the antique shops in Sharjah above the gold shops is a veritable Aladdin's cave. Old things left behind by Europeans vie with Arab mashrabiyas, Indian carved goods etc. You can spend ages, and a fortune just rummaging through them.
What to buy: Looking for an inexpensive gift? The blue , white and black protective 'eyes' make a simple gift, whether the recipient is superstitious or not. The circular glass amulet can be found in many sizes and can be hung on a wall, worn on a chain as a necklace, as a bracelet or even handbag jewellery.
They can be bought all over the Middle East. I have bought from Turkey, Cyprus, Egypt as well as the Gulf.
What to pay: It depends on the size, but none are very expensive, and remember to bargain.
The "Blue Souq" (Souq Al Markazi or Central Souq) is an interesting, if slightly shambolic, shopping centre hosting around 600 shops in two wings. The ground floor shops tend to stock gold and expensive designer clothes, with the upper level containing shops stocking carpets and curios from as far afield as Afghanistan and Tibet. Haggling over prices in the upper-level shops will frequently attract massive discounts. A great place to buy gifts and traditional goods. Considered superior to Dubai for carpets by Western expatriates
Blue Souq (Souq Al Markazi or Central Souq) is the largest and one of the important Souqs in Sharjah and called as Blue because of its uncommon blue vaulted roof. Located in the Khaled Lagoon region, Blue Souq has 2 sections and about 600 shops. It’s a landmark of Sharjah, reflecting Islamic design.
I haven’t been there but its architecture attracts attention without any doubt.
You can watch my 5 min 00 sec HD Video Sharjah evening walk part 1 out of my Youtube channel with Amr Diab - Hapibi.
You'll need a map and lots of time to explore this massive mall. There are over 400 outlets and it even houses an indoor ski slope.
You can find one of everything here and things you didn't even know existed.
There are lots of cafes, entertainment for the young ones.
This is an exclusive Egyptian themed mall featuring Pyramids as part of the roof.
There a a huge number of shops spread over many layers and the interesting layout of the mall doesn't make it seem busy.
There are a number of cafes and bars and even a club and spa.
There is also an underground souk as part of this massive complex.
Very worth while.
This is one of the biggest shopping centers I have ever visited outside the U.S. here you can get almost anything you want, Modern clothes, CD's what ever its an awesome western style mall
What to buy: Whatever you want...
What to pay: Prices are what you could expect to pay at any fancy mall anywhere...
Shop until you drop, or until you credit gets exhausted…that’s reason for millions who arrived in Dubai. Bring your children too, in case you credit limit exceeds 10k euros.
And spending everything on shopping is not necessarily a bad thing, as it keeps the world turning and feeds many all around you.
I did not do any shopping in Dubai this time…..maybe some other holiday, or some other life :-)
What to buy: Everything, as the more you spend, the more satisfied you get.
There’re only 2 shops in this rather small and uninteresting duty free area, where it is most unlikely to find real bargains. If you have enough time between flights for a ride to Dubai, you’ll find “duty-free” malls everywhere.
There was once this discoverer by the name of Ibn Battuta (sort of the Arab equivalent of Marco Polo i suppose). He travelled to Andalucia, Tunisia, Egypt, Persia, India and China. Then there was once (not so long ago) a developer who thought it would be a nice idea to build a mall consisting of different sections, each devoted (decoration-wise) to one of Battuta's travel destinations. If you plan on visiting just one mall, go there. It's over the top but as always in the UAE very nicely executed (and it saves you trips to many countries).
If you plan on visiting two malls, then include the Mall of the Emirates: it's close to Ibn Battuta, it's the biggest and newest and it's got the indoor ski slope.
What to buy: Full range of items available in the multitude of shops (but don't go looking for the GAP as they've closed business in the UAE).
What to pay: Usual prices. UAE is not really a bargain place compared to the US or some European countries, but regionally speaking the choice is excellent and the prices OK.
Amongst all the various fruits for sale there is a row of stalls specialising in one of my favourites, fresh dates. Desert country, palm trees, dates go together naturally and no fruit could be more local, so try a selection to get the true local flavour.
What to buy: There is a huge choice of different types of dates, from the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain, Oman. Taste and texture are quite different from each other, but the shopkeeper will let you try before you buy.
What to pay: The price varies from Dh5 to Dh20 a kilo.
Along the road when travelling to places like Khor Fakkan there are many small local shops selling everything from fruit and vegetables, pottery and clothing. Much cheaper than in the towns too.
What to buy: Gold
What to pay: What your pocket can afford
GREAT: Chocolate, Persian carpets, Electronics, Cars, Laptops, Super sunglasses, Perfumes, Fashion, Make up, CD's...
in short all that a person could ever imagine, will find in UAE
a very opened place, cosmopolitan, and really different prices, the real good, cheap and expensive, and even sometimes: Cosmic ones!
What to pay: No limits when you have
The mall is decent size. It is three stories high with plenty of shops, money exchanges, and food courts. Anything you want to buy while you're in Dubai should be easily found at the City Center Mall.
this tip is for all muso's working or about to work in dubai. ok there are a lot of instrument shops near the 'fish roundabout'
most taxi drivers will know this place....easy to spot because there is a large chrome fish statue in the centre of the roundabout.
there are two shops at karama worth checking out. one is next to the market in a side street. sorry i can't be more specific but it wont take long to find. plus another good shop at karama that is on za'abeel rd. check these places out. it is worth it.
What to buy: all guitars amps etc. plenty of keyboards and pa's etc. there is only one good drum shop that is near the fish roundabout.
What to pay: some prices are cheaper.
from my own experiences, shopping for clothes at karama market is wasted time and money. if you are not of slim build and medium height, forget it! better off shopping for specials at bur juman or city centre shopping centres. maybe karama is better shopping for women's clothing??? good range of fashion for the 12 to 30 age group or for muso's playing around dubai looking for cheap stage clothes, but i still think you are better of in the shopping centres.
plus karama turns into a sauna in summer.
What to buy: gold and diamonds.
Although malls abound-City Centre, Burjaman, Wafi centre, Mercato, Sahara,Oasis etc in Dubai- all of which are great and you can spend hours window shopping, there are also local markets which probably haven't changed for decades. Some are very picturesque as well as stocking local produce , and selling much cheaper than in the shops.
The picture is a roadside stall on the way to Khor Fakkan.
What to buy: pottery
What to pay: It all depends on what you are looking for, and how good you are at bargaining.
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