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.
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
Generally I hate shopping, but visiting shopping malls in Dubai has several big advantages. One, many of them are easily accessible by metro. Two, they are air-conditioned. Three, they have lots of restaurants and cafes. Four, many of them are really extravagantly decorated and they are worth just wandering around to look at the decor. Five, there are several entertainment options available in the malls.
We visited three malls during our stay.
Ibn Battuta Mall - to get there take metro to Ibn Battuta station. Exit and walk towards the exotic looking buildings on the other side of the road. If you are staying in Jumeriah, get there using the 8A bus in the direction of Ibn Battuta. The bus station is between the mall and the metro.
This shopping mall is named after Ibn Battuta who was an explorer - there is an exhibit about him in the centre of the mall. The mall is divided into six areas. Each area represents a place Ibn Battuta travelled to. There is an Egyptian area shaped like an Ancient Egyptian temple and covered with wall paintings and hieroglyphics.
There's a Persian area with a huge central dome covered in beautiful blue patterened tiles.
There's an Indian area with a huge elephant clock. There is a Chinese section with a Chinese junk.
There's a Tunisian section with a replica Tunisian town.
Finally, there's an Andalucian section with an ornate fountain.
Stores inside the mall include Woolworths, BHS, Boots and lots, lots more. There's an enormous supermarket called Geant. There is a food court and restaurants. We had a very tasty meal in Restaurant al Arab - a Lebanese restaurant in the Persian area.
Dubai Mall - get the metro to Dubai Mall Station and take the feeder bus from directly outside. It's very frequent. Dubai Mall is beautifully decorated - especially in its gold souk area. It is located near the Burj Kalife - the tallest building in the world. There are good places to photo this just outside the mall. The Dubai Mall has an ice-skating rink, a huge aquarium and a fashion area complete with a cat walk and fashion shows at certain times of the day. There is a stunning mall designed to look like an old Arabian souk just next to the Dubai Mall. Lots of restaurants and cafes, big Waitroses supermarket.
Mall of the Emirates - get there by travelling to Mall of the Emirates Station. Walk from the metro via an enclosed air-conditioned walkway. Inside Mall of the Emirates there is a huge Carrfour, Ski Dubai -with ski slope, real snow and lots of snow covered play areas for children. There is also a cinema and bowling rink and a food court in this mall.
The Global Village originally was associated with the Dubai Shopping Festival in January each year and was situated nearer the centre of Dubai than now. Now it has been transferred to a vast area out in the wilds. But don't imagine it as being set among sand dunes, it is just deserted land. Now the various countries are allotted pavilions usually representing some landmark . For example Britain has Big Ben and the changing of the guard as a facade, with the Welsh side showing Conway and Caerphilly Castles. China has a pagoda and the Great wall , France the Eiffel Tower etc.
Just walking around the 'village' is interesting , but it is in fact a market [see Shopping] where goods are on display and sold at reasonable prices if you can bargain.
In the arid and torrid sands of Dubai which sport should I recommend? SKI, naturally.
Accessible from the shopping area of Mall of Emirates or from the adjacent Kempinsky Hotel (where you may book a chalet in the snow for "only" US $1000 a day) the artificial snow hill really creates the true ambiance. All the equipment may be rented or bought locally, but... you better try to book in advance.
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.
There are huge shopping malls in Dubai. You can buy any thing at reasonable price. The most famous is "Deira City Center Shopping Mall".
Deira City Centre has over 240 shops. Alongside the Centre's extensive array of shops, there is a wide choice of unique leisure and entertainment facilities, designed to enhance your enjoyment each time you visit Deira City Centre.
Best malls to visit are Dubai Mall (see the fountain show there after 6pm daily), Festival City Mall (where you can take an abra or water taxi for a short ride), Mall of the Emirates and Ibn Battuta Mall - Wafi is nice for its glass roof and to visit Wafi Gourmet for food items.
Try these Shopping Malls:
Burjuman Center (Bur Dubai)
Deira City Center (Deira)
Al-Ghurair Center (Deira)
Lamcy Plaza (Bur Dubai)
Wafi City (Deira)
Ibn-e-Batuta Mall (Shiekh Zayed Road)
Mall of The Emirates (Shiekh Zayed Road)
Dragon Mart (Shiekh Zayed Road)
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!!!
This luxurious complex tries to compose the traditional look in studied harmony. Each door, each window, open to a perfect sight, where not a single detail was neglected.
Beach, hotels, shopping mall, pools, bars, lakes, everything is accessible and available to make you feel in a 1001 nights place. For a price... of course.
Located along the tight bend in the Creek, the Heritage Village attempts to show traditional life in the emirate of Dubai as it once was. A building with a wind tower, the old Gulf answer to air-conditioning, has been built with an explanation of how the system works.
Small houses made of mangrove and palm frond have been set up as well as stalls where locals demonstrate traditional crafts such as pottery making and metal pot making. The only trouble here is that they’re not always open, so check timings carefully. You might call ahead before you go to find out if crafts are being demonstrated because they weren’t when we were there in mid-afternoon.
You can be sure, however, that the shops, which are also within the confines of the Heritage Village, will be open for business. They offer a fairly wide collection of items, though much of what they sell is actually of Indian or Pakistani origin. The cute leather camels you see, for example, are almost always made in the Subcontinent. And the silver Bedu jewelry is mostly new, so if you’re looking for old stuff, it’s best to shop elsewhere.
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