Dubai and Abu Dhabi offer visitors the opportunity to spend, spend, spend in some of the world’s most luxurious shopping malls. Dubai is a mecca for shopaholics looking to spoil themselves with designer brand names and shopping in Abu Dhabi is just as indulgent, with its spacious air-conditioned malls.
The Dubai Mall
The Dubai Mall is the world’s largest shopping mall and as well as being home to more than 1,000 shops, many people flock to visit the impressive Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo. Spread over four floors, no one will do without in terms of choice. There are clothing shops, department stores, electronic shops, tailors and jeweler stores but it’s perhaps best known for the boutique shops and designer stores that are featured throughout the mall.
Mall of Emirates
Also in Dubai, The Mall of Emirates is another popular place to shop ’til you drop featuring everything from high-end designer stores such as Harvey Nichols to department stores like Debenhams. If you want to take a break from shopping, the indoor ski slope offers a cooling alternative for a few hours and you can sample the diverse cuisines on offer in one of a multitude of high quality restaurants.
Abu Dhabi Mall
Attracting tens of thousands of avid shoppers every day to the 200-plus shops, the Abu Dhabi Mall boasts many big-name outlets such as Paris Gallery, Zara and Jashanmal. This mall is an entire shopping destination under one roof with shoppers able to whet their appetite with perfumes, accessories, clothing, home furnishings and cosmetics.
This mall is a landmark in Abu Dhabi and shoppers can make a whole day of a trip here with an ice rink, bowling alley, cinema and a 100-metre high viewing platform to entertain anyone wanting to take a break from trawling the shops.
Along with Dubai and Abu Dhabi, another emirate stands out for its shopping opportunities; namely, Ajman and the City Centre Ajman mall. If you love to shop but don’t have an expendable budget to enjoy the glitz and glamour in the neighboring emirates, this is the mall for you as it is home to a selection of mid-market fashion brands.
The UAE may just be one of the only places in the world where all that glitters is gold. The shimmering beauty of the world’s most popular precious metal can be enjoyed everywhere. While the lavish and uber-stylish malls dominate the skyline, the traditional souks (markets) are where shopper’s come to try their hand at haggling whether it be for gold or spices. The ambiance in the Middle-Eastern style bazaars is full of energy and everything from Morocco lamps, colorful rugs and saris through to gold, beaded cushion covers and Arabian antiques can be purchased.
Shopping in the high-end designer malls is perfect for anyone with money to burn, while bargain hunters should head to a souk instead. Shopping in the souks can be hot work, so cover your skin with a lightweight material such as cotton to protect yourself from the sun and to remain respectful to local culture. When haggling in the markets it’s important to keep the price in perspective: it’s easy to get carried away with the bargaining process and forget that the sellers still need to make a living. Anyone searching for a bargain should visit during the annual Dubai Shopping Festival where crazy promotions, city-wide discounts and raffles giving away Ferraris can be enjoyed.