DSF decides to put sharper focus on emerging markets

About 6,000 retailers will participate in this year’s DSF. (XAVIER WILSON)

The Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF) will place a stronger focus on marketing plans in emerging markets that have not been affected by the global economic crisis, said DSF officials.

The event, which starts tomorrow, has shifted its marketing strategy in the past two years to target markets such as China, Japan and India. Nasser Hakim, Head of Public Relations and Media relations, said DSF has based its plans on studies showing growing numbers of tourists with substantial purchasing power from China, especially after restrictions were lifted on Chinese tourists to visit certain countries, including the UAE.

“We have also observed this growth through our interaction with our partners in the retail industry who have seen growing revenue from visitors from those markets,” he said.

DSF has six advertising agencies, including BPG, which recently won the contract again. While, executives at the agency confirmed the contract, no one was available to comment.

“We employ many agencies for this event”, said Hakim. “As you know, we run 150 activities during the festival and it is just a huge load for one agency.

“Meanwhile, we still manage 90 per cent of public relations activities in-house, with 10 per cent held by a private agency”, he added.

“This has been our policy for four years now”. Prior to that, BPG also handled the account for DSF.

Hakim said the shopping festival will involve 6,000 retailers this year.

“Our advertising strategy will include outdoor in addition to all other media. It is a full-fledged campaign. We are also going back to streets with activities taking place in Al Riqqa Street and Jumeirah Beach Residence.

“We intend to be closer to the audience”, he added. Media buying agencies refused to predict the impact of DSF on the advertising spend this year.

A leader of a media buying agency said results will only appear at the end of the first week of February.

 

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