Dubai is rapidly becoming one of the most popular shopping destinations in the world. Visitors from all four corners are enchanted by the variety, extravagance, and fun of shopping in this desert marketplace. Dubai offers shoppers an experience not found anywhere else. Here are some of the highlights of a trip to Dubai.
Sprawled at the base of the world’s tallest building, the Dubai Mall overwhelms visitors with its size and variety. More than 1200 stores selling everything from haute couture to kitschy souvenir camels reinforce the claim that this is the largest shopping center on earth. Wander through Fashion Avenue to see what the world’s best designers are featuring. Check out the Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo that features glass-bottom boat rides and scuba diving with sharks. It is hard to be bored in this expansive monument to shopping, dining, leisure and entertainment.
Mall of the Emirates
Snowboarding and skiing in the desert is the highlight of this large mall. The indoor ski slope offers desert visitors a refreshingly chilly diversion. Rent gear for a day of skiing and snowboarding or just to play in the snow. The Penguin Encounter offers a chance to learn about and interact with some of these friendly cold-loving creatures. With more than 500 stores, including an impressive lineup of high end fashion and luxury stores, it holds its own as a destination mall in Dubai.
Located in the heart of Deira, one of the oldest areas of Dubai, the Gold Souq is a modern version of the traditional marketplaces and trading centers of the Middle East known as souqs. Small alleyways lined with stores entice shoppers with lavish displays. Gold jewelry of every size and price sparkles in display widows and relentless dealers clamor for visitors’ attention. As in any traditional Middle East marketplace, bargaining on the price is a part of the shopping experience.
Ibn Battuta Mall
Smaller than many of the malls in Dubai, the Ibn Battuta Mall offers a great shopping experience none the less. The mall is named after an ancient Arab traveler who traveled thousands of miles in the 14th century and then wrote about all the exotic lands he had visited. Sections of the mall feature extravagant decorations that transport shoppers to those faraway lands. Walking from the China Court with its full-size Chinese Junk past the Persia Court, the Egypt Court, the Tunisia Court, and on the Andalusia Court gives one a sense of all the wonderful lands he encountered.
Bur Dubai Souq
For the atmosphere and feel of the traditional Middle East markets, visit the Bur Dubai Souq. Fend off pushy vendors hawking their merchandise as you wander through the crowded alleyways. There is no high-end fashion here. The savvy traveler knows to pick up pashmina scarves, colorful textiles, dried spices, and sequined pillows for holiday gift giving. Prices are cheap and bargaining is expected.
More from this author:
Making the Best of Off season Travel to Europe
5 Tips for Safe Internet Use while Traveling Abroad
Get More From Your Trip: Become a Temporary Local