The Dhaka International Trade Affair is a symbolic feature of the Dhaka winters. Come January and DITF opens its doors to all the Dhakaiites to add just another dose of entertainment to the already party laden winters. This year, the usual serenade of the DITF started ten days late owing to the political turmoil that had tainted a better part of the last year.
On the sprawling ground in Sher-E-Bangla Nagar in Dhaka, to the west of the Bangabandhu International Conference Centre, the DITF started on January 10th this year. But unlike other years, it did not start out with much aplomb and is only gaining momentum now in its second week. The pink gates welcome you into the huge expanse and pavilions, displaying anything that you could ask for, line the premises of the Fair ground. The trade fair is a hotchpotch of all things, Iranian and Turkish stalls displaying dinnerware, burqas, hijabs and ornaments give way to stalls selling aluminium ware of all shapes and sizes. Like every year, the big names such as Akther Furnitures, Hatil, BRAC, Shatranji, Nadia have designed artsy and high-end pavilions, most with a second floor making them quite fun to just visit if not for buying anything. To stir things up a bit, most of the pavilions selling clothes, furniture and lifestyle items are offering attractive discounts and amazing offers on most products. Akther Furniture is providing up to 15 per cent discounts on its products while Navana is offering a 20 per cent discount on its home and office furniture. The trade fair is also an excellent place to purchase goods from some of the international pavilions such as the Iranian, Thai and Turkish stalls that you will find occupying the fairgrounds. Along with that there is of course the fair amount of local pavilions such Bexi Fabrics, Hometex, Rajshahi Silk and so on.
If edibles are what you look for, then fear not because the DITF has something for everyone. Pran, Nabisco and most other food companies are offering packages at special and discounted prices. Amongst all these pavilions, there are stalls selling hot coffee, Ice-creams and phuchka but if you crave something heavy, there are stalls selling biriyani and kebabs as well. The DITF is a tradition of sorts now, mothers walk out with pots and plates in hand and the children happy with a toy pistol or doll they so diligently threw a tantrum over.
The Trade Fair ends on February 10 this year, so don't miss out on the chance to go get some shopping done.