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Dubai Summer Surprises, in partnership with Majid Al Futtaim, the leading company in developing and managing shopping malls, integrated cities, retail institutions and entertainment facilities in the Middle East, Africa and Asia, have introduced a limited-edition sustainable DSS tote bag for shoppers as part of its ongoing efforts to encourage sustainable living.

Reusable shopping bags are on the rise in Dubai, following the introduction of a green tariff on single-use bags, designed to discourage their use, reduce waste and protect the environment. Since July 1, there is a mandatory charge of 25 fils for each single-use bag taken by consumers in stores to carry their purchases, and applies to those made from plastic, paper, biodegradable plastic, or plant-based biodegradable materials less than 57 micrometres thick (a micrometre is one-thousandth of a millimetre).

To support the initiative, DSS and Majid Al Futtaim have launched reusable tote bags, made from sustainable materials such as cotton, and are available at Mall of the Emirates, City Centre Deira and City Centre Mirdif. The DSS-branded bags have been produced in limited numbers, and will be distributed at each location – just look for the dedicated booths and displays.

Reusable shopping bags are important as they help conserve natural resources involved in production and reduce the waste from plastic bags which have a negative impact on the environment.

Shoppers will need to have made a purchase in the mall, and be able to show a receipt in order to claim their bag. In Mall of the Emirates and City Centre Mirdif, the minimum spend is AED300, and at City Centre Deira you only need to spend AED150.

The tote bag initiative echoes another that shoppers may encounter as they hit the malls looking for DSS offers – Dubai Can. Launched by the Department of Economy and Tourism (DET), the organisers of DSS, Dubai Can encourages the use of refillable water bottles, rather than the traditional single-use plastic versions. By installing free and safe drinking water stations at various points across the city – including shopping malls, metro stations, parks and beaches – Dubai residents can fill up their own reusable bottles.

Branded Dubai Can water bottles are available from online retailer Noon.com, with other refillable bottles found in supermarkets and sports shops across the city. The water provided from the drinking stations is said to be similar to local branded water, with any impurities removed, and filtered again as it is dispensed.

Such measures can help to create a culture of conscious living, changing behavioural patterns and making consumers more aware of protecting the environment. Learning how to be plastic-free, and embracing the alternatives, such as a Dubai Can water bottle or a sustainable DSS tote bag, is an excellent start.

Discouraging the use of single-use plastics is just one measure adopted by Dubai and the UAE as part of a global effort to curb waste, use fewer natural resources and reduce its carbon footprint. Overarching strategies, such as Dubai 2030, aim to cut carbon emissions by 30% by the year 2030, and increase use of clean and renewable energy. This works alongside the broader UAE Net Zero 2050 policy, where the plan is to fully decarbonise the country’s economy by 2050, producing zero greenhouse gases.

Shoppers in the UAE are certainly willing to take responsibility and help. In the latest edition of PwC’s Global Consumer Insights Pulse Survey, released in March, 60% of consumers locally said they considered sustainability when making a purchase, while 53% said they always or frequently bought eco-friendly products – higher than the global average at 42%. With more companies listing their sustainability credentials on their websites, and using it as a selling point, it becomes easier to reward the brands and stores making the effort.

Clothing brands that pride themselves on sustainability have also started to emerge, even using discarded plastics and water bottles to make the fibres for their clothes. DSS has also focused on reducing printed point of sale this year for window displays, even trialling holographic sale signage with Apparel Group in selected stores at Mall of the Emirates, City Centre Mirdif and Dubai Hills Mall.  Hit the malls this DSS and see what you can find – and don’t forget your limited-edition bag.

Organised by Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment (DFRE), the 25th edition of Dubai Summer Surprises is held until 4 September 2022. Visit www.mydss.ae for the full calendar of events and @CelebrateDubai and @StyledbyDubai on social media channels.

Dubai Summer Surprises is supported by key sponsor RAKBANK MasterCard and strategic partners which include: Al Futtaim Group (Dubai Festival City Mall & Festival Plaza), Al Seef, Al Zarooni Group (Mercato Shopping Mall), AW Rostamani Group, Bluewaters, Citywalk, Dubai International Financial Centre, Emirates Airline, Enoc, Etisalat, La Mer, Majid Al Futtaim (Mall of the Emirates, City Centre Mirdif, City Centre Deira), Nakheel Malls (Ibn Battuta Mall, The Pointe, Nakheel Mall, Dragon Mart 2), The Beach and The Outlet Village.

Source: TALES & HEADS