Dubai Shopping Tips by colin_bramso Top 5 Page for this destination
Dubai Shopping: 146 reviews and 280 photos
If you're staying in Dubai Marina or Jumeirah Lakes Towers you have a convenient local shopping mall.
It has 130 shops selling just about everything you'll need. There's designer clothing, perfumes, souvenirs, books, Waitrose supermarket, pharmacies, homewares, children's clothing, bureau de change, electronics, optical, jewellery...
For eating there's a food court and a choice of restaurants. The top floor food court has a terrace overlooking the marina and the ground floor restaurants have seating inside and out, again overlooking the marina.
There is also a cinema complex.
The mall is open from 10am to 10pm (11pm Thursday/Friday) but Waitrose supermarket opens at 8.30am.
Address: Dubai Marina
Directions: Halfway along Dubai Marina on the Sheikh Zayed Road side.
Phone: (04) 436 1020
On the road from Dubai to Hatta you'll pass a string of shops all selling a variety of pottery and a very good selection of carpets. Perhaps fifteen or twenty shops, clustered together as is the custom here, and they are iron-roof, very simple huts really, but they have an amazing array of stock.
What to buy: The carpets are excellent value (you'll need to bargain) and very good quality. There is wool, silk and nylon available in hundreds of different sizes, shapes and designs and they come from places such as Belgium and Iran.
What to pay: It all depends on the size, shape, material etc etc, but you will find that they are very much cheaper than in the city shops. You must bargain hard.
Address: Dubai-Hatta Road.
Directions: The road is well signposted in Dubai and it's just one straight road.
Theme: Local Craft
Hundreds of small shops
Either side of the Creek, the heart of Dubai, there are two of the older shopping areas - around Al Fahidi Street in Bur Dubai and between the gold souk & Naif Road in Deira. I prefer them to the ultra-modern shopping malls, the atmosphere is so much better, and there are plenty of bargains to be had, whatever you're buying. They are also much better than Karama, which is much over-hyped and is a soul-less, boring area to walk around.
Al Fahidi Street runs parallel to the Creek, just walk up to it through the side streets. Explore them too, they're fascinating and perfectly safe to wander around.
What to buy: Dubai has products from all over the world, with an amazing selection of just about anything. In particular, there is huge choice and bargain prices for gold jewellery, textiles, shoes, electronics, watches, clothing.
What to pay: Prices are very low, and you should always bargain over the price in the smaller shops and souks.
Address: Bur Dubai, walk up from the abra station
Directions: A short stroll from the abra (water taxi) stations, through the old souk area.
Great place for shirts
There are hundreds of shops around the Bur Dubai and Deira souk areas selling men's clothing, but this one in particular I can recommend for business shirts.
It's only a small shop but they sell excellent quality business shirts in a big range of colours and designs, long or short sleeves, for only AED15 each (about $4).
They have a small range of other men's clothing plus a good selection of watches, but it's really the shirts that they are known for.
Directions: Bur Dubai, walk the few metres from Old Dubai Souk abra station and the shop is just past the entrance to the textile souk. The second photo shows the shop at far right, the souk entrance is the wooden structure on the left of the photo.
Theme: Men's Clothes
It's been open a few years and several new malls have opened since, but Deira City Centre is still one of Dubai's favourite malls.
A huge complex which includes a 5 star Sofitel hotel and a multi-screen cinema complex, it has 350 shops from souvenirs to designer fashion, jewellery to fabrics. There are restaurants, cafes, a food hall, children's entertainment area - you could easily spend a whole day here.
Open from 10am to 10pm Saturday to Tuesday and 10am to midnight Wednesday to Friday.
Address: Deira, Dubai, U.A.E.
Directions: Between Al Ittihad Road and Baniyas Road in Deira. If you are coming from the other side of the Creek, the mall is just across Al Garhoud Bridge.
Phone: 04 295 1010
A huge luxury shopping & leisure resort which includes over 400 shops, a 14 screen cinema complex, Ski Dubai, two five star hotels, Magic Planet entertainment centre, quality restaurants, two food courts, a rooftop theatre complex all in a beautiful building spread over 6.5 million sq. ft.
There's more information about Ski Dubai under my 'Things to Do' Tips.
What to buy: The world's largest collection of international brand names gives you a huge choice. You'll also find jewellery, souvenirs, antiques, perfumes, household items, crystal, electronics, furniture, a huge hypermarket, sports goods, luggage, shoes...just about anything a resident or visitor could want.
What to pay: What you spend is entirely up to you. An ice cream for a dollar or a gold bracelet for thousands!
Address: Sheikh Zayed Road
Directions: There's a Metro station adjoining the mall, or just tell the taxi driver 'Mall of the Emirates'.
Venice in Dubai!
Mercato Mall is in the upmarket beachside suburb of Jumeirah, and the style of the mall reflects that. It's designed to represent Venice - and considering it's a new shopping mall it's actually a pretty good interpretation of Venice.
There are the usual designer stores, a supermarket, plenty of very nice food outlets, cafes & restaurants, antiques, jewellery, Persian carpets, souvenirs and services such as hairdressing.
Much more of a friendly buzz about the place than in the larger malls.
Like many of Dubai's malls, it's worth visiting to look at the mall itself as much as the shops within it.
Address: Jumeirah Road, Jumeirah.
Directions: Into Jumeirah Road (known locally as Beach Road) from Dubai, drive south (ocean on your right) and it's on the left.
The choice is amazing!
The gold souk is more than 130 shops all jam-packed with a breathtaking choice of jewellery. The gold is generally 18 carat and sometimes 22 or 24, styles range from Indian to traditional Arab to modern Italian.
In my opinion tourism has spoiled the souk somewhat - all the shops used to be crammed with traditional gold jewellery, chains,bracelets, belts - a real Alladin's cave. But now more than half have changed to selling the type of small solitaire diamond rings you can find anywhere in Europe...except they're much cheaper here. The jewellers selling traditional gold have moved out to local shopping areas such as Satwa, where you can still find twenty or more side by side.
Even though for me the magic isn't there any more, it's still a place you really must visit.
What to buy: The choice is yours and depends on budget!
What to pay: Price is based on the day's gold price plus a making charge. Bargain on price, it's expected. Whatever you buy, it will be a lot cheaper than at home.
Directions: Ask anyone.
Best exchange rates
Every time we've needed to change money we've found this shop offers the best rate. As you walk through the souk towards it you will pass other exchanges, so ask them their rate too, then simply choose the best if one of them offers a better rate than Al Mussabeh.
By the way, be careful when you're shopping - the fifty dirham note is quite similar to the five dirham note and you can easily hand the fifty over thinking it's a five. Most people are honest and will point out your mistake, but it pays to check before you pay.
Directions: Near the Creek in Bur Dubai. From the abra station walk a few metres and into the entrance to the souk, which runs parallel to the creek. About 100 metres along on the right you'll find the small shop.
Phone: 04 3535809
Central feature of Persia Court
One of the most amazing shopping malls in Dubai! A good range of shops of course, about 300 in total, but it's really worth visiting to look at the mall itself. It's themed around the journeys of the 14th century Arab explorer Ibn Battuta, with six areas designed to show the six main areas he visited - China, India, Persia, Egypt, Tunisia, Andalusia. The design, decoration, attention to detail is astonishing.
Plenty of designer clothing shops, footwear, electronics, sports goods, jewellery, perfume, food outlets, a hypermarket, department stores...the usual shopping mall choice.
It also has very interesting, large, beautifully created permanent displays of Islamic inventions and artifacts, which are a real education.
Directions: Along Sheikh Zayed Road towards Abu Dhabi and it has its own turnoff between Junctions 5 and 6. It's well signposted because it's become an attraction for visitors.
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