The 21st edition of the annual Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF) wrapped up this year after giving residents and visitors an opportunity to get the best of shopping, entertainment and prizes. DSF commenced from the first of January 2016 with the tagline ‘Unwrap The Exceptional’ hosting a line-up of 150 events and activities which unfolded during the 32 day celebration. On average, 4.5 million consumers flock to the festival every year, with a footfall of over 100,000 shoppers recorded at malls during peak times.

So how did all the shopping affect your personal finances? Did you spend more than planned? A new survey by the UAE’s #1 financial comparison website,, reveals how UAE residents’ wallets fared at the conclusion of DSF.

Did you save?

The festival gives shoppers an opportunity to dig into big bargains and save on their purchases. Yet more than 55 per cent of respondents shopped more than usual because of sales during DSF, as revealed by the survey. Does that mean you were lured into spending more than you had actually planned for?

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Did you exceed your budget?

Nearly half of the survey respondents admitted to shelling out more than usual, having exceeded their monthly budget by at least AED 1,000 on purchases made during the shopping festival. With the best deals and discounts being offered by the retailers during this time of the year, it’s not surprising consumers end up spending more than usual.

How much did you spend?

DSF plays a key role in driving the revenue of retailers, who expect 25 to 30 per cent of their annual sales to take place during DSF. Based on survey results, nine per cent of respondents turned out to be big spenders and admitted to overshooting their budget by more than AED 5,000. However, a significant percentage of respondents (nearly 45 per cent) claimed not to have shopped more than usual this month because of sales during DSF.

[Related: 2015 in review: Personal loans most sought after]

Who spent and where?

It’s also important to note that nearly eight in ten of’s  survey respondents were male, compared to almost 23 per cent of female respondents. Findings from a report published by the MallMate app reveal Mall of the Emirates to be one of the most popular shopping destinations among consumers in Dubai and Yas Mall in Abu Dhabi.

The results of the survey indicate that consumers in the country see DSF as an ideal time to shop by availing the various deals and offers which helps them save in the long run. The event’s organizer Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment (DFRE) recently projected the spending from shoppers to be at AED 15 million over the month, the final figures of which have not yet been disclosed.