Do you feel your body tingling every time you go shopping? Does shopping bring you happiness and make you feel good about yourself? If you answered yes to both questions, then you should really visit Dubai!
Known as the “king” of shopping in the region, Dubai shopping souks and malls leave buyers with extensive choices and tremendous bargains. If you’re a bargain hunter who wants to enjoy your trip to Dubai, consider the following tips to have an awesome shopping-spree.
1. Know the best time to shop
In Dubai, you can go shopping at any time of the day but to get the best shopping experience, go out early in the morning or night. Most shopping centers open at 10 o’clock am, so get there early. During that time, shops are empty and you’ll have the owner’s full attention.
During evenings, most establishments are usually packed with shoppers. But shopping at night can be better due to the cooler temperatures during summer. Whichever time you choose, make sure you have plenty of time to shop so that you won’t end up rushing yourself.
Festivals and Events
You can find the best shopping malls in Dubai. This is quite apparent in the number of shopping festival and events the emirate holds to entice more tourists. If you want to have your shopping tour at the start of the year, make sure to hang around during the Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF).
If you miss the DSF, you have another event to look forward to which is Dubai Summer Surprises (DSS). It’s a month-long shopping event focusing on family fun.
2. Know where to shop
If you want to indulge in a wonderful retail therapy in Dubai, you should know where to go. Having an idea of the malls and stores will help you choose the best accommodation. After all, what can be more exciting than staying at a hotel near the Jumeirah Centre Mall? You won’t have to spend a lot of time and money getting to your favorite shops.
Some of the best places you have to go to for amazing retail therapy are:
Mall of the Emirates
At interchange 4 on Sheikh Zayed Road, you can find the world’s first shopping resort. This luxury mall houses more than eighty of the most renowned designer brands. And with a hotel inside, you can rest, dine and shop again and again. It’s an absolute shopaholic paradise!
The Dubai Mall is the largest and most visited shopping destination with 12 million square feet. Between your shopping adventures, you can try other fun activities or perhaps take a trip to the iconic Burj Khalifa.
The best time to go to the Dubai Mall is during the festive seasons such as Ramadan wherein they extend their usual operating hours. And you surely don’t want to miss out the great discounts!
Souq Madinat Jumeirah
This shopping center is a sophisticated and classic Middle Eastern bazaar. It’s located in Madinat Jumeirah Resort’s own private beach, about 25 minutes from Dubai international airport. There isn’t much bargaining scope but the quality of handicrafts are worth their prices.
You can also enjoy dining at international restaurants in Jumeirah; you will definitely find one that will satisfy your cravings and hunger pangs.
Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF)
As already mentioned, this shopping event runs from January to February. The venue spreads over many areas such as Creek, Global Village, and other malls. It’s nothing short of a circus where you get massive discounts, citywide sales, and even exciting prizes!
With many tourists waiting for this festival, most hotels and flights during these months are full. Make sure to book as early as November to make it in time and enjoy a wonderful shopping experience.
You can find most souqs in the Al-Dhagaya locality at the Deira district – at the heart of Dubai. If you want to shift from traditional shopping, visit a souq. They are bazaars bustling with culture, people and history. Souqs are often close at noon until 5 pm.
To have the best shopping experience, head out at night when the weather is cool.
Karama and Gold Souqs
From engraved trays, jewelry, and lamps, these souqs have all kinds of gold and souvenirs in many forms. The quality and design of gold in Dubai is definitely better. Remember to haggle so that you can buy more.
Walking along this marketplace in Deira district will definitely calm your senses. Spice souqs showcase saffron, frankincense, dried lemons, and a variety of other spices. As such, you’ll find a great mixture of aromas in here. If you also love cooking, drop by this place.
3. Shop like a socialite
From shopping at the world’s largest mall to sourcing a limited edition treasure, there’s always something in store for a shopaholic in Dubai. To shop like a socialite, here are some of the retail therapy treats you don’t want to miss.
Add radiance to your next shopping escapade by availing of beauty services. Dubai’s love of brunch encourages men and women to primp themselves to look dashing for brunch. Visit any salon near your hotel and get expert advice on how to look your best and shop like a socialite.
Hunt for Vintage
The antique market is the best place for you to find treasures like Arabian chests, pots, and jewelry at amazing prices. The Al-Jaber Gallery and National Iranian Carpets are home to traditional gifts and antique souvenirs.
The Luxury Closet also rounds up vintage wardrobe. Available through appointment, you’ll find vintage pieces from brands like Gucci, Chanel, and Louis Vuitton here. With clothes, accessories, and shoes priced by rarity and wear, you can find vintage treasures and surprising bargains.
In Dubai, electronic gadgets are remarkably cheaper than other countries. So if you’re looking for the latest smartphone, Dubai is certainly the place.
Gulf Information Technology Exhibition (GITEX) is a week-long expo where you can find the best gadgets at an incredible discount. If you decide to buy electronics, make sure to ask for international warranty and ensure that the voltage matches your country’s standards.
Besides Iran, Dubai is another great place to buy high-quality carpets. Rugs are tantamount to the country’s history and culture and it’s quite rare to find a home without a carpet.
Here’s an overview of how much carpets cost in Dubai:
· Machine-made carpet can cost a few hundred dirhams
· Quality hand-made carpets cost more at around AED 4,000
· Original silk carpet can charge as much as AED 60,000
If you’re into quality and hand-made furniture, neglect the big shops in malls and go to Dubai’s hidden treasures in the industrial areas. Although these places are quite difficult to find, your travel is worth it as you can get great prices for unique items.
Check out Heritage Touch in Al Quoz industrial area, they have unique furniture items which you’re unlikely to get anywhere else.
4. Don’t forget souvenirs and gifts.
Any shopping tour wouldn’t be complete if you fail to bring back souvenirs from Dubai. Tourists who come for the great shopping experience always make sure to take home a piece of Dubai as a remembrance of their trip.
For souvenirs and gifts to share with your family and friends, Karama is the best place to shop. Filled with novelty gift stores, you have to make sure you’re ready to bargain! If you buy most of your souvenirs from one shop, the owner will likely give you a huge discount. Also, don’t be afraid to walk-out if you feel that the price isn’t right.
If you are fond of dates, you will find a wide variety of this local delicacy in Dubai. They are tasty treats that represent the Middle East and are quite nutritious, too. As such, they make for great gifts.
With delightfully moist and gooey center, Bateel dates are the most sought after. Made in Saudi Arabia, they pass through quality control measures to guarantee their luxurious flavor.
Agwa dates are another delicacy which isn’t widely available. Since their trees produce only every few years, make sure to grab them if you see them as you may never get the same opportunity.
For your wife, girlfriend, or mother, you won’t go wrong with giving her a super soft pashmina shawl as a souvenir gift. Made from 100% silk, they typically cost around AED 250.
Dubai’s Deira Souk has many shops that sell all types of shawls. To test for originality, real silk shawl tends to pull through when you tug it, whereas synthetic materials will not even budge.
5. If funds allow, buy gold.
Dubai is famous for having the biggest retail gold markets in the world. For those jewelry lovers, you’ll find the finest accessories with intricate designs here at a bargain price!
If you’re planning to buy gold, the best choices and prices you’ll find are in Dubai’s Gold Souk. In this gold market, you’ll find dazzling shops filled with gold items of all shapes and kinds. To get a good deal here, the key is to bargain, bargain, and bargain!
Take note of the following when shopping for gold:
Gold is a great investment since it has always been able to keep its value for the long term. Through the years, it evades inflation and erosion of major currencies – making it an investment worth considering. The next time you visit Dubai, make sure to bring home a piece of gold with you.
Now that you know the ins and outs of shopping in Dubai, you no longer have a reason to delay your shopping tour any further! For an awesome shopping, remember to bring enough cash, and of course, your best haggling skills.