When you wonder what you can do on a trip to Dubai, shopping is one of the popular activities. Dubai is a hub of international trade and you can buy a large number of objects and products that you may not find elsewhere. Between traditional souks and ultra-modern shopping centres, you will be spoilt for choice! This article gives you the best addresses for a successful shopping experience in Dubai.
The best time to shop in Dubai is in January. Indeed, every year, the Dubai Shopping Festival takes place throughout the month of January. This event attracts a lot of people. This is an opportunity to take advantage of sales and exceptional offers to buy cheap products. The discount level can exceed 50%. The products of some major brands also benefit from significant discounts on prices.
Before leaving, plan a good shopping budget because if the prices are interesting for some products, on the other hand on fashion, do not expect to find items from French brands (Chanel, Vuiton, Dior) at half price. On the other hand, you will be able to see collections that are different from those found in Europe. Most of the time, you can’t negotiate the price of purchases in malls where the prices are fixed, unlike souks where everything can be discussed.
It should be noted that some hotels offer a shuttle service, most often free of charge, to go to certain shopping centres. It’s very convenient to go shopping in Dubai. This avoids taking the subway or taxi.
Discover below all the good places in our shopping guide on Dubai.
The Dubai Mall
Located right next to the Burj Khalifa (the highest tower in the world), in the heart of the city, Dubai Mall is the largest shopping centre in the United Arab Emirates with over 1,200 shops! It is also one of the largest shopping centres in the world. So it is really huge and attracts thousands of visitors every day. Everything here is oversized and superlatives are not enough to describe the reality of this extraordinary shopping centre. In addition to the shops, there is a giant aquarium (with sharks), an Olympic skating rink and waterfalls. Luxury boutiques are concentrated on Fashion Avenue.
The Dubai Mall is truly the must for anyone wishing to enjoy a unique shopping experience in Dubai. Indeed, you can really find everything you can imagine and much more.
The Mall of Emirates
The Mall of Emirates is Dubai’s other major shopping centre with 800 shops. It is here that skiers can descend the slopes of Ski Dubai. With a futuristic design, on more than 250,000 m², you will find a large number of luxury, fashion and decoration shops. There is also a cinema and an amusement park, Magic Planet.
While smaller than the Dubai Mall, the Mall of Emirates is still impressive. It will take you hours to walk all the aisles of this mall.
Dubai Duty Free
Dubai Duty Free is the fully tax-free shopping centre at Dubai International Airport. There you can buy alcohol, cigarettes but also top brand products without paying VAT. It’s really the perfect place to do some last-minute shopping before you fly back at the end of your stay in Dubai.
The Dubai Marina Mall
The Dubai Marina shopping centre has 130 shops. It is therefore smaller than the other shopping centres in Dubai but allows you to shop and eat directly in the Marina district. You can reach him directly if you stay at The Address hotel in the Marina.
The Wafi Mall
The Wafi Mall is a shopping centre in the Bur Dubai district. Its decoration is based on the theme of Ancient Egypt with pyramids and statues of pharaohs. There are more than 300 shops and many restaurants. It also houses the Arab Souk Khan Murjan. It’s right next to the Raffles Hotel.
Dubai Global Village
Global Village is a unique place with many pavilions representing the countries of the world. You will find local handicraft products. You can also have fun in the amusement park or eat in one of the many restaurants in Global Village.
Al Ghurair Centre
The Al Ghurair Centre is the first modern shopping centre to be built in Dubai in the 1980s. Located in the Deira district, it now has more than 300 shops, a cinema (Novo Cinemas) and many restaurants. Among the best-known brands are Marks & Spencer and Carrefour. Families can have fun at Sparky’s amusement park located inside the centre.
Deira City Centre
Located in the Deira district, not far from Dubai airport, the Deira City Centre is a shopping centre with more than 370 shops and 50 restaurants in the food court. Built in 1995, it has a bowling alley and a complex with Vox cinemas. This human-sized shopping centre is accessible and family-friendly. There is also a Carrefour store.
Dubai Festival City Mall
Bordering Dubai Creek, the Dubai Festival City Mall offers you more than 400 shops and 90 restaurants spread over nearly 185,000 m². You will shop in the many luxury boutiques but also in other more affordable ones. You can find an Ikea store there. You will need to take a taxi to reach this shopping centre.
The Burjuman Centre is located in the Bur Dubai district. It is a high-end shopping centre that opened in 1992. You will find more than 200 luxury boutiques. Fashionistas meet there to try out the latest fashion trends. There is also a Vox cinema complex with 14 cinemas.
The Walk is located in the Jumeirah Beach Residences area, just next to Dubai Marina. This large pedestrian street includes many shops where you can buy clothes, decorative items and local crafts. It is a very pleasant place along the beach and the ocean. You can also eat on the terrace of one of the many restaurants.
Ibn Battuta Mall
The Ibn Battuta shopping centre is located near the Jebel Ali free trade zone in the south-western part of Dubai. The mall is organized around different themes: China, India, Persia, Egypt, Tunisia and Andalusia. It is a tribute to the Moroccan explorer Ibn Battuta who travelled the world in the 14th century. This shopping centre has just over 275 stores.
Dubai Outlet Mall
The Dubai Outlet Mall is located outside the city, in the suburbs of Dubai. You will find products at discounted prices in more than 240 designer and brand stores. It is really the best shopping centre if you want to do good business and cheap shopping in Dubai. You will find mainly products from old collections. It is a real Ali Baba cave where you can find small pearls if you take the time to search.
The Gold Souk
The Gold Souk (gold market) is the ideal place to buy gold in Dubai. On several streets in the traditional district of Deira, there are a large number of shops offering gold jewellery. Here you can bargain for a discount on the displayed rates. If you want a good trick to buy gold at the best price, it is to compare. There is a real choice, so take the time to compare before you decide.
The Gold and Diamond Park
If you want to buy jewellery in an air-conditioned shopping centre rather than in the traditional alleys of the Gold Souk, then you can go to Gold and Diamond Park. Located near the Mall of Emirates, it includes more than 90 jewelry stores where you can buy jewelry in a cosy setting.
The Spice Souk
The spice souk (Spice Souk) is located in the narrow streets of the Deira district, not far from the Gold Souk. You will find all kinds of spices from all over the world. Let yourself be intoxicated by the scents of the aromatic herbs on the shelves of this traditional market.
The Textile Souk
After a visit to Gold Souk and Spice Souk, take an abra to cross Dubai Creek and reach the Bur Dubai district. There, you can discover a large number of shops that sell a very wide variety of precious fabrics, embroidered fabrics and textiles by the meter. You can also buy clothes already made. This is where you can find the Meena Bazaar.
The Souk de Madinat is located in the heart of the Madinat Jumeirah complex. It is a rather modern souk where you can buy all kinds of traditional handicrafts and antiques. It is located in the Jumeirah Beach district by the sea.
How to pay for your purchases in Dubai
In Dubai, in shopping malls, you can pay your expenses with an international credit card (Visa, Mastercard, and American Express) or directly with cash. The currency of Dubai is the AED (Emirian Dirham). There are exchange offices all over the city. You will also find cash dispensers in many places.