Gifted, the country's biggest Christmas gift shopping event, is to return to Dublin's RDS from December 1-5 following the lifting of Covid restrictions.

The return of the contemporary craft and design fair comes as a crucial lifeline to hundreds of unique independent brands and makers after the pandemic forced its cancellation last year.

The Dublin event is set to attract over 35,000 people in five days, with over 500 designers, makers and artisan food producers and Ireland's largest collection of sustainable Christmas gifts.

The expected spend in the RDS is €1m for each day of the fair.

"The annual fair is a huge boost to the independent creative sector, it is vital to the industry as a whole and it is estimated that it generates enough business to keep most of the exhibitors busy for at least four months of the year," Gifted organiser Patrick O'Sullivan said.

Mr O'Sullivan said that at the onset of lockdown last year, it immediately moved to supporting its exhibitors through the giftedfromireland.com site, which has been a very successful sales outlet for them.

"However, so many of our exhibitors are overjoyed at news of the return of Gifted because they have missed the human interaction of the selling process," he said.

"The fair is a unique opportunity to interact with the most creative people in Ireland and discover thousands of original products available only at Gifted," he added.