Niche tourism is increasingly becoming popular as more people are venturing out to feed passions like food, adventure or shopping. While every destination has its unique culture to offer, shopping is something that can be both rooted in local tradition and yet be global. Be it souvenir shopping or collecting exclusive pieces for your own collection, we bring the five most exciting shopping festivals around the world. By Shubhanjana Das
1. Dubai Shopping Festival (December-January)
The Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF) is all about glitz and glamour. From gold to clothes, electronics, jewellery and automobiles, you’ll find it all at the DSF. The festival saw its 19th run this year and includes a packed calendar of fashion shows and giveaways, where you can shop items from over 6,000 shops and 70 malls across the Emirates with crazy discounts of up to 70 percent. After a day full of shopping, sit down for the fireworks and music and savour the experience. Save the dates for 2020!
2. The Great Singapore Sale (June and July)
The nation-wide sale in Singapore has been a major part of the country’s cultural calendar for over 21 years now. The most famous and biggest shopping festival in Asia, you can get your hands on both domestic and international brands here at jaw-dropping discounts and prices. A mecca for bagging souvenirs, fashion, luxury goods, cosmetics and more, the eight week-long extravaganza comes with guides and walking tours. Marina Bay, Orchard Road and Paragon Mall are good starting points.
3. Istanbul Shopping Fest (July)
Istanbul’s grand shopping festival has put it on the map for shopaholic tourists thronging the bazaars and malls of Istanbul, which offer amazing discounts. Find handicrafts, designer wear and bunch of other stuff that you can get your hands on only in Istanbul. While you’re at it, don’t forget to grab a quick kebab from Istiklal Street or start your shopping exploration in Sultanahmet, the heart of the city.
4. Korea Grand Sale (February)
It’s no surprise that Korea hosts one of the biggest shopping festivals in all of Asia, given that South Korea seems to have a shopping addiction. According to the Bank of Korea, South Koreans have the most credit card transactions per capita in the world as of 2011. Elbow your way through the crowds and brave the weather during February and take advantage of the nationwide discounts and sales that take place in markets, department stores, boutiques as well as shopping malls.
5. Cannes Shopping Festival in France (April)
Hands down the best place to fill your wardrobe with some haute couture and high street pieces that are in vogue at unbelievable prices, Cannes Shopping Festival may run only for three to four days, but it definitely is worth a mini vacation to the breath-taking city of Cannes. Look out for designer dresses, shoes and hand-bags.