Dubai is the 'shopping capital of the Middle East'. The city boasts of duty-free luxury goods reasonably priced as compared to their price in western countries. Low custom duties have helped the Dubai International Airport to be one of the best visited duty-free airports in the world.
Shopping Malls, Souks and Shopping Areas are the three types of places for shopping in Dubai. Shopping Malls mainly have renowned international brands and are stylized in accordance with malls in western countries. Souks (markets) are places if you are looking for gold, clothes and electronic items at a reasonable price and obviously unbranded while shopping areas may provide you with the same items at a bargained price.
Bargaining is unofficially "authorized" in Dubai, even in shopping malls. Say the word "best price" and you will receive an additional discount on an already discounted item. Your bargaining skills can be best used in souks.
Along with clothes, designer brands and electronics, there are quite a few people who come to Dubai just to shop for gold especially The Gold Souk in Deira which is the largest retail gold market in the world. Other than the above-mentioned items, you can shop for Arabia dates, sheesha pipes or hookahs, Arabic coffee, Persian carpets and wooden furniture.
The Dubai Shopping Festival in spring and Dubai Summer Surprises in summer are two major events where you will find a lot of bargains and also numerous entertainment activities.
Shops: 10 am to 1 pm and 4 pm to 9 pm.
Shopping Malls: 10 am to 10 pm,
Closed from 11.30 am to 1.30 pm on Friday for prayers
Some of the best places to visit for shopping:
Highlights: 300 retail shops, designer brands such as Louis Vuitton, Dior, Hermes, Valentino, Emanuel Ungaro, Loewe, Etro, Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels, Christian Lacroix, Salvatore Ferragamo and Just Cavalli. Also includes a variety of restaurants, a food court and cafes.
Address: BurJuman, PO Box 8022, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Deira City Centre
Highlights: 340 retail shops, Magic Planet entertainment centre, International brands and shops such as Carrefour, One of the hosts for Dubai Summer Surprises, 11-screen "CineStar Cinemas" theatre, food court encompassing 15 restaurants, direct access to Sofitel City Centre Hotel.
Address: Deira, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
The Dubai Mall
Highlights: 1200 retail shops, one of the hosts for Dubai Summer Surprises, Olympic sized ice skating rink, world's largest aquarium and gold souk, 150 restaurants and cafes serving international cuisine, refreshments and fast food, light and water play at Dubai Fountain.
Address: The Dubai Mall Downtown Burj Dubai P.O. Box 113444. Dubai, UAE
Emirates Towers Boulevard
Highlights: 50 retail shops located within Jumeirah Emirates Towers, boutiques of leading designer brands, restaurants and cafes.
Address: PO BOX 72127, DUBAI, UAE
Festival Waterfront Centre
Highlights: 600 retail shops, 25 flagship stores, 100+ restaurants, cafes and bistros, 12-screen Grand Cinemas multiplex, Bowling city, entertainment centre and parking for 13,000 cars.
Address: Festival Centre, Dubai Festival City, P O Box 49776, Garhoud, UAE
Ibn Battuta Mall
Highlights: 275 retail shops, 50 restaurants and food outlets, 21-screen cinema theatre, mall divided into various courts such as China Court, India Court, etc, UAE's only IMAX theatre, "Fitness First" state-of-the-art gymnasium, Geant Hypermarket (a French retail store).
Address: P.O. Box: 261177, Dubai, UAE
Mall of Emirates
Highlights: 400 retail shops, international brands and shops such as Carrefour supermarket, Harvey Nichols and Debenhams, Middle East's first indoor ski slope, Ski Dubai, 14-screen cinema theatre, Al Accad Group's organic supermarket.
Address: Interchange 4, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai, Al Barsha, Dubai, UAE
Highlights: 75 boutique shops, 23 waterfront cafes, bars and restaurants and 442 seating capacity Madinat Theatre.
Address: PO BOX 75157, DUBAI, UAE
Highlights: 350 retail shops, exclusive shopping and entertainment mall for international brands such as Chanel and Escada for clothes, Edra and VG for furnishings, 30 multi-cuisine restaurants, Encounter Zone for kids, Ginseng, China Moon Bar, New Asia Club, Plan B for live entertainment and nightlife pubbing, Cleopatra's and Medi Spa for luxury and rejuvenation.
Address: 26th Street Dubai, UAE