A big drawcard for holiday-goers to Dubai is the shopping opportunities that the place offers. Dubai is in the process of constant renovation in order to reinvent itself further, but shopping is one of the most prominent factors that attracts holiday goers each year. Although, a bargain can be snapped up here and there, the huge malls are not exactly bargain central.
Dubai has turned shopping in a fun recreational activity, combined with food, entertainment and grandeur. Shopping remains a big drawcard for Dubai as it continues to reinvent itself as a major tourist.
Dubai Taxes on Shopping
Dubai has zero sales tax and little import duties so some products such at electronics and gold jewellery have excellent rates.
Also remember, that warranties for electronic goods that are on the high-end scale are often cheaper, but their warranties may not be valid in your home country, so always check this to see if it’s worth making the saving.
Items worth buying when you visit Dubai
Here are some fabulous goodies to buy when you visit the City of Gold. It has excellent shopping venues and markets but, what exactly do you buy from them?
Arabic, Middle Eastern and Indian Souvenirs to look out for in Dubai
Dubai have got a lovely selection of carpets and kilim rugs from Iran, Pakistan, Egypt, Kuwait, Afghanistan and Morocco. They have also imported some beautiful tapestries, cushion covers, divans, and clothes; bronze and copper vessels, Aladdin lamps and elaborate platters; silver Bedouin costume jewellery.
Some not so special souvenirs that you’ll see in large numbers and at almost every single stall, are camel ornaments. They come in every shape, size and colour, and made in a wide variety of materials – from fluffy ones, to wooden ones, metal ones, and so on. Understandably, the most expensive ones will be made of gold but you might find a few golden or gold-plated knock-offs for a fraction of the price. You’ll also find Sheikh Mohammed T-shirts and mosque alarm clocks at many cheap souvenirs stalls.
Arabian perfumes, ouds and attars are a speciality of Dubai
Strong and intoxicating Arabian perfume oils (attars) or original Arabic ouds can be bought here at great prices in elaborate tiny bottles with gem-encrusted stoppers.
Arabic Art, Canvases and Picture frames can be sought easily in Dubai
The fashionable art scene is thriving. Why not buy some art from Dubai, Morocco, Iran and elsewhere from around the Gulf and Middle East art galleries such as The Third Line in Al Khoz, which is located close to Mall of Emirates and represents contemporary art which you can purchase too.
Exotic foods are wide and varied in Dubai
The spice souk is a part of the old Arabic ethos that is nice to see when you visit Dubai, because you feel like you are getting to know the Dubai the locals used to know.
You can find yourself some zaatar spice, sumak spice, dates in all shapes, colours and sizes, including chocolate covered dates and a fizzy carbonated date drink!
You’ll be spoilt for choice for the spices you can buy there, and can easily spend a few hours taking in the sights, smells and sounds of shop keepers. You’ll find the gold souk and the creek just around the corner from there so you could easily fill up a morning with shopping delights.
You’ll be sure to be amazed by the pristine Emirati fashion
Emirati fashion designers are creating mesmerising threads based on traditional costumes and themes. Search for local designers at Amzaan, owned by Sheikha Maisa al-Qassimi (a princess from Sharjah), at Wafi Mall, and Sauce, on Jumeirah Beach Road.
Dubai shopping festival
If you are a shopaholic and love bargains too, then the time to visit Dubai is in late January and early February when they hold the shopping festival. This is a long-standing attraction for so many holiday goers, as it boasts lucrative price reductions, product launches and a great percentage discount on premium goodies.
Another smaller shopping festival is help in June and July in Dubai, which is known as the Dubai Summer Surprises, which alone attracts almost two million visitors.
Dubai shopping is out of this world
It is as though Dubai invented the term “retail therapy” – you’re in shopping haven when you visit a destination like Dubai. They have original souks, traditional Arab markets and large plaza shopping malls.
Dubai's most well-known bazaar is the Gold Souk at Sikkat al-Khali Street. Shops have a tendency to to open from 8am to 1pm, reopening after the high temperature of the day at around 4.00pm until 9pm or even later. Malls remain open from 10am until 10pm. Shops, malls and souks usually close on Friday mornings.