The Burj Khalifa, the tallest man-made structure in the world
Hit the desert sands in a 4x4 SUV and indulge in some dune bashing
Shawarma, an Arab snack and the signature dish of Dubai
Falafel, made by deep frying chickpeas and/or fava beans, traditionally served in pita bread
The Dubai Shopping Festival, held in the months of January and February, offer massive discounts and citywide sales
Hello – "Salam Alaikum"
Thank you – "Shukran"
Do you speak English? – "Hal tatakallam el-ingliziyya?"
Want To Go ?
Do you find shopping exciting? Do you feel a sense of fulfilment after or during shopping? Does shopping bring a smile to your face and make you feel good about yourself?Well, if you answered yes (or even bothered to actually read all of the above questions), then a visit to Dubai is a must! Dubai is now regarded as the ‘’king of shopping’’ in the region and why not? Its swanky malls and impressive shopping centres leave customers spoilt for choice, so here I have something that will help you on your shopping escapade in Dubai!
Mall of the Emirates
The world’s first shopping resort is located at interchange 4 on Sheikh Zayed Road. This luxurious mall boasts of more than 80 of the world’s most renowned designer brands in Fashion Dome and Via Rodeo. With Bottega Veneta, the second largest boutique in the world; Y-3’s first individual store; Diane Von Furstenberg’s first store; Christian Louboutin’s first store in the UAE; Five Green and Prada’s first and largest flagship store in the Middle East, it’s a shopaholic’s paradise!
#Shopper’s Tip: For those wanting to indulge in some extravagant retail therapy, head here. From Prada to Louis Vuitton, they have it all! With the hotel inside, one can rest and dine and shop all over again. After all, you have 220,000 square feet of retail paradise to cover!
Souq Madinat Jumeirah
Almost like a “pseudo souq”, this centre is a Middle Eastern bazaar presented in a more sophisticated and classier manner. It is located in the Madinat Jumeriah resort on its own private beach, about 25 minutes from the Dubai international airport. Though there isn’t much scope for bargaining, the quality of handicrafts is fine and well worth their high prices. Head to National Iranian Carpets and Al-Jaber Gallery for antique souvenirs and traditional gifts.
Dubai Shopping Festival
This is one event that must be a part of your shopping agenda! It is spread over many locations like Global Village, Creek, Festival City, Riga Street and the many malls. Massive discounts, citywide sales, lucky draw raffles and exciting prizes; this shopping festival held in the months of January and February is nothing short of a circus!
#Shopper’s Tip: With the ever-growing excitement about this festival, booking hotels and flights during these months is absolute chaos. Log onto MakeMyTrip.comand book as early as November and avail some exciting Dubai packages!
Said to be the world’s most visited and largest shopping destination (12 million square feet!), it is part of the Downtown Dubai complex. In between your shopping adventures, you can dine at restaurants like Taco Bell or Al Habab Restaurant and perhaps indulge in some ice skating, watch movies at their theatres, visit the underwater aquariul and zoo or even take a trip to the top of the iconic Burj Khalifa!
#Shopper’s Tip: Festival time is definitely the best time to go. During festive seasons like Ramadan, operating hours are extended from the usual 10 am to 10 pm to 10 am to 1 am! You wouldn’t want to miss out on the great SALES!
A change from all things high street, souqs are Middle Eastern-style bazaars. Bustling with people, culture and history; the Dubai souqs are a must visit. From woolen blankets to faux Ralph Lauren jeans to incense sticks, it’s all available here! Most of the souqs are located in the Al-Dhagaya locality in the Deira district, the heart of Dubai, so visiting them would not be a problem.
Deira’s covered Souqs – Belly dancing costumes, sheesha pipes and traditional attires; this is definitely the cultural hotspot.
Bur Dubai Souq – This textile bazaar in Bur Dubai district sells fabrics in vibrant hues, beaded cushions, carpets, antiques and some Indian saris.
#Shopper’s Tip: Stores and souqs often close at noon till 5 pm. For the best experience, head out at night; the weather is lovely and the atmosphere is energetic!
Karama Souq and Gold Souqs – Engraved trays and silver jewellery, lamps and pots; these souqs offer all kinds of souvenirs and of course gold in its many forms. The quality of gold and the designs are definitely better in Dubai, but in terms of price, one should be prepared to haggle. However, with the negligible difference in the rates of gold in Dubai and India, one need not go crazy buying gold in Dubai. However, buying some gold bars in at the airport Duty-Free shops is recommended!
Spice Souqs – A walk through this market appeases your senses. Saffron, henna, frankincense, incense sticks and burners, dried lemons, exotic herbs; you will find a mixture of wonderful aromas here. The souq in the Deira district has the best spices.
#Shopper’s Tip: Brush up your bargaining skills. If you aren’t much of a haggler, chances are that you’ll end up paying twice as much!
Saanya is known for two things: her excellent musical taste (read: Pink Floyd) and her magical ability to sniff out the best eateries in any locale. An avid traveller, and Economics student, Saanya does what she loves and loves what she does!