale, DFRE also launched the DSS ‘Shop-A-Surprise’ promotion featuring two components – “Beauty-full Surprises” – delighting beauty shoppers with tempting discounts and offers at beauty stores and “More Hours – More Surprising” at participating department stores where families could forward to a few more hours of retail therapy and rewards with extended hours of shopping during the weekends.  

Many shoppers also hit the lucky trail by becoming the winners of mind-blowing prizes including luxury cars, gift vouchers and dream trips around the world, to list a few. 

The unprecedented number of World Premieres included Daffy Duck &Taz in “What Stole My Chicken?” , TWEETY & SYLVESTER in “Night-time capers”, BUGS BUNNY in “Wun Wabbit Wun”, The Amazing World of Gumball , Power Rangers Super Megaforce and 
“Sonic the Hedgehog™, Connecting Families” . Other cartoon and stage shows included the
Cartoon Network Fiesta featuring Teen sensation Ben 10, joined by The Powerpuff  Girls in addition to Dora The Explorer Live on stage,  “Stories of SpongeBob” - Live on Stage and Madagascar Live!.

Multi talented siblings Jaden and Willow Smith launched Kids Fashion Fest at The Dubai Mall. Back by popular demand, Kids Fashion Fest was a huge success and a stunning showcase of talent as little models walked the ramp for popular brands at four exciting fashion shows .

Other unique events included the Kids Pop-Up Summer Market featuring a children’s theme and a selection of sellers who are members of the online marketplace “Little Majlis”, as well as Arts & Crafts with Lloyd Warbey, well known presenter of Disney’s Art Attack.


Own the Summer

The 19th edition of Dubai Summer Surprises (DSS) came to a close on Saturday, 20 August 2016 after a 43-day citywide celebration featuring great events, rewarding deals and family fun that spread cheer and happiness among residents and visitors. Organised by the Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment (DFRE), an agency of the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism), DSS 2016 transformed the city into a cool and fun summer oasis for the whole family with an exciting line-up of events and activities including shows by world famous cartoon characters, activations featuring global brands and products, and unique dining and shopping promotions, offering prizes and even more surprises.

With numerous retail promotions offering fabulous prizes including one offering shoppers the chance to win 12 Infiniti Q50 cars, and unbeatable deals and discounts up to 75 % on an array of merchandise in malls citywide, DSS contributed towards boosting the city’s retail sector this summer season.
On the entertainment front, the DSS 2016 highlights included The Gruffalo Adventure and Save Our Summer at The Dubai Mall; Alvin & The Chipmunks Live on Stage at Mall of the Emirates, City Centre Mirdif and City Centre Deira; Mercado Circus Fiesta at Mercato; ‘Barbie You Can Be An Athlete’ experience, Trash Pack Live Show and Workshop, and Hasbro Games, all at Dragon Mart 2; Miss Fortune Circus; Lego Friends Workshops and My Little Pony Live Show & Beauty Corner, all at Ibn Battuta Mall; Bricks at BOXPARK; The Jungle Book at CITY WALK; and Angry Birds: Splat That! at Dubai Festival City Mall.


Summer of Surprises

The 20th edition of Dubai Summer Surprises (DSS) came to a close on Saturday, 12 August after six weeks of citywide celebration featuring great events, rewarding deals and family fun that spread cheer and happiness among residents and visitors. Organised by the Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment (DFRE), an agency of the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism), DSS 2017 transformed the city into a cool and fun summer oasis for the whole family with an exciting line-up of events and activities including shows by world famous cartoon characters, activations featuring global brands and products, and unique dining and shopping promotions, offering prizes and even more surprises.

With numerous retail promotions across top jewellery, furniture, kidswear, and electronics, DSS contributed towards boosting the city’s retail sector this summer season. Each week a 72 hour sale offered shoppers additional exclusive discounts, while retailers slashed prices on select merchandise for a limited period during the Friday Surprises. The DSS shopping extravaganza culminated in the Grand Finale Sale from 10-12 August, with even further discounts.

On the entertainment front, the DSS 2017 highlights included live entertainment from Iraqi singer Waleed Al Shami, whose performanced kicked off a series of free in-mall concerts. The fun continued with Balqees, who dazzled fans at Mall of the Emirates on 4 August. Children and adults alike enjoyed live entertaiment across Dubai, including the Ghostbusters Live Show; Beep Beep’s Birthday at Dragon Mart 2; Cirque Extreme; Out of the Blue Comedy Show at Mercato Mall; Pirates of the Gulf; Little Red Tweety Hood and Transformer’s Guardians of the Knight at Ibn Battuta Mall; and Under the Sea.