Dubai a popular summer getaway for Saudi families

As the season’s only summer extravaganza of its kind in region for families, DSS has become popula over the years

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There is a deep bond between Saudis and Dubai, especially during the summer when the city is brimming with not-to-be-missed deals, promotions offering fabulous prizes and fun-filled entertainment for the whole family, as part of Dubai Summer Surprises (DSS), in addition to special offers from hotels and restaurants.

The influx of Saudi tourists to Dubai during the summer is influenced by a number of factors, chiefly among them being cultural similarities as well as the geographical proximity of Saudi Arabia and the UAE. Saudis also prefer Dubai to other major cities for the world-class infrastructure and facilities in the emirate that rival major European cities.

As the only family summer extravaganza of its kind in the region, DSS has grown steadily in popularity over the years, especially among GCC visitors. The Media Centre of Dubai Tourism spoke to Saudi families visiting Dubai to enjoy DSS and the majority of them held the view that Dubai was the best place to shop and enjoy quality time with their families during the summer.

A great time

Abdul Rahman al-Sanea, from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, said: “This is my sixth or seventh visit to Dubai with my family. We’ve been here for 11 days and still three days to go in this unforgettable visit. As always, we’re having a great time and we’ve visited many of its iconic malls where my children enjoyed the many Dubai Summer Surprises entertainment activities.”

He added: “Shopping in Dubai has a charm of its own. Here you can buy high quality goods at unbeatable prices, especially during promotions. We’ve been shopping at Dragon Mart, The Dubai Mall, Mall of the Emirates, Mercato, and Naif Souq. Our shopping budget has exceeded $13,600 (Dh50,000) and includes buying perfumes, oud and Bakhour, clothes and consumer electronics. We spent a lot during this splendid holiday but it’s worth every dirham.”

Faaeq Maqadmi, from the Western Region, Saudi Arabia, said: “This is my fifth visit to Dubai and we are spending a wonderful holiday. Actually this is something we do every year. This year we visited for the first time City Walk, BoxPark and Mercato where we enjoyed well-organized entertainment. We visited many European cities before, but Dubai offers its visitors one-of-a-kind experience with its promotions and entertainment across the city. We are proud to have such a beautiful world-class city in the Arab world.”

“We visited many of Dubai’s iconic landmarks, including Burj Khalifa and Dubai Aquarium. We dined at many of the city’s favorite restaurants that offer dining experiences from around the world. My wife was particularly happy this time as she bought all her products from favorite brands, including makeup and fashion, at great bargains. We also bought some fresh produce which we used to buy from Europe. This year our budget was around $19,053 (70,000 dirhams),” he added.

“We arrived in Dubai three days ago, and I’ve already visited Burj Khalifa, Aquaventure Waterpark, The Dubai Mall, and Modhesh World, among many other places. We’ve had a wonderful time and will stay for another five days for shopping and sight-seeing,” said Ibrahim Mubarak from Jizan, Saudi Arabia.

Main attractions

“This is our second visit to Dubai, and we’ve come to know the main tourist and shopping attractions in the city. We like Naif Souq where we buy perfumes, bakhour, traditional clothes, as well as gifts for the family at reasonable prices. We prefer The Dubai Mall for fashion products and accessories,” he added.

Turki Shaman from Tabuk, Saudi Arabia, said: “We’re having a wonderful time in Dubai and we’ve been to many of its iconic attractions, such as the Burj Khalifa and also The Walk at JBR. We’ve also been shopping at The Dubai Mall and Mall of the Emirates. This is my first visit to Dubai and certainly it will not be the last.”

“I am here with my wife and four children on a 10-day visit. We will continue shopping in the coming days, as we need to buy apparel, perfumes, footwear, and handbags, and many other things, in addition to presents for our families back home. The various promotions offer us the opportunity to buy all our needs at highly discounted prices.”

“We’ve heard a lot about Dubai and this is my first visit. To be honest, what we’ve seen so far is beyond imagination. We fell in love with the city, with its skyscrapers, roads, and malls, and we’ve been shopping at The Dubai Mall and Mall of the Emirates among many other shopping centers. Our shopping list includes clothes, handbags, shoes, perfumes, bakhour, children’s toys and many other gifts,” said Ibrahim Saleh al-Jabel from Al-Qassim Region, Saudi Arabia.

“We’ve been here for seven days and we still have three days to go. We’ve enjoyed Dubai Summer Surprises entertainment activities in shopping centers, and also the retail promotions. We will certainly come back on many visits in the future,” he said.
DSS 2016 runs until August 20 under the theme ‘Own The Summer’, offering great events, rewarding deals and family fun for residents and visitors.

This article first appeared in the Saudi Gazette on Aug. 9, 2016.