Since its was launched in 1996, the Dubai Shopping Festival, DSF, has turned Dubai into the world's best tourist and shopping destinations, and with the latest edition themed: "Shop at your best", tourists are returning to their homeland with myriads of shopping experiences. Eighteen years have passed since the inception of DSF, the festival that has opened the doors of Dubai to millions of tourists from across the globe, and DSF has turned Dubai into a haven for domestic and international shopping. Statistics released by the Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment (DFRE), an agency of the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM), speaks volumes about DSF's impact on Dubai's tourism industry. Since it was launched in 1996, DSF has attracted approximately 51 million participants - residents and visitors - who have spent just under AED130 billion for shopping, hospitality or on entertainment, report published by Dubai-based English daily, Khaleej Times, said. As the 19th edition is drawing to a close, the DSF's new initiative, ?Shop and Win" has already reached sales of AED400 million. This offers one lucky shopper the chance to win a cash prize of AED500,000 in participating community centres. The Gold Raffle has generated for Dubai Gold and Jewellery Group outlets a marked average growth of 35 to 40 per cent as compared to their corresponding days of sales in the 18th edition. "On top of it all, DSF enriches the shopping experience with city-wide music, culture and sports events, something that is unparalleled in the region," says Laila Mohammed Suhail, CEO of DFRE, DSF organiser. "For this year's DSF, we have put together a fantastic line-up of over 150 events and activities that go hand in hand with the daily shopping done by visitors from around the world." As part of efforts to increase the number of tourists to Dubai during DSF 2014, DFRE has reached out to a wider audience and new markets across the world including Saudi Arabia, Russia, India, China, Hong Kong and South Africa through the overseas offices of DTCM. "DFRE has also launched a global marketing campaign with the extensive use of geo-marketing technology and social media to get more visitors to Dubai during the current edition of DSF," said Suhail. "For the 19th edition of DSF, we have developed different themes to add value to the overall shopping experience. Whether tourists come to Dubai for shopping or for enjoying their vacation in general, these themes ensure that Dubai becomes their most memorable holiday destination in the world.