Dubai Fountain
 

Shopping in Dubai

You've looked at the Places to Visit and Things to Do, you've looked at our Food and Drink pages and had some fantastic meals, you've done the high spots and looked at the Best Views of Dubai and you've read our Brief History of Dubai and the page on Power and Politics and feel you now know what Dubai is all about.

But one thing is still missing - Dubai is a shopper’s paradise, with around 40 shopping centres, plazas and malls. As each year gets underway Dubai holds its new year, month-long, international shopping festival that attracts visitors from all over the world. And, there's a second shopping festival later in the year. They're what Dubai is all about - a fiesta of parties, numerous special events with performers and processions in the malls, fireworks, laser shows and splashing the cash as visitors go on personal shopping sprees! With its reduced prices and festival atmosphere, they're huge tourist attraction.

Souk al Bahar by Dubai Mall

The easy way of remembering how to pronounce Dubai is to think shopping. Pronounce it Do Buy, not Dew-By or Due By. 

Dubai has a large selection of Malls (pronounced Mawls, not like Gals). Malls generally include a large range of restaurants, cafés, plus in some cases cinemas, play areas, ice rinks, the ski slope etc....in other words they're not just shopping areas, they're social, lifestyle centres where families can spend the whole day, and as they're open till 10pm, or even later, it always gives you something to do and somewhere to go in the evening or somewhere to get out of the heat in the oppressively hot days of summer.

On your holiday in Dubai you can shop 'til you drop!

The Souks

Dubai shopping isn't just about the malls. You can head to one of the fantastic souks, which can show the other end of the shopping spectrum, a striking contrast to the modern malls.

There are both the old traditional souks that give you a glimpse of Dubai's past, but are still very busy and active on a day-to-day basis, and also the newer re-created souks which give a more plush and air-conditioned experience of walking through an old-styled market place.

The newer, re-created, 'souks' are the modern, more touristy orientated, somewhat toned-down imitations of the traditional souks. They're generally inside and air-conditioned, and have a range of all types of (usually fixed-price) traditional and modern shops, even small supermarkets. They may sound boring and ordinary to Western minds, but you'll undoubtably visit one or two on a holiday stay and are likely to be impressed.

To find which souks or shopping malls you might wish to visit, just click on one of the links at the top of this page. 

Self Catering

If you're self catering during your stay in Dubai, the main supermarkets to look for around the city are Carrefoure, Spinneys, Choithram, Al Maya, Union Co-op, Geant Hypermarket, Lifco, Hyperpanda, Lulu and Park n Shop.

As pork is not acceptable to the Muslim religion it's not as easy to find as in the USA and Western Europe, but you will generally find it in most supermarkets, but it may be out of sight in a side room or certainly away from the main meat sales area.

Looking for really fresh vegetables? Why not try one of the new fledgling farmers' markets that have sprung up in recent years in Dubai. If you want to buy locally grown and organic crops direct from the growers these are the places to visit. They're not big, but they show that Dubai is open to new ideas, although in reality it's going back to how we all used to buy our veg.

As we write you'll find a small farmers' market, Dubai Farmers' Market, on the terrace outside organic café Baker & Spice at Souk al Bahar, across the lake from the Burj Khalifa and it's there every Friday from 9am to 3pm. If you go and its moved at least you're in a great area of Dubai that every tourist should visit.

Also have a look at www.ripeme.com to discover where and when Ripe are holding their regular and one-off farmers' markets. This seems to be a growing and go ahead organisation - we attended a one-off at Al Barsha Pond Park....perhaps it's now a regular.

The Blue Planet Green People gourmet grocery store - for everything organic and natural - is open daily (except Mondays) at BS4, Al Seef 2, Cluster U, Jumeirah Lakes Towers. Ring 04 369 5209 for more info and to confirm directions. Alternatively look at www.blueplanetgreenpeople.com.  

You should also find fresh and organic produce from local farms on Fridays and Saturdays from 9am to 4pm at the government- initiated Organic Produce Market next to the fish market in Deira.

Cloth Souk

In any area, whether it’s downtown old Dubai around the Creek or one of the newer residential or business areas you’ll find a plethora of shops of all types and sizes, including supermarkets such as Carrefoure and Spinneys, often intermingled with a range of eateries. Go into the more industrial areas and you’ll find the less touristy businesses, the furniture shops, the garden centres, the window manufacturers and the like, in what at first glance appear to be just industrial units.

Other new Shopping areas include:

  • The Walk at Jumeirah Beach Residence or JBR Walk as it's often known, is a new must-see area of modern shops and a lively vibrant nightlife. It's close to Dubai Marina and it's right next to The Beach - a great place to dip your toes in the Gulf waters. It's become a very busy area with over 200 new retailers' shops, some being major European indeed global top brands, in what is a completely redeveloped and therefore new area.
  • Dubai Festival City on Al Rebat Street, adjacent to Garhoud Bridge on the Deira side of the Creek, is a retail resort/mall with over 500 shops, over 100 restaurants, cafés, a 12-screen cinema complex and Bowling City. This is where you'll find some of the large stores such as Marks and Spencer, IKEA and Toys R Us. There's also man made waterways where you can catch an abra for a leisurely look around. See www.dubaifestivalcity.com
  • Souk Madinat Jumeirah is a must-visit modern traditional-style Arabian souk with more than 75 carefully selected shops, boutiques, restaurants, bars and the Madinat Theatre. You'll find traders selling candles, Arabian scents, art outlets, and a host of touristy and Arabian style furniture shops. Walk through the souk and back outside and you'll find waterways with hireable abras and a host of eateries overlooking the water.
  • The Gold and Diamond Park has over 90 retail outlets dedicated to the gold and jewellery trade. If you've promised yourself or a loved one that special bit of  jewellery, this is the place to come. It's recognised as probably the cheapest jewellery in Dubai and so it's where the local expats come! There are also 118 manufacturing units for just this specific industry, so if you can't find what you're looking for, they'll make it for you to your own design requirements. There's also a number of eateries and nearby street parking. On the Metro head for First Gulf Bank Station (another stupid name!) on the red route. See www.goldanddiamondpark.com

Now you know Dubai a whole lot better - but before you go home have a look at our page Don't Miss in Dubai to see what you've missed.

Eating Out? Check these out for a fantastic Dubai holiday experience:
Best Restaurants
Café Style
Favourite Bars
Popular Restaurants

Discover favourite Things to Do in Dubai!    Play Golf in Dubai!

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