Mumbai's first shopping festival had nothing new to offer apart from great food

Updated: Jan 26, 2018, 11:36 IST | Gaurav Sarkar

Touted to be on the lines of the prestigious Dubai Shopping Festival, the first-of-its-kind government-backed night festival had nothing new to offer, apart from great food

Visitors seen at the festival
Visitors seen at the festival

Mumbai's attempt at beating Dubai at its own game with an international night shopping festival has turned out to be a damp squib. The state government-backed Mumbai Shopping Festival (MSF), which is being held at various places in the city, was supposed to reflect the same vibrancy and glamour of the Dubai Shopping Festival, most known for its shopping discounts and culture programmes.

However, a review of MSF, which began on January 12 and will continue till the end of the month, revealed that the festival had nothing to offer apart from over-priced late-night munchies.

Food is a hit
The festival was held at the car park in Inorbit Mall, Malad, from 5 pm to 4 am, yesterday. Most of the area had been marked off with barricades to accommodate shopping stalls and food trucks. However, the festival seemed to run out of energy by 2 am. The one thing that kept customers going were the various food trucks that surrounded the shopping stalls. Everything from paani puri to burgers, hot dogs, macaroons, and pav bhaji were available. But, the average price of each dish was around R250, which is marginally more than what one would pay for the same at a regular shop. Incidentally, post 2 am, most food trucks were running out of dishes to serve. This reporter was even offered a hot dog on a stick because the shop owner didn't have buns.

Shopping; A big let down
All the shopping stalls looked identical in terms of items they were selling. "There is hardly anything to buy for shoppers like us. Apart from the same old handicrafts, artefacts, interior decor stuff, posters and saris, there's nothing new for the buyer," said Saalim Khan, a resident of Lokhandwala, who attended the festival. What was, however, interesting was that every stall had the presence of Paytm barcodes and other online payment options, in keeping with the Centre's Digital India initiative.

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