Dubai Shopping

  • Shopping
    by machomikemd
  • Shopping
    by machomikemd
  • Shopping
    by machomikemd

Best Rated Shopping in Dubai

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    Gold & Diamond Park: Gold & Diamond Park

    by sue_stone Updated Jan 7, 2008

    5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Gold & Diamond Park
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    The Gold & Diamond Park is not actually a park, but a shopping centre with more than 100 shops that just sell gold, diamonds and other jewellery. It is a girls paradise....and their husband's worst nightmare! It is located off Sheikh Zayed Road, close to the Mall of Emirates.

    I was in the market for a new diamond ring. Whilst researching diamond shopping in Dubai prior to our trip I read numerous reviews about one shop in the Gold & Diamond Park, called Cara. Everyone was raving about it- apparently the service was excellent, the prices very reasonable, the quality of the diamonds impressive etc.

    When we arrived at the Park, we had a wander around and then came across Cara. It was pretty much the only shop in the mall that had people shopping in it. That was a good sign. We went in and started looking at some rings. One of the friendly staff, Mayur, asked us to take a seat and show him some examples of what we were after. He seemed to know exactly what I wanted, and within 10 minutes we had found the perfect ring.

    A small amount of haggling later, we had agreed on a price, which worked out to be only about a third of the price of similar rings we had looked at in London. The ring needed to be re-sized as I have slim fingers, and I expected we would have to return in a couple of days to collect it. No need to - they resized it while we waited, and even polished up my existing ring as well.

    Can't wait for our next visit to Dubai and to Cara's ; )

    What to buy: Diamonds!

    What to pay: Don't forget to haggle

    Related to:
    • Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
    • Women's Travel
    • Luxury Travel

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    Mall of Emirates: Mall of Emirates

    by sue_stone Written Jan 7, 2008

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Waiting for a taxi outside the Mall of Emirates
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    The Mall of Emirates is a large shopping mall located off Sheikh Zayed Road, in New Dubai, not too far from the Burj Al Arab. This large modern shopping centre is filled with endless shops - it just seems to go on and on. Split over two floors, the shops consist mostly of European and British brands, including Harvey Nichols department store.

    There are numerous cafes and food outlets, along with a few restaurants which are officially connected to the Kempinski Hotel. This means that they are all licensed to sell alcohol.

    One very special attraction at the Mall or Emirates is Ski Dubai - an indoor ski field! It looks a bit like a movie set. If you have a drink or meal at Après you can sit and watch the skiing action through the window.

    Taxi queues can be a big problem at shopping malls. When we left the mall there was around 30 people in the queue ahead of us, but we were in a taxi within about 10 minutes.

    Mall opening hours:
    Sun to Wed: 10am - 10pm
    Thu to Sat: 10am - 12am

    Related to:
    • Skiing and Boarding

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    Wafi City: Wafi City - Egyptian themed mall

    by sue_stone Written Jan 7, 2008

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Wafi City Pyramids complex
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    Wafi City Mall is an upmarket Egyptian-themed shopping mall located in Bur Dubai. The mall has three pyramids which allow lots of natural light to flood in, two of them made from stained glass. We mainly window shopped at this mall, as there were plenty of designer shops here, along with a few UK locals such as Marks & Spencer and Top Shop.

    The most interesting shop for me was Wafi Gourmet, a gourmet food shop and delicatessen. It sells all sorts of Arabian delicacies, and the large boxes of colourful, sticky baklawa certainly tempted me.

    The mall is connected to the Pyramids complex, which contains some top night spots and restaurants. Another part of the Wafi City experience is the brand new Raffles Hotel, its prominent pyramid shape has become a new Dubai landmark.

    Taxi queues can be a big problem at shopping malls. When we left the mall thankfully there was no queue at all and we jumped straight into a waiting taxi.

    Mall opening hours:
    Sat to Wed: 10am - 10pm
    Thu & Fri: 10am - 12am

    Related to:
    • Architecture
    • Luxury Travel
    • Women's Travel

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    MALL OF THE EMIRATES: Are you ready for this? This is huge!

    by JessH Updated May 9, 2009

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Glass Dome of Mall of the Emirates (Dubai)
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    Affectionatley dubbed "Moe's" by UAE residents, Mall of the Emirates (M.O.E.) was opened on September 28. 2005 & is the largest shopping centre outside of North America (the name seems to make a statement, imitating the theme of "Mall of America" - it truly is gigantic)

    The mall covers 223,000 square metres & is home to over 400 retailers... so get your credit-card ready & dive into Dubai’s newest version of a shoppaholic's nirvana ;-) You can spend an entire day in the mall & probably still won't manage to visit all the shops.
    If you are looking for something specific, pick-up a map at one of the many information desks to save yourself time & to not wander around aimlessly.

    The mall is of course also famous for Ski Dubai, the first indoor ski slope in the Middle East. (check my Sports Tips for more info) You can also pop into the mall to catch a movie at the 14-screen Cinestar Cinema.
    There's also a massive hypermarket for grocery shopping, electronics & everything else called Carrefour. And when you need to re-norish yourself after all that shopping, you can choose between 65 restaurants and coffee shops with everything from fast food to themed restaurants & exclusive dining alternatives. (Try the Indian Pavillon restaurant... it's superb! Or the fabulous Almaz by Momo, Moroccan Rest. in Harvey Nichols)

    TIP: Wear comfortable walking shoes when you visit this mall! You'll be doing a lot of walking & the floor is made of very slippery marble tiles. So leave those fancy heels at home & wear non-slip sports shoes or comfortable flat sandals!

    What to buy: Generally, the shops are the same that are strewn around the other malls of Dubai, but there are about 60 retailers making their Middle East debut with their first ever shops: the 1st Harvey Nichols can be found here, as well as CoolCat, a cool clothing shop from Amsterdam which I really like! Aizone, Bois & Chiffon, Reiss, M Missoni & Marc Jacobs are also new luxury shops to the UAE. Good old Debenhams have opened their largest stores in the region in this mall and you'll be able to find plenty of other affordable favourites like ZARA, Mango, H&M (Hennes & Mauritz), NEXT, BHS, XoXo, etc.
    Stores have been grouped in themed precincts on the 2 shopping levels, which is a pretty smart idea. So all sports stores are located next to each other, the same goes for shoe stores & cosmetics stores.

    Opening Hours:
    Saturday - Tuesday: 10:00am – 10:00pm.
    Wednesday - Friday: 10:00am - Midnight.

    What to pay: There are shops for every taste & every budget, so even if you are not a millionaire, you will be able to find something here.

    UPDATE: Since January 2008 a smoking ban has come into effect in Dubai's shopping malls.

    --> UPDATE May 2009: Do you really still think that Dubai is great for shopping? Actually, it's a rip-off! Click here: http://www.thenational.ae/article/20090509/NATIONAL/705089803/0/FRONTPAGE

    Related to:
    • Women's Travel
    • Luxury Travel
    • Family Travel

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    KARAMA Shopping Street: Don't pay high (tourist-) prices!

    by JessH Updated Jul 17, 2010

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    One of the many shops in Karama (Dubai)
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    There are many shops around Dubai selling souvenirs, sheeshas (water pipes), Arabic arts & crafts and so on. There's the Arabian Court in Deira City Centre, and also the Dubai Duty Free (in the departure hall).

    But if you don't want to pay "tourist prices", visit the area called Karama.

    It may not look like much compared to the flashy & modern shopping malls, but there are numerous little shops on either side of the street where you can bargain for discounts to your heart's content!
    Welcome to the Karama shopping experience.
    You won't see this on your Emirates Airlines in-flight video, but most people on their way to Dubai will know about this bastion of counterfeit goods nonetheless. For years, tourists & residents alike have made a beeline for the fake designer clothes, bags, watches & of course souvenirs that adorn many of the stores' jumbled shelves.

    TIP Women: dress modestly, as shop owners are Indians/Pakistanis and you may get more attention than you're comfortable with. The shop salesmen can be quite annoying, trying to lure you into their shops, but don't worry: they would never actually touch you.
    Competition is fierce, which is why you can really get the cheapest prices here!

    What to buy: It's great for souvenirs, Arabic reminders for back home & some holiday clothes: fake t-shirts, shorts, sports clothing, handbags & real brand shoes can be found here for the best prices in town.

    TIP: If you are looking for fake watches, note that most shop-owners will deny that they have them, as Dubai Police has been raiding the little shops trying to put an end to this practice. But if you gain his trust, he will take you into a back corner of the shop & show you his hidden stash of fakes.

    You can also buy Pashmina Shawls for very little money, but compare the quality before you buy. --> (see my Tourist Trap Tip about Pashminas)

    If you've been sampling the wonderful flavours of smoking sheesha and don't want to miss it when you're back home: this is the place to purchase your very own waterpipe, coals & tobacco!* They even come in their own padded carrying-case, so they don't get damaged during transport.

    Many people will also pass you by, whispering "you want DVD sir/madam?". These pirated DVDs (mostly from Asia) are cheap (between AED 10 - 30), but you never know what kind of quality you get.

    What to pay: Bargain, bargain and don't give up until you get the lowest price; almost anything goes!
    TIP: For souvenirs at best prices, I recommend TEBSA Trading... ask for Rashid. He'll give you a good deal.

    One of my favourite shops for fantastic handbags, wallets, etc. is JANVIN trading.

    UPDATE May 2009: Do you really still think that Dubai's malls are great for shopping? Actually, it's a rip-off! Click here: http://www.thenational.ae/article/20090509/NATIONAL/705089803/0/FRONTPAGE

    TIP: After you're done with shopping, have lunch/dinner at the YAHALA Restaurant (see my seperate restaurant tip!)

    Opening Hours: 10:00am - 01:30pm & 04:30pm - 10:00pm, closed on Friday mornings.

    Related to:
    • Budget Travel
    • Family Travel

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    IBN BATTUTA MALL: Walking-exercise & shopping: 6 malls in one!

    by JessH Updated May 10, 2008

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Outdoor restaurants area, Ibn Battuta Mall Dubai
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    One of our more recent additions to Dubai's fleet of shopping malls; I must admit that Ibn Battuta is quite spectacular... sheerly by its size!
    Strolling through the corridors and the courtyards of the 6 different countries (India, China, Persia, Egypt, Tunesia & Andalusia) it took us approx. 2 1/2 hours and we still hadn't seen everything! It is named after a famous Persian explorer: Abu Abdullah Muhammad Ibn Battuta was the only medieval traveller who is known to have visited the lands of every Muslim ruler in his lifetime. He also travelled to Ceylon (present Sri Lanka), China, Byzantium & Southern Russia.

    At first I thought: what can be so different about this one? Shopping mall after shopping mall in Dubai basically offers the same stores, same things & same food outlets. But Ibn Battuta actually has a "Health Food Court" besides McDonald's, KFC, etc. which promotes healthy Asian dishes, vegetarian food, salads, fresh fruit cocktails and so on to the many overweight local Arab children.
    Obesity is becoming a problem in the UAE and Ibn Battuta surely offers a great health-food and exercise plan, turning every shopping trip into a walk-a-thon! :-)

    There's also a large Fun World for kids and the architecture of the various courts really is beautiful.

    For Dubai residents, our choices of what to do with our free time & weekends are drastically reduced as soon as summer comes around (June-September), so there's really nothing else you can do to escape the heat than to walk around the various shopping malls, meet friends, go to the cinema, eat - drink - and be merry & cool in the airconditioning!

    What to buy: Ibn Battuta has managed to bring in some shops that have opened their doors for the first time in the UAE, e.g. Sasch, Lego Technik, Geant Hypermarket, etc.

    TIP for Tourists: The Mall has a "viewing baloon" which rises on a wire and gives you a great view of the surrounding cityscape. (see my photo)

    Opening Hours: 7 Days a week, 10:00am - midnight

    NOTE: This is a nice mall, with lots to see and do - but if you don't have much time during your visit to see all major malls, I'd honestly "skip" Ibn Battuta and visit the Mall of the Emirates instead... Somehow it's nicer, easier to navigate & the restaurants are better.

    UPDATE: Since January 2008 a smoking ban has come into effect in Dubai's shopping malls.

    What to pay: The various courts offer specialities from the respective countries, but if you want to buy souveniers, I still recommend the shopping area of Karama where the same items are more than 60% cheaper!

    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Business Travel

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    BUR JUMAN CENTRE: Now even bigger & better than ever!

    by JessH Updated Apr 17, 2008

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The new extension of Bur Juman, Dubai
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    Bur Juman Centre is located smack-bang in the middle of Bur Dubai, and in summer 2005 was extended to now twice its size!

    It's very easy to find, and every taxi driver knows it. The old part of the mall has a pink exterior, whilst the new extension is a sleek, modern, glass design.

    If you don't want to battle the traffic to get across the creek to the Deira City Centre, then I definitely recommend the Bur Juman.

    I used to live close-by and love to shop there.

    There are also many great food outlets: there is a Food Court in the old section with Subway, Burger King, etc. (top level, centre court) as well as a very nice restaurant area on the top floor of the new extension as well. Many great restaurants & cafes, inluding Gloria Jean's Coffee (South Court), Cafe Havanna (new extension), Dome Cafe (Parking level), Yo!Sushi (Ground level) and Paul's French Bakery (new extension) have branches in Bur Juman Centre.

    What to buy: There are shops to fit every budget, every taste and every age! Definitely worth a visit.

    Some of the shops you may look for in the mall are:
    > Virgin Megastore
    > ZARA (Fashion for Women & Men)
    > MANGO (Fashion for Women)
    > NEW LOOK (newly openend in April 2008)
    > Paris Gallery (Cosmetics, Perfumes, Watches, etc.)

    Opening Hours: Saturday to Thursday 10:00 am - 10:00pm.
    Friday 02:00pm - 10:00pm.

    The Bur Juman has grown a lot in the past years. It now also boasts a residential tower with luxury duplex apartments, and an office tower as well. Also, directly connected to the mall you will also find the BURJUMAN ROTANA SUITES Hotel: http://www.rotana.com/property-11.htm This is a 4-star hotel in a very central location indeed.

    What to pay: I have found this general rule: The "old" (pink) part of the mall mainly has affordable "medium-range" shops, while the new (glass) part mainly has exclusive designer stores such as Gucci, Armani, Donna Karen... you get the picture.

    UPDATE: Since January 2008 a smoking ban has come into effect in Dubai's shopping malls.

    Related to:
    • Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
    • Family Travel
    • Business Travel

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    WAFI CITY: Luxury Shops & Nightlife in the heart of the city

    by JessH Updated Jul 1, 2008

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Wafi City and pyramid-shaped Raffles Hotel, Dubai
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    Everyone that lives in Dubai knows Wafi City - it's one of the most popular locations in town, for day-time shopping & night-time hopping! The Wafi has everything a great mall should have... and more!

    The architecture is stunning, resembling Ancient Egypt and the pyramids - the main mall features numerous shops catering for the middle and upper-class brands, and the adjacent "Pyramids Complex" boasts some of Dubai's most fabulous cafes, restaurants and nightclubs!

    Check this link for the full list of Wafi City's restaurants and bars: http://www.wafi.com

    The Pyramids Complex also houses Dubai's very own "Planet Hollywood", and one of the best beauty centre & spas (for both women & men) in town: Cleopatra's Spa

    What to buy: Mostly well-known exclusive brands can be found in Wafi City, such as Armani - Hugo Boss - DKNY - Breitling Watches - etc. Nevertheless, there are also a few more "affordable" stores in this mall: Marks 'n' Spencer, Oasis Fashion, Studio R, etc.

    Generally, it's a bit of an expensive place, but it's soooooo pretty!
    So come on over, have a look, taste some food, drink some coffee or cocktails, do a spot of people-watching, and just enjoy the Wafi experience :-)

    Opening Hours of Mall:
    Saturdays - Wednesday: 10:00am - 10:00pm.
    Friday: 02:00pm - 10:00pm.

    Opening Hours of Pyramids Complex:
    10:00am till 03:00am.

    Update Oct. 2007: Exactly next to the Wafi Mall Dubai's first RAFFLES HOTEL has openend. (see my seperate Hotel tip) The shopping mall's new, enormous extension is now open, with underground car park. New Nightclub of Wafi City Pyramids: "PLAN B".

    Update May 2008: The new underground souk "Khan Murjan" underneath the Wafi City & Raffles hotel complex has openend!

    What to pay: UPDATE: Since January 2008 a smoking ban has come into effect in Dubai's shopping malls. Some of the restaurants and bars at Wafi have their own policy on smoking.

    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Luxury Travel

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    DEIRA CITY CENTRE Mall: "You belong in the City" - it's ALL here!

    by JessH Updated Apr 13, 2008

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    Beautiful horse statue in Deira City Centre, Dubai
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    Whether you're a resident of Dubai or visiting the city for a holiday, Deira City Centre has plenty to offer. Shopping malls are the only escape from the summer heat for us Dubai residents, so we have learnt quickly to tell the good ones from the "unworthy" ones!

    Even if I'm not planning on shopping, it's always a great place to meet friends for lunch, go to the cinema or just sit in a cafe and practice people-watching; one of our favourite pastimes in Dubai!

    The mall is one of the leading shopping destinations in the entire Gulf. The complex has over 300 shops and 1.2 million sq.ft. of retail space. The (free) car park has space for 6,000 cars.

    What to buy: Magic Planet - indoor entertainment centre; with video games & rides to keep nagging kids entertained! Adjacent there's a Food Court with the usual: McDonald's, KFC & Burger King, Chinese, etc. As far as food courts go it's generally what you'd expect: noisy rides, screaming children & stressed waiters.

    You'll also find the UAE's leading Book & Stationary Store: Magrudy's here.
    For all your electronics-needs with computers, audio, stereo, cameras, etc. visit Plug Ins Electronix.

    CityWalk comprises of 13 restaurants & cafes.
    There's also the 11-screen CineStar Cinema and Virgin Megastore for all music lovers! This part of the mall has recently (2007/2008) been rennovated & now has even more shops.

    The mall also features a number of themed courtyards: the Jewellery Court, Textile Court & Arabian Treasures. TIP: However, these courts definitely charge tourist-prices, and the exact same jewellery, souvenirs & textiles can be bought over 50% cheaper in the Gold Souk, Karama Shopping Strip & Textile Souk.

    A post office, money exchange & pharmacy are located on the lower level of the Centre Court.

    The mall also features a HUGE supermarket called Carrefour, where visitors can shop for groceries, clothes, cosmetics & perfumes, cigarettes & more.
    NOTE: Alcohol is not available in this or any other supermarket. Alcohol can only be purchased with a licence (available to UAE residents) in specific liquor stores. Non-residents can purchase alcohol in the airport's Duty Free section only.

    Update Feb. 2008: The mall's new extension is open with "New Look", "Crispy Creme", "Cool Cat" and many fabulous restaurants (try Bella Donna Italian Rest.)!

    What to pay: There's something for every taste & every budget... There are over 300 shops, so if you cannot find what you want, you cannot be helped!

    Opening Hours: Saturday - Tuesday 10:00am - 10:00pm.
    Wednesday - Friday 10:00am - midnight.

    UPDATE: Since January 2008 a smoking ban has come into effect in Dubai's shopping malls.

    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Business Travel
    • Women's Travel

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    PLUG INS ELECTRONIX: Gadgets, Buttons, Boys'-Toys!

    by JessH Updated May 9, 2009

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Plug Ins @ Deira City Centre

    If you've heard that your new Ipod or digital camera may just be cheaper in Dubai... you've heard correctly.
    However, electronics & multi-media items are no longer as cheap as they used to be, but that doesn't mean you won't find anything here: throughout the year plenty of sales & special offers draw people into electronics stores, looking for a bargain... and that's precisely why stores such as Plug-Ins ElectroniX is always swarming with tourists & residents alike...

    The shop has over 300 brands, has the largest range of electronics in the UAE, and are always in stock on the hottest & latest products in the market.
    There are also various stations where you can play the newest X-box, GameCube or Playstation games. (perfect for keeping the kids - and the grown-up guys - happy)

    What to buy: This electronics store's product range includes televisions, laptops, computers, camcorders, home theatre systems, hi-fi audio systems, digital cameras, kitchen appliances, music CDs and cassettes, video games, DVDs and videos, plus all types of peripherals and accessories.

    What to pay: TIP: Plug-Ins usually has special offers and fantastic promotions, and all products come with manufacturer's guarantee. But sometimes I find it useful to also check-out the Electronics Souk on Al Fahidi Street (Bur Dubai) or Computer Plaza (Bur Dubai)... you never know: you may just strike an incredible bargain, instead of paying full-price at Plug-Ins!

    --> UPDATE May 2009: Do you really still think that Dubai is great for shopping? Actually, it's a rip-off! Click here: http://www.thenational.ae/article/20090509/NATIONAL/705089803/0/FRONTPAGE

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    SUPERMARKETS & Liquor Stores: What's the deal with pork & alcohol?

    by JessH Updated Jun 19, 2012

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    Expensive pork in Dubai (May 2012)
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    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:
    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
    or
    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:
    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.

    Related to:
    • Work Abroad
    • Business Travel
    • Family Travel

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    MERCATO MALL: "Mamma-Mia!" - the biggest mall in Jumeirah

    by JessH Updated Apr 13, 2008

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    Exterior of Mercato Mall, Dubai
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    Mercato (Italian for market) is the first themed mall in the Middle East and UAE. This is the largest shopping mall along the Jumeirah Beach Road!

    With its large glass roof, picturesque bridges & small court yards its hustling & bustling, but find yourself a comfy corner in one of the cafes for a nicely relaxing time.
    Mercato is an inspired creation from well-known Italian architect Daniele Morelli.
    The interior of the mall replicates the concept of several squares (cute & cozy!), with rural scenes painted on the walls, tall stylish pillars and sparkly-shiny marble floors (definitly typical for Dubai, not necessarily Italy! ;-) It's cheesy, but it's cute.

    TIP: Traffic around the Mercato Mall can be hellish!
    Especially on Fridays & in the evenings. There's a large car park + underground parking, but this is (as with many malls in Dubai) hardly enough. Either get there early, or ask your hotel reception for free transportation (bus schedule) to and from Mercato, or take a taxi to avoid circling for a parking space when you could spend the time shopping!

    What to buy: As with all large malls in Dubai, the choices are endless. You'll find pretty much everything you may (or may not) be looking for!
    Some of the most noteworthy stores & facilities of the mall include:
    > Cinema (Century Cinemas)
    > Virgin Megastore.
    > Triumph Lingery.
    > Starbuck's (isn't it annoying how they get everywhere?!)
    > Spinney's supermarket.
    > Bella Donna Italian Restaurant (click to see photo! Sit outside on the balcony & you can just about see the ocean)
    > Fiesta Restaurant.
    > Paul's French Bakery (very nice, freshly-baked breads!)
    > Costa Coffee.
    > Food Court.

    NOTE:
    The cafes and restaurant within the mall are Unlicensed - no alcoholic beverages.
    In the UAE, only restaurants in hotels may obtain the licence to serve alcohol. Cafes/Restaurants in shopping malls are therefore not licenced, but usually offer a huge variety of soft-drinks, "mocktails" & fresh fruit juices.

    Opening Hours:
    Saturdays - Thursdays: 10:00am - 10:00pm.
    Fridays: 02:00pm - midnight.

    What to pay: No haggling here! You're not in the souks - so you pay what's on the price tag and the shops are mostly high-profile!

    UPDATE: Since January 2008 a smoking ban has come into effect in Dubai's shopping malls.

    Related to:
    • Women's Travel
    • Family Travel
    • Luxury Travel

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    Souk Madinat Jumeirah: Souk Madinat Jumeirah

    by sue_stone Written Jan 7, 2008

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    Souk Madinat Jumeirah
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    The Souk Madinat Jumeirah is located next to the Madinat Jumeirah Resort, which is just across the beach from the Burj Al Arab. This complex is a recreation of a traditional souk, and is home to around 100 shops, restaurants and bars. Not really a place for clothes shopping, it is more the place to shop for handicrafts and souvenirs, without having to worry about spruikers.

    I wasn't that interested in the shops here, but really liked the location and outlook of the main restaurants and bars, which are located along a canal-like waterway, some offering views of the Burj as well. We were keen to stop for a drink at one of the bars but all of the best tables were already taken.

    Related to:
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    • Food and Dining
    • Luxury Travel

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    SATWA High Street: Traditional shopping "off the beaten path"

    by JessH Updated Apr 26, 2009

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    Satwa High Street textile shops, Dubai
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    Away from the shiny giants called shopping malls, mostly untouched by Dubai's megalomaniac drive towards modernisation, full of grubby charm & old memories of the heavy Indian influence on the region, lies one of the city's best-kept secrets: Satwa.
    Pop into any shop to see the numerous massive rolls of textiles, crammed against every wall & into every tiny space in the shop. The salesmen are very knowledgeable and will climb up ladders or crawl under piles of merchandise to find exactly what you're looking for.

    The best known and most frequented shops are REGAL and DEEPAK'S.
    Both stores will recommend nearby tailors to turn your fabrics into perfectly fitting garments.

    There's a store on the same road (opposite Satwa clinic & next to Deepak's) called FIDA: here you will find loads of "the small stuff that holds the world together": zippers, buttons, hair clips, lace, thread, tassels, beads, velcro strips, knitting wool & needles, etc. Very useful for finding little add-ons for your textiles before taking them to the tailor.

    What to buy: This is the perfect place to uncover hidden textile treasures.
    The entire narrow street is lined with small, run-down stalls as well as fancy, large textile merchants. You will find everything: from white fluff for your Santa outfit, cotton for bed sheets, intricate designs for curtains, high-quality cloth for men's suits, to stunning hand-woven, beaded & painted silks for gorgeous evening gowns. You can also find Pashmina Shawls here --> (see my Tourist Trap Tip on Pashminas!)

    On Al Hudaiba Street ("Plant Street") you can find many shops selling gardening tools, pots & plants and unfortunately also many run-down and grotty pet stores.

    --> For an even large selection of textiles, you'll love visiting the historic Textile Souk (see my seperate tip under "Things to do.")
    *

    Opening Hours of most shops:
    09:00am-01:30pm & 04:30pm-10:00pm.
    (closed on Friday mornings)

    NOTE: Please note that these parking areas cost 1 Dirham for 1 hour and 5 Dirhams for 2 hours. Parking is free on Fridays & public holidays, as well as from 1pm–4pm in the afternoon & from 9pm at night until 8am in the morning.

    What to pay: Prices are extremely low, charged by the yard & haggling is expected; so bargain to your heart's content!

    Some of my recommended stores / tailors:
    > REGAL Tel: +971-4-344 2696
    > Deepak's Tel: +9714-344 3182 / 344 8836
    > FIDA Trading Tel: +971-4-344 4008
    > MONTEXA (British tailor) Tel: +971-4-349 4037

    Related to:
    • Budget Travel
    • Family Travel
    • Women's Travel

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  • JessH's Profile Photo

    DUBAI DUTY FREE: A "terminal" case of shopping addiction...?

    by JessH Updated Nov 20, 2007

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    View of Dubai AIrport Duty Free level
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    The Duty Free section upon *arrival* is quite disappointingly small you may think, with your bare essentials of some liquor, cigarettes, perfumes & chocolates. (LIMITS: You are allowed to bring 4 bottles of alcohol & 400 cigarettes into Dubai per person)

    But just wait until it's time to leave Dubai and you arrive in the Departures Hall... there's no easier way to loose those last few Dirhams out of your pockets!

    "Where is it located?", you may ask... Well, you can't miss it!
    The retail area is situated in the heart of the airport's Sheikh Rashid Terminal. The complex covers an area of 5,400 square meters, while the operation in Terminal 2 covers over 1,400 square meters. Arrivals shops & others bring the total retail area to over 7,000 square meters.

    MILLENNIUM MILLIONAIRE DRAW:

    DDF (Dubai Duty Free) always hold raffle draws, competitions, etc. to win luxury cars, air tickets, shopping vouchers, gold and up to 1 Million Dirhams! Each draw is limited to only 5,000 tickets, so there is a good chance that you could win the next "big one!"
    Tickets can also be purchased online.

    What to buy: The area is modern, elegant, with your archetypal Dubai-over-the-top-chic; including tacky golden palm trees and huge flashy banners, with more of the well-known Dubai-propaganda.
    So my advise: Get there nice & early, at least 3 hours before your flight & endulge:
    > Liquor (at very good prices!)
    > Cigarettes, Cigars.
    > Cosmetics & Perfumes.
    > Electronics (Audio, Cameras, etc.)
    > Delicatessen & fine foods.
    > DVDs, CDs, Toys, etc.
    > Books, Magazines, etc.
    > Gifts & Souvenirs.
    > Jewellery: Watches, Gold, etc.

    Limitations: (per person)
    2000 cigarettes.
    400 cigars.
    2kg tobacco.
    2 litres of spirits + 2 litres of wine (non-Muslims only)
    A reasonable amount of perfume.

    Opening Hours: 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

    What to pay: No haggling/bargaining here: you pay what's printed on the price tag... and that's usually pretty good value for money.

    Related to:
    • Luxury Travel
    • Business Travel
    • Family Travel

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