Dubai, United Arab Emirates, 28 January 2023: From the city’s most iconic destinations like The Pointe, Dubai Design District, and the city’s many malls, to the historic surroundings of Al Seef and across much of the city, performing arts have once again taken centre stage at this Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF).

Throughout the 28th edition of the longest running festival of its kind anywhere in the world, locations across the city have been hosting live entertainment for families and shoppers, creating exceptional experiences for a total of 46 days.

Dazzling dance troupes, talented musicians and other live performance artists prepared for months behind the scenes to put on these shows. And there were plenty of familiar faces that have been wowing the crowds, with past contestants plucked from appearances on popular international shows, including America’s Got Talent, Britain’s Got Talent and TV competitions around the world. Other performers in Dubai for DSF made their name on social media where they have won a growing audience of admirers for their ability to entertain.

Japanese unicycle performers UniCircle Flow were one act to win rave reviews during their time performing at the festival. The troupe is an example of how live acts at DSF have developed to become more than just conventional music or dance performance.

Kenichi Ebina, Director of UniCircle Flow, said their routines were akin to figure skating on land. “It is beautiful and elegant, but also dynamic and speedy,” he said, noting that their style of performance using unicycles has been developing in Japan, but even there, it remains a very niche art.   

“We were delighted that we had this opportunity to show our style of unicycle dance to people in Dubai. For all of the performers who participated in the Dubai Shopping Festival for the first time, it was a great experience for them to see and feel a different culture,” Ebina added.

Another act delighting spectators is Medhat’s Live band, a musical fusion show of Arabic and rhythmic music from Medhat Mamdouh. His unique beatboxing flute style has taken the talented Egyptian musician to some of the world’s most popular stages, performing in America’s Got Talent, as a Golden Buzzer finalist of Italia’s Got Talent and as a semi-finalist of Arabs Got Talent.

Crowds lapped up Medhat’s unique performance of beatboxing flute recorder with a complete set of live instrumentals from accomplished musicians who, together, performed a mix of original tracks and popular covers, from classical through to dance and funk.

“I had a great chance joining the Dubai Shopping Festival this year in Al Seef with my band,” Mamdouh said. “It was an awesome atmosphere – with the sea and the style of the buildings giving an incredible backdrop – also the audience were so engaging!” he added. “We had so much fun enjoying music in such a beautiful place with amazing people.”

Among the 22 performances and groups wowing the crowds at this year’s DSF was the Black Widow dance crew who originated from an Italian dance school and have developed a keen following of more than 12 million online followers. By using the style of ‘tutting’ where arms and legs are used to communicate among one another, their performances transported audiences along a journey of sound, images and sensations.

“Black Widow are an all-female dance crew that enjoy hypnotising people with their innovative and mesmerising art,” the group said.  “We were super excited to have taken part in this year’s DSF. This special event helped us to share our dance with new people and do what we love: bringing our passion all around the world with us. We really hope everyone who came to see our shows had a great time, we absolutely loved it, thank you, Dubai!”, they added.

One act to seemingly defy the laws of gravity during their performance was from the Circus Variety Show. In two different opening acts during DSF, the show deployed an impressive series of spellbinding acts, acrobatics and choreography – with a multitude of costume changes taking place in the blink of an eye. A shape-shifting performance to recreate a human slinky was a highlight of the dazzling show by a trio of cabaret artists that amazed visitors at City Walk in December.

Dance collective The Clique has one of the youngest performers at DSF, a 12-year-old student who joined a global team of dancers from nations across Europe, the UK, America, India and the UAE. Meanwhile, making their first trip to Dubai during the festival was the Saumya Kamble Show – the popular winner of India’s Best Dancer Season 2.

The evolution of live performance in Dubai was also on show via the 2021 celebrated finalists of Got Talent Spain – the Maria Cruz Flamenco Dance Show. Joined by a group of distinguished musicians, the show illuminated the flamboyance, passion and energy of Spain’s most enduring form of creative expression, Flamenco. And it wasn’t just about song and dance during DSF, as the Aquatic 2 Flower Show clearly showed. In the theme of a classic fairy tale, the theatrical performance offered an aquatic floral show to electrify the senses and captivate audiences.

Another eye-catching display was performed by The X-Treme Team, a group of performers inspired by combat skills that grew from the Australian Martial Arts Academy in 1982. Since then, the team has evolved and performed in thousands of locations both in Australia and around the world. The finalists of Australia’s Got Talent – who have performed on shows such as the ‘Morning Show with Kerri-Anne’, ‘Saturday Disney’, ‘Sunrise, and ‘The X-Factor’, brought a special brand of energy and excitement to their festival performances.

During this DSF season, one of the most dynamic to date, performers took to the stage across Dubai at La Mer, City Walk, Al Seef, Dubai Festival City Mall, Ibn Battuta Mall, The Pointe, Nakheel Mall, Gate Avenue, DIFC, Mirdif City Centre, Mall of the Emirates, Deira City Centre, Etisalat MOTB at d3, and Al Khawaneej The Walk.

Shop, win and be entertained with the 28th edition of Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF) until 29 January 2023 with incredible deals, innovative events, world-class entertainment and life-changing prizes. Featuring the ultimate retail therapy from a wide range of homegrown and global brands as well as live concerts, outdoors markets, pop-up dining and more, this year’s DSF experience is not to be missed.

Check out and @CelebrateDubai and @StyledbyDubai on social media channels for more details. 

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About Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment

Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment (DFRE), an agency of Dubai’s Department of Economy and Tourism (DET), is responsible for developing Dubai’s retail and festival sectors and supporting the positioning of Dubai as a world-class tourism destination with year-round family entertainment, shopping and events.

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