Shopping in Dubai

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Dubai has many attractions for visitors and one of its greatest is shopping. Indeed, the city draws large numbers of "shopping tourists" from countries within the region and as far as Eastern Europe, Africa and the Subcontinent.

Dubai's retail prices are reasonable and the variety of products available matches that of any other major international city. Freed from taxes imposed elsewhere, many top brand name products are cheaper in Dubai than in their country of origin. Whatever may be the product or as per the taste one can get it in Dubai's shop with right price.

In Dubai, excellent prices are accompanied by a staggering choice of brands and models in all product categories. Watches, jewellery, electronics, software, perfume, European designer clothing and more – Dubai offers some of the best buys you will find anywhere.

Souks have been called "the heart of urban Arabia", and Dubai has plenty. These range from the traditional, dusty, alleyways of the spice souk, a stone's throw from the Creek, to the modern fish souk with the many varieties caught in Gulf waters and the fruit and vegetable souk with its bustle and vivid colours.

Dubai's most famous market of all is the gold souk, where narrow streets are lined with shop windows glinting with bracelets, necklaces and ear-rings in 18, 21 and 22 carats. Bars of 24 carat in any form and weight and bullion coins in 24 and 22 carat are also available. Prices are very reasonable and largely determined by weight, rather than design and craftsmanship.

Attractive modern shopping plazas are conveniently located throughout the city, housing a wide range of shops, boutiques, supermarkets, restaurants and fast food outlets.

Dubai Duty free:

Launched in 1983 by the Department of Civil Aviation (DCA), Dubai Duty Free has won numerous international awards and ranks among the largest duty free operations in the world.

Thirty four shops in the departures complex are complemented by the Arrivals Duty Free shop.

All outlets operate under the policy of the DCA to put passenger service before profit. The gold shop accounts for about 20% of the total annual turnover, while other outlets sell liquor, tobacco, electronics, computer software, perfumes, tapes, toys, textiles, leather, sports equipment, ladies and mens wear, watches, pens, lighters, sunglasses and gifts from Dubai include Books, Crystal and Cameras.

Dubai’s shopping malls are large, air-conditioned, ultra-modern, and form a key part of the city’s social fabric. Many have several levels linked by moving footways. Families make shopping an outing, and friends meet in their coffee shops and ice-cream parlours, particularly during the hot summer months. The malls are busiest in the evenings where the locals prefer to shop.

Al Ghurair City Shopping Mall

Large centres contain a mix of departmental stores, supermarkets, boutiques, specialty shops, cafes and fast food outlets. Among the most popular is the Al Ghurair Centre, a vast complex in the heart of the city on the Deira side, offering medium to high-priced shopping. The same operators have also opened the sumptuous Ben Juman Centre on the Dubai side.

Bargaining is part of the fun of shopping in Dubai. While boutiques, some electronics shops, department stores and supermarkets may operate on a fixed-price basis, most other outlets consider friendly negotiation as a way of life.

Some popular tarditional gifts include:

  • Arabic coffee pots
  • Silver and brass swords and khanjars (Arabic curved daggers)
  • Prayer beads
  • Soapstone figures
  • Coasters, letter racks, jewellery boxes, chests etc, decorated with lapis lazuli, turquoise, malachite and other semi-precious stones
  • Marble goblets
  • Antique silver jewellery

Normal shopping hours in Dubai are from 9am to 1pm and 4pm until 9pm or later. Most supermarkets stay open all day, from Saturday to Thursday. All shops close for prayers on Friday from 11.30am to 1.30pm. Shopping malls and most shops are open on Friday evenings.



 

 
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