Dubai is truly one of the best emerging destinations for tourists in the last few years. The number of tourists who travel to Dubai considerably grew in the last couple of years. In fact the city, and the whole nation of the United Arab Emirates, have notably developed in quite a short period of time.
Dubai is synonymous with shopping; there is nothing you cannot buy when shopping in Dubai. From gold to electronics, designer labels and luxury items, the emirate is packed with huge shopping malls built side-by-side with older souks, where small shop owners sell everything from spices to clothing to carpets and rugs. Goods in Dubai are available from all over the world including Turkey, Iran, India and China.
Shopping is almost a national past time here in Dubai for locals, visitors and residents alike. In the hot summer months, when temperatures can go above 50 degrees, shopping malls provide a refuge from the intense heat outside. Most malls offer a whole lot more than just shops; they have great dining options as well as plenty of entertainment for children including aquariums and themed parks inside the mall!!
Dubai is also famous for its many shopping festivals, which are worth a mention here. The most well known that attracts thousands of shoppers from across the world is the Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF), which kicks off every year in January and goes on for a month. In addition to the shopping and thousands of prizes, this internationally acclaimed festival showcases the best of several sectors from concerts, events, fashion shows and outdoor sports. Another annual event that has put Dubai on the world map is the Dubai Summer Surprises (DSS), which runs for a month at the beginning of summer in Dubai. The DSS is very popular with residents of the emirate for its shopping deals and fun activities designed for the whole family.
Apart from these festivals, year round shopping attracts visitors from all over the world. Depending on what you are looking for, below are the seven most popular and varied shopping destinations for visitors and residents alike.
Dubai Shopping Mall
Even with the multitude of malls available in Dubai, the Dubai Mall still provides one of the most complete shopping experiences. Not just a mall, this mini-city is home to over a thousand stores, a spectacular four-storey indoor waterfall, a huge aquarium, an Olympic size ski-rink and a staggering number of food outlets. The mall is designed with the most luxurious of finishes and houses brands from across Europe and the US including Galleries Lafayette and the first Bloomingdale’s outside the US. It is also hugely popular for the Dubai Fountains, which are beautifully designed to move to music.
Deira Gold Souk
The Dubai Gold Souk is lined with hundreds of shops selling gold; everything from gold jewelry to gold bars at some of the best bargains in the world can be found here. There is an old souk scattered with gold shops and a new souk in a more modern 2-storey building very close to each other. Leave plenty of time when visiting these souks as you will need to hop from shop to shop to see the variety available and to get the cheapest rates. Don’t hesitate to bargain; most shops sell the same items so feel free to tell them that you saw the same item at another shop for a better price and you will possibly get a good deal. Also, take your time …