One of the most popular things for tourists to do in Dubai is to shop. The city is home to some massive shopping malls that can keep you busy for a full day - with not only shopping, but things like dining, movies and even snow skiing!
We visited three of the large malls - The Mall of Emirates (with its indoor snow field), Wafi City (with its over-the-top Egyptian décor), and Deira City Centre (with its 1 hour+ taxi queue).
We found many of the clothing shops that we frequent in London, with much the same prices too, along with plenty of designer shops, and a lesser number with a more local flavour. One thing I did note about the clothes in shops that I regularly visit was that the styles on offer here were a noticeably 'fuller' cut, and the materials were more garish (to my taste anyway), hence not many purchases were made.
The large shopping malls are open 7 days from around 10am till 10pm or midnight, depending on the day. I can imagine they are very popular air conditioned havens in the hotter months summer.
I have written more about the malls we visited in my 'Shopping' tips.
These twin hotels have become symbols of modern Dubai. Both hotels offer some of the best entertainment and most elegant dining and shopping in the city.
The Jumeirah Beach Hotel dates back to the 1990s and boasts incredible sweeping lines of glass looking out to sea on the edge of golden Jumeirah beach.
Its even more spectacular sibling was only opened in December 1999. The "Arab Tower" looks like it has just emerged from the set of a sci-fi movie, stretching high into the heavens and occupying its own manmade island. The billowing sail shape makes it one of the most spectacular hotels in the world, architecturally speaking. The restaurant and skyview bar on the 27th floor of the Burj Al Arab accesses the best views in the city, stretching along the coast or inland across modern Dubai.
The Duty Free shop at the Dubai Airport is a 'Should not miss' experience. Its huge and worth spending your time while at the airport. But I should caution any prospective traveller who'll visit the shop that please remember that you might have a flight to catch. So just don't get lost in shopping there. Chances are high that one will, because its so so unbelievable.
Would you say you have a will of iron? Do gadgets not interest you? Are shoes and clothing not your thing? Don't like malls?
Then Dubai may well not be the place for you. The shopping here is truly something that most women can only dream about (yes, I'm being sexist). The Malls are enormous, the Mall of the Emirates incorporating the worlds only internal ski slope-that has real snow - oh yes, you can look in on the snow capped hill from behind double glazed windows whilst slurping on a fruit shake listening to your newly bought ipod and wearing your newly bought outfit, you could quite happily spend most of a day in these places, you might not want to, but trying to find the entrance you came in and then finding your car in the parking lot may well force you to.
Yes, it is true. Dubai has enormous and excellent shopping malls with the most reputed worldwide re known brands and also little sohos with handcraft local art.
Go shopping as a tourist attraction, it is worth going.
You can visit the imponent Mall of the Emirates or Dubai Festival City, or Mercato shopping, or...
What's to do in Dubai but shop? Well, you can go for a desert safari or stay at a fancy hotel but Dubai's highlight for me is the shopping. You can find just about anything you want from budget electronics to designer goods. Go to Deira City Centre for moderate priced goods e.g Carrefour and if you have more cash to spend, look for expensive designer stuff (Fendi, Ferragamo, etc) at Bur Jurman Shopping Mall
As much as I'd love to give this one a miss, in Dubai, there's just no getting around it. Sooner or later, you're gonna' have to deal with that dirty 4-letter word - MALL! Recent statistics have shown that there are more shopping malls than people in Dubai.. no, honest!
Burjuman slightly different than the rest, though. It's beautifully designed, and has quite an artistic feel to it. Mercato in Jumeirah is another one different from the rest of the pack - architecturally, it's a recreation of an old Italian villa - wrought-iron balconies and all. So if Zara, Armani & Chanel are what you're craving, Dubai's got just the thing, baby.
Following is a list of the main shopping centres in Dubai. Please note that most shopping centres have different opening times on a Friday.
Tel +971 4 296 6188
Taxi Directions Adjacent to Al Shabab Sport Club
Open 10am?10pm. Fridays 2pm?10pm
Dana Shopping Centre
Tel +971 4 227 9555
Taxi Directions Al Maktoum Street
Open 9.30am?1.30pm & 4.30pm?10pm. Fridays 4.30pm?10pm
Deira City Centre
Tel +971 4 295 1010
Taxi Directions Opposite Dubai Creek Golf and Yacht Club
Open 10am?10pm. Fridays 2pm?10pm
Dubai Shopping Center
Tel +971 4 294 9992
Taxi Directions Next to Deira City Centre
Open 10am?10pm. Fridays 2pm?10pm
Tel +971 4 345 5042
Taxi Directions Al Dhiyafah Street
Open 9am?1.30pm & 4pm?12pm. Fridays 4pm?12pm
Emirates Tower Boulevard
Tel +971 4 319 8999
Taxi Directions Emirates Towers Hotel
Tel +971 4 209 6788
Taxi Directions Adjoining Hyatt Regency Hotel
Open 10am?9pm. Fridays 2pm?9pm
Tel +971 4 262 1110
Taxi Directions Adjacent to Marriott Hotel
Open 10am?1.30pm & 4pm?10.30 pm. Fridays 4pm?10.30pm
Tel +971 4 331 1113
Taxi Directions Sheikh Zayed Rd, adjacent to Holiday Inn Crowne Plaza Hotel
Open 10am?10 pm
Ibn Battuta Shopping Mall
Tel +971 4 368 5888 / 882 1414
Taxi Directions Sheikh Zayed Road, Interchange 5 & 6
The Inter-Continental Plaza
Tel +971 4 223 2279
Taxi Directions Inter-Continental Hotel
Open 10am?1pm & 4pm?10pm
Tel +971 4 349 9702
Taxi Directions Jumeirah Beach Road
Open 9am?9pm. Fridays 4pm?9pm
This traditional area in Dubai Creek is a perfect place if you want to mix with locals or explore Emirates past and its traditional architecture.
I spent one night here during Arabic New Year's celebrations and being surrounded with locals dressed in traditional clothing felt like I was in some movie.
There is a presentation of a tented beduin village here and many souvenir shops where artists sell their handicrafts.
Located between two of the more expensive hotels (The Palace and Mina Salam hotels), Jumaira Village was simply enchanting
around 120 shops (variety of brands, and local arabic stuff)
There was a disco and stuff which we didnt check out for lack of interest
The scene is beautiful, with tiny boats (venice style) taking you to your hotel room if your a resident, or resteraunt booking
We absolutely loved the scene from the Moroccon resteraunt rooftop that serves tapa's and drinks and if your interested sheesha (pipes)
I would challenge anyone who can resist the shopping hypnosis that is Dubai
So here's my attempt at categorizing the Malls:
a- Emirates towers (Villa moda, diamonds and jewellery etc)
b. Merkato (built to look like italy)
c. Wafi Village (fashion, jewellery,spa)
d. Burjuman (fashion, electronics, home stuff)
e. Sheik Zayed Road
a. Al Ghurair (food, fashion, electronics, homestuff)
b. City Center (Virgin, fashion,electronics, kids magic planet, food)
c. Lamcy Plaza (fashion mostly)
d. Hamarain (attached to the marriot hotel,otherwise skip it)
a. Soug al Sanadig (Huge open market, plenty of traditional stuff on sale)
b. Manal Center (next to soug al sanadig)
c. Bur Dubai (open market, near the creekside)
The place which I would never miss in Dubai during the shopping festival is the Global Village.
most intersting place to see shows , products , have fun, see other traditions , buy things from many countries >>> in one place.
Dubai is ideal place for electronics shopping. There is great variety of electronic items available. You name it and you have it...
Electronics market in Bur Dubai is the right place for your electronics shopping needs. It is located on Khalid Bin Al Waleed Road , opposite Sea Shell Inn Hotel.
Electronics items are also available in Dubai Duty Free Shop at airport but those are on fixed price basis. Also prices are a bit high over there.
You would have to bargain a lot to get the best deal in electronics market of Bur Dubai. So keep yourself prepared for that. Happy Shopping!!!
Dubai Shopping Festival aka DSF is the most popular shopping festival held every year from 15th Jan to 15th Feb.
Global Village is one of the attractions during DSF. Many countries participate in this grand exhibition and visitors get a chance to do shopping of products from many countries around the world. Each pavilion in Global Village represents culture of that specific country along with their products on display.
All shopping malls arrange DSF Sale during the festival and prices are reduced. Many other cultural and entertainment activities are also arranged during this festival.
So many tourists from around the world come to Dubai during this time that it becomes very crowded every where. All hotels get fully booked and those cheap hotels even charge you 200% more then their normal room rate incase they have any room available..
For me DSF is not the right time to visit Dubai. I have visited Dubai during Ramadan and found Ramadan sales more attractive then DSF sales because of very low prices, special hotel deals and lesser crowd.
During DSF 2004, I could not get even hotel accomodtion because all hotels were fully booked. So i had to stay at friend's place otherwise it was simply impossible. I was in Dubai after completing my trip to Maldives and Sri Lanka with Emirates airline. Usually this airline give free visa for 96 hour if you book hotel with them. But this time they charged $70 for visa on 24 hour basis with no hotel. Similarly at Global Village i found that products on display were quite expensive. In shopping malls there was so much crowd that it was even difficult to find your way and prices were also not as low as they were during Ramadan sales.
Many people still praise DSF nd love to do lots of shopping during this festival. I can just wish them Happy Shopping!!!
Dubai is truely a shopper's paradise and Duty Free Shops are the right place for quality shopping. These shops are located below departure terminals of Dubai airport. Few of them are also located in arrivals terminal.
Great variety of items is available here. You name it and you have it here. Duty Free Shops are always crowded with tourists because of their attractive prices and great deals.