Shop till you drop

Sakal Times
Sunday, 12 August 2018

Here’s a list of the best shopping festivals at destinations around the world that let you binge-shop

What is the best time to plan a vacation abroad? Peak season when everything at the destination is on offer? Or the off-season to beat the conventional touristy-vibe and explore better? Travellers at times seem to miss this one thing that many global travel spots offer — shopping festivals! So, start planning for these shopping carnivals suggested by Cleartrip, to satisfy the shopaholic in you. 

Dubai Shopping Festival
Dubai is a wonderful city, a miscellany of global traditions and a true melting pot. All this makes the city a retail playground for the glamorous.

With shopping being a leisure activity among the locals, no wonder shopping complexes look like palaces. Home to one of the biggest shopping malls in the world, Dubai sees everything come alive during the famous ‘Dubai Shopping Festival’ along with the more traditional souks upping their trade game as well. The organisers claim this is an event of festivity and lights, shopping and glamour, sports and adventure, multi-cuisine food and cosmopolitan culture mixing together, and we expect nothing less. It is always scheduled in January and the packages centred around the festival itself, along with the other must-do, must-see things for all budgets, make this the best retail extravaganza.

Istanbul Shopping Festival
Istanbul is the enchanting destination where the East meets West, geographically and culturally. The Istanbul Shopping Festival draws inspiration from history. The shopping festival, held in July, is segregated on the type of venues. First, you have the designated malls, finest in the country which trade in mainstream consumer goods of all prices at discount. Then come the famous, centuries-old streets filled with fashion labels, retail brands, cafes, street food, traditional and even Michelin star restaurants. This is where the Istanbul Shopping Festival beats all else to be the most exciting and exotic festivals in the world. The last part of the festival is probably the most exotic — the historical baazars, which are not just for commerce, but also to give you a glimpse of the local culture. People here have been using these bustling venues to socialise, and these bazaars sell everything from perfumes, carpets, Chinaware, fresh produce, exotic clothing, books and what not! The cuisine is a healthy mix of Middle Eastern with Mediterranean influences. Istanbul Shopping Festival is an ode to the past glories and the modernities. It’s where old meets new.

Cannes Shopping Festival
A playground for celebrities, winding harbour-side roads, and the classy city itself — Cannes is an attractive destination. No wonder the rich and famous throng the port-city even when the famous film festival is not around. The Cannes Shopping Festival is the right one if you are the kind to spend well and have a taste for high-end events and indulgence.

The festival mainly is a showcase of high-end runway fashion, exclusive labels and is attended by all famous and related to haute couture. The luxurious hotels and estates around the city are intricately curated for the festival and will keep you busy with endless exclusive after-parties if you have the energy and the pockets. This portside glamour will take place in mid-May.

Hong-Kong Shopping Festival
A city beating the norms of being a bustling metropolis right in the midst of lush green. Iconic skyline, rich cultural roots and an enchanting ecology are only some of the qualities you can think of, when talking about Hong Kong. The Hong-Kong Shopping Festival is a haven for visitors. The sheer number of brands and the variety of commerce within the city is jaw-dropping. The venue options are endless: glitzy malls and chic stores for the global brands, street side markets for the plethora of Chinese manufacturing. Also save some buck for those legendary places whipping up a global assortment of food on the platter. The cultural heritage of the city won’t go unnoticed as the city is brimming with exhibitions of arts throughout the festival. Held from June 1 to August 31, the huge magnitude of hospitality options here makes sure the trip fits everybody’s budget.

The Great Singapore Sale
Arguably one of the best fits for the ‘Melting Pot Capital of the World’, Singapore is the most efficient modern city in the world. Dubbed to have the best traffic and public transport system, getting around all of the islands is a breeze. For the big moneyed, there is the glitzy Orchard Road belt, brimming with high-end retail and fine restaurants. There are a number of malls if you’re more into grabbing the best deals for all the mainstream brands. The local suburban neighbourhoods such as Chinatown, Kampong Lane and Little India are native to those independent, exclusive and even cheaper labels partnered with quirky cafes to keep you filled during the long hours of loot. 

USA Outlet Shopping Festival
This four-day shopping festival in October which spans across most cities in the US, is not a destination-specific festival but rather a retail discount frenzy with hundreds of brands. Unlike many other global shopping festivals which are intended to draw international tourists, this one is specifically aimed at the resident consumers. As the name suggests, the festival uses the huge assortment of retail brands in the country and special discounts are curated for the event. It includes labels of all price ranges and comprises all consumer retail products you can probably think of. 

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