Dubai is labeled the “shopping capital of the Middle East”. With so many shopping malls and souks, there’s no better place to find products at unbeatable prices. Cars, haute couture clothing, jewellery, electronics, furnishing, sporting equipment, and any other goods will likely all be under the same roof.
Retail prices are very reasonable because of its open port and low import duties and the variety of products available. Free of tax, many top brand-name products are cheaper in Dubai than in their countries of origin. Products like gold and jewellery, high fashion, electronics, and carpets and handicrafts can be bought for amazing deals that are unmatchable anywhere else in the world.
Even major brand name products, widely available in the city, are often less expensive in Dubai than in their country of origin. The major shopping areas of the city are Al Faheidi Road, Al Rigga Road, Al Karama, Al Satwa’s Al Dhiyafah Road and Beniyas Square. The modern shopping malls, located throughout the city, contrast with the sights, sounds and smells of the traditional souks.
he Dubai Shopping Festival is known throughout the world for not only being an opportunity for fantastic shopping andbargains, but also as one of the world’s most entertaining festivals including grand firework displays, great prizes to be won, and of course the excitement of being in Dubai itself. Last year over million people attended the event. One of the highlights of the festival is the Global Village, with thirty eight pavilions from as many countries all displaying their traditional and modern wares and local cuisine, there is no shortage of things to do.
Normal shopping hours in Dubai are from 9am to 1pm and 4pm until 9pm or later. Some boutiques in the residential areas do not open until 9.30 or 10.00am. Most supermarkets stay open all day, from Saturday to Thursday. All shops close for prayers on Friday from 11.30am to 1.30pm. Shopping malls and most shops are open on Friday evenings until late.
Souks have been called “the heart of urban Arabia”, and Dubai has plenty. These range from the traditional, dusty, alleyways of the spice souk, a stone’s throw from the Creek, to the modern fish souk with the many varieties caught in Gulf waters and the fruit and vegetable soup with its bustle and vivid colors. Dubai’s most famous market of all is the Gold Souk, in Gold Souk’s prices are very reasonable and largely determined by weight, rather than design and craftsmanship.