Famed for its beaches, nightlife, and culture, Dubai attracts tourists and foreign nationals from around the world. However long your stay in Dubai, you won’t want to miss the many shopping opportunities this city has to offer.
Deira Commercial District and the Souqs
The commercial district in Deira is renowned for its diversity and unparalleled low costs. It’s here that you can see the vast open-air Gold Souq. Dubai’s Gold Market holds more than a hundred small shops, all of them lining pedestrian walkways and offering their wares. Jewelry for sale here ranges from gold bangles to diamond rings at a bargain price. If the Gold Souq catches your fancy, or if you are looking for a similar experience without all the gold, souqs are a staple of the Arabian shopping experience, with nearby souqs dedicated to textiles, spices, and more.
Dubai Mall and The Annual Dubai Shopping Festival
Dubai Mall is the largest mall in the world an it forms the heart of the annual Dubai Shopping Festival. Every year, usually sometime in January or February, Dubai holds a weeklong shopping extravaganza which draws visitors from around the world. Hotels fill up early for the festival so make sure to book ahead. Once there, you will find deals and festivities on every corner, as well as fireworks every night. Also worth visiting during the festival: the Mall of the Emirates to the south, not to be outshone by its neighbor.
Mercado Mall and the Many Faces of Dubai
Dubai offers a variety of shopping experiences which reflect the cosmopolitan flair of this wealthy coastal city, where west meets east in ever new and interesting ways. Mercado Mall, in the coastal suburb of Jumeirah, exemplifies this rich tradition, built to resemble an Italian Renaissance village, with shops selling a choice selection of traditional and modern merchandise. Another shopping locale of note: Al Fahidi street, across the creek from the Deira commercial district, where you can shop and haggle like a local. Wherever you shop, be aware of two things: haggle and be on the look-out for cheap knock-offs.
Duty-Free Dubai Shopping
Whether you’re coming or going, duty-free shopping at Dubai International Airport is plentiful and affordable, especially in comparison to shops throughout the world. Bargain-seekers should keep a special eye out for great deals on jewelry and consumables like tobacco, perfume, and chocolate. If you are looking for good deals on electronic equipment, be aware that local warranties may not apply to merchandise brought back to Europe or the Americas.
The Dubai Mall is the most visited mall in the world and in 2012 had 65 million visitors.The Dubai Mall is connected to the Burj Khalifa Tower and Souk Al Bahar. You can appreciate the structural wonder of the Dubai Mall and the spectacular waterfront promenade to Souk Al Bahar from the observation deck of the Burj Khalifa Tower. This ginormous Mall houses more than 1200 retail outlets along with the Dubai Aquarium and Dubai Skating Rink. There’s a 250-room luxury hotel, 22 cinema screens and 120 restaurants and cafes. The Mall has over 14,000 parking spaces across 3 car parks, with valet services and a car locator ticketing system.
Mall of the Emirates
South of Downtown on the Red Metro line, this is one of Dubai’s mega-malls. It’s not as big as Dubai Mall, but it has one unique feature to draw the crowds – Ski Dubai. Even if you don’t want to experience winter in the 50 degrees heat of the Arabian desert, just watching the skiers through the windows of the Cheesecake Factory is an experience in itself.
The airport is a dream to shop in. Beautiful layout, with tall palm trees along each side, inside the terminal building. There is an extensive range of shops catering to your every need, including last minute souvenirs.
Editor’s note: The information contained on this page was compiled using real traveler reviews about Dubai shopping.