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04 March 2024

DSF 2013's Streets of Fun: Where and when to catch the best road shows

Young ones can watch their favourite Smurf characters live on stage during their World Premiere show. (Patrick Castillo)

By Sneha May Francis

Apart from the shopping and winning, there’s also a whole lot of cultural lessons to be learnt at the Dubai Shopping Festival this year.

It’s a little over two weeks since the shopping season set in, and we thought it’d be the best time to scan the city streets and map out the most happening streets to visit.

Al Riqqa Street

Merry-go-rounds, slippery slides, trampolines, toy train rides, dodgem cars and horse  carriages deck up Al Riqqa Street.

Located in the heart of Deira, the street also comes alive with a host of acrobats and dance performers.

There’s also a sports zone, a skill-games area and kiosks that house a variety of merchandise and food.

Festival Promenade

Camels tethered around the encampment, attentive falconers, ladies cooking traditional Emirati food and others weaving traditional cloth are some of the visuals awaiting visitors of the Bedouin camp that has pitched at the Festival Promenade.

Set to throw an insight into life on the desert, the culture, music, food and much more, the Bedouin camp houses sections from Yemen, Jordan, Mauritania, Morocco, UAE, Kenya and India.

The camp is interestingly set against the backdrop of Dubai’s swanky skyscrapers and the majestic Dubai Festival City.

At the Jordanian section, the Jordanian Bedouins can be seen seated around, and interacting with visitors to explain their traditions and lifestyle.

The lifestyle of India’s desert nomads are also represented with songs and dances of India’s desert people played to welcome visitors.

Heritage and Diving Village

The culture, cuisine, heritage, tradition and talent of the UAE is on full display at Dubai’s Heritage and Diving Village.

The focus shifts from the glitzy malls and sleek high-rises, to the city’s historic lifeline - the Dubai Creek.

It’s the old-world charm of the bygone era that comes alive in this area. Every evening, Emirati women set up stalls to sell an array of delectable traditional snacks and dishes, and tea is served around a bon-fire.

Blacksmiths set up shop and make sickles, tools, pots and pans, putting this traditional skill on display. So, do model makers and other artisans.

UAE’s folk dances are on display, while many artisans gather to capture the mood in beautiful frames.

Al Seef Street

Another street that reunites the world cities with souvenirs. Here visitors can find knick-knacks or curioes from across the globe.

It’s in a way a reflection of the distinctive culture of the UAE, that unties people from a different nationalities, and is a meeting point of global cultures and nationalities.

Nine main stalls represent Brazil, USA, UK, France, Turkey, India, China, Africa and the UAE, and offer an insight into their culture, heritage and history.

A glass model of the landmark Burj Khalifa is the centerpiece of the UAE stall, where visitors can also buy local Arabic perfumes, traditional sweets and clothes, and models of its another landmark structure - the Burj Al Arab.

The World of Souvenirs is situated next to the waters of Dubai’s lifeline, its creek.