All activities have been deferred to the next round, scheduled for December 20, 2006, DSF Coordinator Saeed Al Naboudah said.
He, however, said that the prescribed discounts on purchases of this year's festival would remain valid up to the February 4, 2006.
Industry insiders said the cancellation will adversely affect retail, hospitality and entertainment businesses but Shaikh Maktoum's demise is a bigger loss. Retail spending during the month-long festival was expected to cross Dh 7.67 billion.
The last DSF recorded 3.3 million visitors who spent Dh 6.67 billion roughly Dh 2,021.21 per visitor. The visitor spending during the DSF overshadowed Dubai's tourism sector's revenue for the entire year of 2004.
With a budget of Dh 85 million in direct marketing and administrative spending, the event has drawn 25 the highest number of key sponsors since the festival started.
Retailers have been instructed by the DSF office to withdraw or amend points of sale, advertising and marketing materials pertaining to DSF, with immediate effect.