Shopping is something that synonymous with Dubai. It offers a beautiful combination of cutting-edge and traditional options. So whether you are looking for apparel, accessories, jewellery, spices, fabrics, Dubai has it all covered through its mega-malls, indoor multiplexes, traditional souks, and markets. We bring to you some useful tips that will help you shop better and smarter.
Don’t hesitate to bargain
Bargaining is a norm and is considered fine art by the locals. If you want to crack a good deal, do polish your negotiation skills before purchasing something. Bargaining is not accepted in malls unless if you in a carpet shop. Don’t hesitate to walk away if you don’t get your target price. The shop owners are most likely to call you back.
Best Buys in Dubai
Carpets, perfumes, spices, textiles, gold, myrrh, and frankincense are the best buys in Dubai. The quality and variety that is on offer are unmatchable to many parts in the Middle Eastern region.
Made in Dubai
Dubai’s homegrown fashion is something that can give several international brands a run for their money. The locals are proud of this fact and often boast about the same. One of the most prominent local names is Pink Sushi created by designer Raghda Bukhash.
Shopping Festivals and Events
Shopping is a favorite pastime of several locals and visitors that is quite evident from the number of shopping festivals and events hosted by Dubai. The shopping festivals like the Dubai Shopping Festival have transformed the face of Dubai to the world. The deals and promotions offered during the DSF are mind-blowing and unbelievable at times. This month-long shopping extravaganza gives you a rare opportunity to stack international brand names in your collection. The Dubai Summer Surprises or the DSS is also an annual month-long shopping extravaganza that focuses on complete family fun and shopping.
What to buy in Dubai
Gold and Precious Stones
You cannot probably get a better choice to purchase the iconic yellow metal or other precious stones. The Dubai Gold Souk is your place to browse through the excellent collection and variety. Bargaining is a norm here, so don’t stop till you get the real price you wanted to target. Shopping during daytime and post-sunset is entirely different as the night ambiance, and environment on offer gives you a feel of being in a glitzy and glamor all around.
Dubai is the second-best place to buy quality carpets after Iran. Rugs and carpets have a vital role to play in the culture and history of Dubai. There usually are two types of carpets on offer: Machine-made carpets that would cost you a few dirhams and quality hand-made woolen carpets that cost you almost ten times higher. If you are looking to purchase quality rugs and carpets, look for a specialized dealer. Some of the most prominent names are The Red Carpet and National Iranian Carpets in the Mall of Emirates and Emad Carpet in the Dubai Mall. The Friday market held at Masafi in Fujairah offers some cheap deals. Quality can be a factor most of the times in these markets.
A local delicacy in the Arab world, there are several varieties of dates available in mixed sizes found in Dubai. Bateel Dates and Agwa Dates are the most popular ones. Most of the dates are imported from Saudi Arabia and go through a rigid quality check to ensure that customers get the best taste.
Whether you are looking for the famous international brands or the most sought-after local brands, the shopping centers of Dubai will match all tastes. Malls are the best place to shop for clothes. If you are looking for a budget shopping, then wait for bargain sales to crack good deals. The Prime Dubai Designer Market offers refurbished goods at incredible rates. This community market is held every second Saturday of the month. The quality and price are never in question even though the merchandise is pre-owned. For home-made fashion products, visit the event named ARTE that features a great collection designed by local artisans.
Dubai’s electronics are any day cheaper than in your home country. The prime reason is that it is tax-free. The annual week-long expo, Gulf Information Technology Exhibition (GITEX) hosted in Dubai features IT professionals, retailers, and suppliers from all over the world. You can alternatively visit Al Fahidi street in Bur Dubai where you can browse through a wide variety of electronic goods before finalizing on the one you need.
These shawls are woven from 100% silk and are super-soft in texture. You can get a quality one for AED 250. Cheaper shawls woven from viscose are available for around AED 30 or more. The Deira Souk in Dubai houses several stores that feature a wide variety of shawls. Pulling through one corner of the shawl is the best way to identify an original piece. The synthetic ones do not budge.
Souvenirs and Gifts
Many people who visit Dubai love to take back something as a memory for their loved ones back home. Karama is one of the most popular places in Dubai that is famous for tourist-type gifts (the real fakes). Be prepared for bargaining as you can shop for a lot of items within a fixed budget. The store owner may offer a fantastic discount if you purchase more items from their store.
Head straight to the industrial areas of Dubai if you are looking for some quality furniture. Although they are located at a distance, the drive is worth it as the items are unique and offered at great prices. The Heritage Touch in the Al Quoz Industrial area houses an excellent collection.
1) Majority of the shopping areas in Dubai are open from 10 am to 10 pm. Although, the heat during the day is intolerable at times. The shopping becomes lively and vibrant post sunset.
2) Use taxis for commuting to the malls and souks as most of them do not provide shuttles and parking services.
3) Purchase electronic goods with an international warranty and also matching voltage standard of your home country.
4) The shopping centers in Dubai are a complete family destination. There are kid play centers for all age groups.
5) Shopping Centers may open post 2 pm on every Friday on account of worship hours.
6) Credit cards are charged an additional convenience fee for all the transactions.