The second Istanbul Shopping Festival (ISF) was launched to be held from June 9th – 29th. The event attracts millions of visitors every year from the Middle East alone and offers an extensive menu of events and entertainment, in addition to discounts across many retail venues and restaurants. Visiting tourists have the added advantage of getting back a percentage of tax paid on their purchases in Istanbul.
The first event witnessed an increase of 26% profit, the equivalent of AED16.7 billion. The festival hosted five million visitors last year, and is sure to draw millions more this year.
Mr. Sedat Gönüllüoğlu- the Dubai Turkish Tourism and Culture Office’s Cultural and Information Attaché said: “The Turkish Tourism and Culture Ministry’s official statistics for March 2012 show that there has been an increase of 86.81% of visitors from the UAE in 2011, with tourists from Bahrain increasing by 54.38% and those from Qatar by 102.30%”.
Statistics of ISF and Global Blue Data show that tourists from Kuwait increased their expenditure when visiting Turkey between March and April for 2010 and 2011 by 179%. This vast increase is second only to China’s increase of 229%. The UAE placed sixth (87%) and Saudi Arabia placed twelfth (36%).