Luxury Cars, Dubai, UAE
Dubai is a "heaven" for the car addicts, all the luxury brands you can imagine for cars, jeeps, suv's are there for you to buy ...
Brands as like Ferrari, Aston Martin, Maserati, Mercedes Benz etc besides their regular model cars, you can even see and order "custom made" ones which is produced just for you, for sure for an astronomical price ... :)
Most locals use those suvs and cars not just on streets of Dubai but also to race on more empty roads and on highways ... Even not buying, but just doing some tours on streets of Dubai makes one to see those luxury imaged cars all over the place ... :)
What to pay: A lot ....
- Luxury Travel
- Arts and Culture
DUTY FREE: WIN A CAR
On the ground floor of duty free there are a few cars and motorbikes for raffle, so if you have a few spare dollars left in your pocket try a shot at it, after all someone has to win. Prices of tickets are displayed and the number of tickets for sale are limited.
THE AIRPORT SHOPPING EXPERIENCE: DUTY FREE AT THE AIRPORT
At Dubai airport the shops will rival any shopping mall in the world and you can easily spend a few hours searching for the latest electronic gadgets, fashion and alcohol, cigs etc.
There are many books for sale about Dubai and it is an excellent place to pick up an Arabic Coffee Set or A Hookah Pipe.
Dubai Mall: The World's Largest!
Inaugurated in Nov 2008, the Dubai Mall stands at the foot of Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest building. It could not be outdone, of course, so it was built purposefully as the world's largest shopping centre, by area. Since its opening, it has become one of the city's most popular and most luxurious shopping address. Locals and visitors come here not only to shop, but also to access the top of Burj Khalifa, as well as to see the impressive aquarium (it supposedly receives tens of millions of visitors per year!).
Wafi Center: Exotic origins
So big that each sector may be treated differently, we passed along China, India, Egypt, Russia, I don't know what else, always inside the same shopping mall.
Wafi Center is really big, has all the common shops of western malls and reinforces the sensation that shopping is always the same, either in your street or in Dubai.
The only real difference is decoration, and the money spent to make you believe that the place where you are IS the right place to leave your money.
- Luxury Travel
SUPERMARKETS & Liquor Stores: What's the deal with pork & alcohol?
As you are surely aware, Muslims do not eat pork and do not drink alcohol. (Well, at least they're not supposed to... but that's a different story...;-)
Therefore, I've noticed quite some confusion from first-time UAE visitors in regards to what is allowed, what is not, and where to purchase it legally.
Alcohol is *not* sold in supermarkets in the UAE. Even products containing any kind of alcohol (i.e. chocolates) are sold in designated liquor stores:
MMI Maritime Mercantile International
A&E (African & Eastern) are the 2 licenced suppliers of alcohol.
They are often adjacent to a supermarket, but with a separate entrance and no windows.
What to buy: To purchase alcohol you must hold a liquor licence. Any non-Muslim UAE resident who wishes to drink alcoholic beverages, buy alcohol from an officially approved retailer, transport the legally purchased alcoholic beverages or store them at their residence for their family and guests can apply for a licence. Based on your income, the Dubai Police-CID decides the appropriate monthly budget you are allowed to spend on your licence.
Tourists can only buy alcohol in the airport's Duty Free upon arrival.
--> Alcohol is served in restaurants & bars that are located in hotels. Indepenent eateries (e.g. in shopping malls) do *not* have a license to serve alcholic beverages. (you will see that in all of my restaurant tips I indicate at the beginning whether the venue is licensed or not)
Pork is sold in the more "Western-oriented" supermarket chains, such as
Spinney's (various locations),
Choithram's (various locations),
Carrefour Hypermarket (Deira City Centre, Bur Dubai near Shindagha Tunnel),
Park 'n' Shop (near Safa Park, Jumeirah).
There is a desperate section (click on picture) in the butchery reserved for pork & any food items containing pork (i.e. bacon flavoured potato chips, canned soup, pork gelatine, etc.) Pork is about 3 to 4 times more expensive than in Europe. As you can see in the photo, a packet of bacon that should cost 1.50 Pounds costs 23,50 Dirhams here... that's more than 4 Pounds!
What to pay: Both Alcohol & Pork items are generally more expensive than they would be in Europe, America, United Kingdom, etc.
Although Dubai is in the desert it is possible to purchase pretty much everything you know in your home country. You can buy Vegemite, Peanut Butter, Haribo, Beef Jerky, Thai products, Japanese products, South African biltong, German bread, Swiss cheese, French yoghurt...
NOTE: Although Dubai prides itself on having "everything" available for its huge expatriate community, be aware that most European imports can be extremely expensive. For example: A large yoghurt that costs 50 cents in Germany costs 18 Dirhams (4 Euros!) here.
- Work Abroad
- Business Travel
- Family Travel
National Jewellery (Clio Jewellery): Buyer Beware
Nothing makes National Jewellery special. I feel absolutley disappointed and to be honest, ripped off for want of a better expression. My husband bought me a gift of a diamond ring here and I was delighted. We returned home from Dubai to Ireland and withing 8 days one of the diamonds was missing. We immediately rang National Jewellery and basically found them to be very unhelpful. They suddenly could't understand a word we were saying, passed us from one person to the next, repeatedly asked a us to call them back and then finally, when we mentioned our friends would be in Dubai within a week they suddenly said they would fix the ring but that the ring was very delicate and could not be worn all the time. I wanted a ring to wear every day (they new this when we purchased the ring) so I asked if we could get another ring that might be more suitable and they said they wanted to take 200 euros from us in order to change the ring. We felt this was outrangeous - the missing diamond was not our fault, it was only 10 days worn. I have worn a diamond ring for 14 years and no problem! To cut a long story short in the end after much haggling (it does get very boring after a while) they agreed to let us buy another ring. We then spent another 550 euro. Our friends collected the ring and presented it to me on their return a week later. I put the new ring on, wore it for one 8 days and yes, another diamond went missing. This cannot be me but something to do with the setting. I rang them to let them know and yet again the whole game of words began. I could not be bothered to pursue this further. I certainly do not trust them to re-set the ring properly when they have failed to do twice. I will now have to get the ring re-set in Ireland and this will cost me at least 500 euros. I wish we had bought aring in Ireland in the first place. What could have been a lovely experience......very disappointing.
- Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
alcohol licences: Alcohol licences obtaining one
Alcohol Licence - obtaining one and why you should have one
An Alcohol Licence (or License) gives expats in Dubai and the UAE permission to drink alcohol - they need a residence visa before applying for an alcohol license. It is shown at off-licences or liquor stores in Dubai when making purchases. In theory it could be asked for at a bar or club but in practice it almost never is. Apparently the law says that only hotel guests may drink at hotel bars but it's unheard of for that to be enforced.
14 Nov 2006 news. A court case acquitted a resident for drinking in a bar because he did have an alcohol license, although the police arrested him because they claimed the license only allowed residents to drink alcohol at home.
Tourists do not need an alcohol licence since they are not in Dubai on a resident's visa.
Muslims are not permitted to have an alcohol licence (the application form asks what religion the applicant is).
Alcohol licenses are a legal requirement when buying alcohol from bottle shops like MMI, and A&E, and Spinneys in Abu Dhabi. How often it is asked for varies depending on emirate. Almost always in Dubai, sometimes not in Abu Dhabi and Ras Al Khaimah, and rarely, if ever, in Umm Al Quwain and Ajman.
Alcohol purchases can be made without a licence (illegally) at several establishments in Ajman and Umm Al Quwain. Or you can present your license and buy alcohol legally. Where you're likely to get into trouble is if you have an accident between shop and home, and the alcohol is found in your car. Sharjah especially would be more risky as it is a dry emirate. Checkpoints with car searches are a possibility but very rare. If you do have a license then you are permitted to transport alcohol for personal use between shop and home. However, for those living in Dubai, you would be expected to buy alcohol in Dubai.
On 03 July 2006 there was a report in the Gulf News of alcohol purchasers being followed from Ajman into Sharjah by conmen, made to pull over and threatened with being reported to the police unless a ransom was paid. Figures were reported as being 2000 dhs to 10,000 dhs. An Ajman police official apparently told the reporter that non-Muslims were allowed to transport legally purchased alcohol through any emirate to their home. Note that you need to present your alcohol license in these 'hole-in-the-wall' establishments in Ajman, Umm Al Quwain, etc to become a legal alcohol purchaser.
The licence shows a monthly limit for purchases which depends on the applicants salary. Usually the limit is somewhere between 500 dhs and 1500 dhs per month.
Tax on Alcohol
There is a 30% tax added to all alcohol purchases made when presenting an alcohol licence (last confirmed June 2006).
Your company obtains one for you. There'll be fees of around 200 dhs per year to pay, and you'll need the usual paperwork (passport with residence visa, photos).
You apply for one yourself. The easiest way to do this is through one of the alcohol shops in Dubai - A & E or MMI. They have the forms and will obtain the license for you (about 200 dhs per year).
What to buy: Alcohol Licence - obtain
On 03 July 2006 there was a report in the Gulf News of alcohol purchasers being followed from
Ibn Battuta Mall: So far from Dubai city center
The Ibn Battuta Mall is situated over half hour from Dubai city center along the Sheikh Zayed Road and is a unique shopping mall. The building is divided into six courts, namely the Andalusian Court, the North African Court, the Egyptian Court, the Persian Court, the Indian Court and the Chinese Court that are decorated according to their themes.
There are many stores to shop from but you won't fine the luxury boutiques. Debenhams, Bhs & Woolsworth are some of the anchor tenants. 21 screen megaplex and Dubai's first IMAX cinema will entertain the kids while the moms shop. For grocery shopping, the Geant hypermart will satisfy the family's needs.
- Family Travel
- Women's Travel
DEIRA CITY CENTRE: Great Shopping Mall!!
A good place to escape from the heat...during those lazy afternoons. You`ll find everything you can imagine under one roof.
What to buy: This shopping Mall has a choice of over 300 superb shops, restaurants, fast food outlets, a children's entertainment centre, Sofitel City Centre Hotel, the Jewellery Court, Arabian Treasures offering home furnishings, antiques, gift items and carpet and aTextile Court offering the latest range in fabrics.
Deira City Center: The Hottest Shopping Spot
An ideal place to shop around is City Center. It is big shopping mal with the concept of “one-stop shopping”. Located in Deira, and close to the Dubai International Airport, City Center is a very good choice for shopping if you just transit in Dubai.
What to buy: For souvenir seeker, you can head to Arabian treasure in the first floor. For home accessories, in the same floor you can find IKEA. Carrefour Hypermarket is also available here. The place is usually crowded, and spare your time for the long queue in the busy hours.
Cosmetic, perfume and beauty product can be found in Paris Gallery. You will love their products and the friendly staffs. Fashion?? It’s a lot of fancy brands here. Electronic gadget can be found at Plugs Ins. They sell from camera, mobile phone to computer and audio.
What to pay: Generally, credit card is accepted. Some shops also accept currency such as US Dollar, Poundsterling, etc.
- Family Travel
- Business Travel
Life Pharmacy: Pharmacy Hypermarket
Pharmacy?? Well, it’s not a common shopping destination my dear fellow. But I just want to share one of my favorite Pharmacies in Dubai.
Life Pharmacy is located in Al Wasl Road (Jumeirah area), near to interchange one. The pharmacy claims themselves as hypermarket for medicine and supplements. And it’s quite true. You can find a great variety of food supplements, herbals, to medical supply.
What to buy: The pharmacy opens 24 hours. It has two floors. The first floor, you can find food supplement, mother and child care, beauty products, ayurvedic medicines to optic. They also have special section for diabetic.
The pharmacy has a bunch of friendly staffs and they also offer a great service too. Home delivery, drive thru service, and they even also have flower shop, mini mart and repair center.
What to pay: Cash and credit card
- Family Travel
- Business Travel
Lamcy Plaza - The right choice for shopping
Lamcy Plaza is one of Dubai's most popular shopping malls located next to the American Hospital, near the Zabeel Road in Bur Dubai. It was inaugurated on 17th March 1997 by His Highness Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum.
This five story mall has theme inspired from Tower of London. It is designed in the tradition of a department store. All floors are open-plan concession-style and gives you feeling of shopping in a departmental store.
You can enjoy movies at Lamcy cinema which is attached to the plaza. Or you may listen your favorite songs on exclusive Lamcy Radio during shopping. Lamcy Hypermark at fourth floor is one of the best in Dubai. It offers you great discounts and huge items for shopping. It also offers food items from around the world.
Food courts at ground floor offer you great variety of food. International cusine from around the world is available. Kids can enjoy at fun land located next to food court. This floor also offers currency exchange service, post office, florist, gift wrapping, picture framing, pharmacy, mobile phone shop, shoe repair and photo processing facility. Mostly Dubai's Asian and Eastern European residents come here for shopping.
Interior of the shopping mall is very confusing and you would never realize that you have entered next outlet while looking at products. So try to locate your desired outlet first otherwise you may waste lot of your time.
What to buy: There are 150 outlets offering branded jewellery, perfume, beauty products, ladies wear, men's wear, shoes and accessories, watches, eyewear, kids clothes and toys, household equipment, luggage, camping and sporting goods.
Few of the popular shops in Lamcy Plaza are Paris Gallery, BHS, Guess, Ciro Citerio, Damas, Giordano, Nine West, Indigo Nation, Gasoline, Diesel, Bossini, Bally, Books Plus and Shoe Mart. Although there is great variety of products at reasonable prices but it is very difficult to locate any specific outlet in this shopping mall.
What to pay: Prices are fixed here so there is no game of bargaining.
- Women's Travel
- Budget Travel
- Family Travel
City Center, Carrefour and Duty Free: Digitals and Electronics
When I was in dubai, I was expecting a shopping paradise, however I must admit that I am a bit disappointed.
The prices of electronics and Cameras vary each and every store. Generally cellphones, digital cameras, Playstation II, DVD and Home theater systems are cheaper..
You can make your electronics shopping at City center Shopping mall or at Dubai Duty free center..
What to buy: If you want to buy digital Camera Dubai duty free has the best prices...
If you want to buy cellphones, The phones at carrefour are cheaper.. Also the Playstation II
If you want to buy DVD or Home theater systems, try the second floor of City Center. (City Center is a shopping mall) Near the food center of second floor there is a shop for electronics and watch out for the campaigns
What to pay: Cellphones are around 30% cheaper due to zero tax..
Digital Cameras vary from 400- 800 USD... But cheaper than it is in Europe..
If you catch a good campaign, you will pay almost nothing for DVDs and home theaters
Duty Free Shopping: Liquor Shopping
At Dubai's Airport Duty Free Shopping is Big. There is everything from high end watches, jewelry, clothing, perfume, cosmetics and of course liquor. We had a long layover in Dubai (eight hours) and decided to do some shopping.
Liquor shopping here is big; with one of the largest selections I have seen outside of the Caribbean. Scotch, vodka, wine, champagne, rum and other speciality liquors were available in all different sizes and packaging. The selection can make you dizzy.
Our final destination was the Seychelles and we heard that liquor can be pricey. We decided to buy some scotch and some champagne to keep in our hotel room. Liquor prices weren't bad with our purchase being a little over $200 USD.
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