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Istanbul set for biggest shopping fest
Istanbul's first International Shopping Festival (ISF) to be held from March 18 to April 6 2011, aims to attract 1.2 million tourists.
The Turkish city of Istanbul is gearing up to welcome millions of tourists from across the globe to celebrate 40 days of shopping, entertainment and festivities beginning next month.

Istanbul's first International Shopping Festival (ISF), to be held from March 18 to April 6, aims to attract 1.2 million tourists from the GCC, said the Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism, which is jointly organising the event with Istanbul Governor's Office and other agencies.

Millions of bargain hunters will get to win all kind of prizes, including a brand new car every day at the ISF, which has roped in popular Turkish actor, Kivanc Tatlitug as its brand ambassador.

'Istanbul is gearing to have yet another mega tourist event and for 40 days and 40 nights, the first annual ISF will transform the cosmopolitan city into a shopping heaven,' Sedat Gönüllüoğlu, Turkish Cultural & Tourism Attaché, said at a press conference in Dubai.

'Tourists will enjoy tax-free shopping as well as heavy discounts on a wide range of items, including jewellery, perfumes, textiles, handicrafts and electronics items as shops and malls try to outdo each other in sales.'

According to Sedat, the event is set to attract millions of shoppers from surrounding countries who can visit Turkey without a visa.

'Organizers have been planning for the ISF for a long time to ensure its success. Our objective is to increase shopping lovers every year, making it premium shopping event worldwide.'

Istanbul has rapidly emerged as the tourist capital of the world and a very busy shopping destination for the surrounding countries. Istanbul has over 90 brand new shopping centers and many street venues.

Topping all that, the city has the world's biggest and oldest shopping center, The Grand Bazaar, infamous for its jewellery, hand-painted ceramics, carpets, embroideries, spices and antique shops.

'During ISF, shopping outlets will be open until 11 pm with special discounts, up to 50 per cent,  offered after 10 pm, as well as price reductions and activities at some of Istanbul's most famous markets, including Taksim, Nisantasi, Bakirkoy, Fatih, Bahariye, and the iconic Spice Bazaar,' said Sedat.
  Source: Trade Arabia

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