Dubai attracts many types of traveller, but perhaps none more spectacularly than shoppers. Boasting the biggest shopping malls in the world, this relatively tax-free shopper’s paradise is a major port of call for those looking to enjoy a little retail therapy on their holidays.
You’ll find a wealth of low-priced electrical and designer goods in Dubai’s vast, air-conditioned shopping complexes, which also house some of the Emirate’s leading visitor attractions, amusement parks and hotels.
However, those looking for a more authentic cultural shopping experience will be just as well catered for when leaving the modern glitz behind and seeking out old-fashioned souqs. Still operating throughout Dubai, these can be the perfect places to bag bargain mementos of your break.
Dubai is a gateway to the Arabic world, and you can find many traditional products when browsing local market stalls, from impressive khunjar daggers to ornaments made from semi-precious stones. Dubai is also a major commercial centre for jewellery, offering some of the best prices on the finest products – both antique and brand new.
The best place to enjoy a traditional shopping experience in this ‘City of Gold’ is at the Dubai Gold Souq in Deira, which can be considered an essential item on any visit to the city. With gold being sold by weight according to the daily standard price, this souq offers a real insight into the trading culture that has made the UAE such an international success. If you’re looking for a souvenir of your travels, or a gift for someone back home, buying gold jewellery or items can be a sensible investment, especially with the low prices charged in Dubai’s markets.
You can get even more out of your shopping trip to Dubai when visiting during one of its major commercial festivals, when there are even more bargains and exclusive products to be found. The Dubai Shopping Festival is the main date for your diary, usually taking place from January to February, and early booking is essential to secure your accommodation during this typically bustling time. Those visiting Dubai later in the year can find more retail delights in the Dubai Summer Surprises festival, which takes place in July or August and can be a great way to beat the winter crowds.
One of the key things to remember about shopping in Dubai is that haggling is still very much the cultural norm, and should be embraced as part of the joy of shopping in this remarkable city as well as a way to get some truly unbeatable prices on unique purchases.
Bob Taggart writes on a number of topics on behalf of a digital marketing agency and a variety of clients. As such, this article is to be considered a professional piece with business interests in mind.