Glittering malls, fabulous boutiques and souks that practically dazzle you from the moment you step inside, retail in Dubai offers visitors one of the best shopping experiences in the world. From spices and silks to high-end fashion, premium quality leather to glittering gold jewellery, there’s something for every taste, and every budget. So let’s take a quick tour of Dubai’s shopping hot-spots, with a few tips for getting a bargain too!
The Dubai Mall
This is one of the biggest malls in the world, and you’ll need the whole day to explore its maze of shops, retail outlets, stalls, and boutiques. At its heart is an incredible four-storey waterfall, that gives the Mall a cool, fresh feel so you won’t get too hot and sweaty chasing down those bargains.
In between exploring over a thousand (yes, over a thousand!) stores, you can take a spin on the full-size skating rink, stare at the aquatic wonders in a huge aquarium, or grab something to eat from the hundreds of food outlets. The shops themselves cater for every type of taste, from straight-off-the-catwalk high fashion to traditional Arabic arts and crafts. A great retail experience, and a great day out.
Mall of the Emirates
This comes in a close second to Dubai Shopping Mall, with over 630 retail outlets, a hundred restaurants and cafés, a children’s play area, and even an indoor ski centre! Spend the morning snowboarding, and then in the afternoon you can take your time to wander round a mall that’s packed with boutiques and more unusual retail outlets, as well as the high-end luxury brands.
It’s often overlooked by tourists, but the locals know Wafi Mall to be one of the best in the Emirates, and has a much more authentic Arabian feel to it. It even has its own souk in the basement, the Souk Khan Murjan, that has a wonderful selection of traditional lamps and crafts. Upstairs, you’ll find plenty of boutiques to browse, and while it may not have its own ski centre or waterfall, it’s a wonderfully relaxing mall with a friendly atmosphere.
You can’t miss this unique shopping centre just off the Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Road. This collection of pavilions represents a world of shopping experiences. It’s open from late November through to early February, and is more of a celebration of international shopping, mixed in with a carnival atmosphere and plenty of entertainment. Each pavilion features goods from particular countries, so one minute you could be shopping in Germany, the next, the USA! Catch the event on the last week and you can pick up some real bargains as sellers try to clear their stock before the last day.
Deira Gold Souk
This Dubai shopping experience will quite literally dazzle you. Dubai is well known for its gold jewellery, and the Deira Gold Souk is where you go to get the very best in Arabian gold jewellery. You can even pick up gold bars if you’re investing your money in this precious metal. Don’t forget to haggle either, as the stalls are all selling the same type of merchandise so this really is a buyer’s market. Take your time when you’re making a selection, as there is so much to see here. Buy the first thing you see and you may regret it, as it could be much cheaper in the next stall! Be aware that most gold shops will charge a fee if you use your credit card to buy jewellery.
The Ibn Battuta Mall
The world’s largest ‘themed’ mall, this takes you on a journey around the globe with 270 shops divided into themed areas. This glittering mall is decorated in different styles, replicating the art and culture of the themed areas including Egypt, India, China, Persia, Tunisia, and Andalusia. The themes are a celebration of the travels of the Mall’s namesake, the Moroccan Berber explorer Ibn Battuta. You’ll find a great selection of shops, as well as restaurants and comfortable hotels such as our very own Premier Inn Ibn Battuta Mall Hotel.
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