brief Guidance for Shopping in Dubai 

Dubai is a shopper’s paradise. This brief guidance for shopping in Dubai will help you plan where and what to shop on your luxury travel in Dubai. Dubai is a mix of the traditional and modern life styles. Dubai shopping comprises of mega-malls with indoor multiplexes, designer brands, and ski facilities, to souks where spices, jewelry, and fabrics are still haggled over, you can find almost any shopping experience, and any item, at any price range in Dubai. In this site we use the word of souk to describe an Arab market or marketplace

Dubai Gold Souk

Basically there is nothing you cannot buy when shopping in Dubai where you can always view the best retail products. Shopping is a huge part of everyday life in Dubai. So when you visit, make sure to take a stroll in one of the malls or shopping destinations.

Dubai has everything for you to shop. When you are shopping in Dubai, 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!! 

why need some tips or brief guidance for Dubai shopping?

While shopping in Dubai could  be one of the most exciting getaways, still sometime shopping could be tiring and frustrating, especially for you who visit Dubai at the first time.  I believe that you would agree that the key to a successful and stress-free shopping experience is to be prepared. With so many malls and shopping centers all over Dubai that deciding where to go can actually be quite intimidating. However, with a few tips below, you can get what you are looking for at competitive pricing.

  • Decide what you to buy
  • Find the good time to shop, see the below tips to find the months where Dubai offers discounted price for all items
  • Decide what malls you would go
  • Is the item possible for you to bargain
  • Find the location of the mall/souk and find the way how to go there. (for you who are in escorted travel may ignore this tip)

facts of people shopping in dubai

The world knows Dubai as 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. Not only that, check below for reasons why people do Dubai shopping. 

1.  Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF)

Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF) is one of the reasons people shopping in Dubai. DSF is a well-known shopping fiestas in the world and the largest shopping festival clubbed with an entertainment extravaganza in the Middle East. Have you heard it before?  Not like Black Friday nor Boxing Day in the US and Canada respectively, DSF is held for over a month that the city’s malls, markets, general retail stores and experience venues all go on promotion. You will get what you are looking for from huge discounts to amazing deals. 

This is a city-wide festival, which means the festival can be enjoyed in multiple locations and everything on your mind is available at heavily discounted prices. Not only that, Dubai Shopping Festival is more than just a festival of shopping in Dubai, there is a lot more to do and enjoy with your family, friends or even by yourself. Travelling with kids? No problem

Even if you don’t want to shop, you can have a great time just wandering around to enjoy:

Street fairs with food stalls, eye-catching nightly fireworks, traditional and cultural activities, live music, celebrity performances, juggler acts, magic show and kids can also meet their favorite cartoon characters such as Pokemon, Casper and Tarzan. Such a good festival to experience shopping in Dubai. 

What are on the discounted prices in the DSF?

  • Gold Jewelry – modern or classic designs, purity and good prices are some of the reasons why DFS is a good time to buy gold jewellery. 
  • Perfumes and Cosmetics – pick the brands you wear 
  • Watches – get it from your favorite collection for sure. Cartier, Rado, ICW, Michael Kors, Burberry and more 
  • Leather or classy leather goods like of Bags and Jackets – the country is famous for its best quality leather
  • Apparels– you’ll be spoilt by the choice of your favorite brands of clothing 
  • Gadgets – best brands and latest products are available at heavily discounted prices
  • ..and more

 When Dubai Shopping Festival Takes Place?

The DSF takes place in January of the year when the temperature is just right in 

2.  Dubai Summer Surprises

Another annual event that has put Dubai on the world map is the Dubai Summer Surprises (DSS), which runs for six (6) weeks at the beginning of summer in Dubai which starts in late June. The DSS is more designed for the whole family shopping as the kids are on school holidays in Dubai.

There’s a festival mascot called Modhesh which looks like a yellow bicycle pump. Modhesh is nothing but a character symbolizing the DSS, an annual event featuring 6 weeks of family entertainment and great shopping deals as retailers also offer mass discounts during this period.  So if you miss Dubai Shopping Festival. DSS event is also the best time for shopping in Dubai while other attractions in the city also offer their own discounts. There are multiple shows and games aimed at entertaining children during this time

3. global village

Global village is another great place for shopping in Dubai. If you want to experience just a bit taste of some countries in the world, the Global Village spot is a good place to visit.  The Global Village is a shopping festival that features pavilions from all across the world held in Nov to April. 

Global Village is Dubai’s leading family entertainment and cultural attraction with a unique shopping experience at 30 pavilions have represented cultures of 75 countries including UAE, Turkey, Jordan, Russia, The Americas, Pakistan, Italy, Lebanon, Indonesia, Palestine, Iran, Morocco and more. It a great place too for shopping in Dubai that you can purchase unique souvenirs from different  countries

It is truly a global village which each country has a separate area where they have nicely done up, so beautiful, and many shops with local and traditional items. The Global village is the place where you find different international community gather together to display their culture and heritage through unique exhibitions of traditional handicrafts, clothing, music and dances.

You will find the displays for each country are amazing. Another great place for shopping in Dubai.  Lots of things to buy and some at reasonable prices.

Clean and good washrooms and prayer facilities. Beautiful at night with all the lights.

4 world-Class Shopping 

World-class shopping malls and goods is one of the reasons for people shopping in Dubai.  There is no other city in the world that take shopping feast seriously but Dubai. Even if you can’t make the festivals, you’ll always find plenty of sales and offers designed to tempt you. Dubai is home to the world's largest modern mall that are air-conditioned and feature the latest fashions.

Not only can you find your favorite and popular brands in the retail outlets located in the region, but also experience the gold markets, which offer platinum, diamonds and occasionally silver at very good  prices than what other big cities offer. 

Dubai has multiple shopping complexes and many travellers even has its own dedicated shopping festival as mentioned above. Shopping in Dubai along with the atmosphere has mesmerized many travellers from all over the world. 

5. TAX FREE

Puhhf. What could we look for more than shopping our favorite tax-free brand names collection! Dubai is a popular destination for expats and travellers from all across the globe, not just for the opportunities it promises but also for the lure of living a "tax-free" life. Either for home decoration, or electronic or your favorite brand names collections are all tax-free.  

For many visitors to Dubai, the main reason to visit the city is to shop!

6. relatively cheaper at certain malls 

Is it really cheap shopping in Dubai?  Yes! However it depends what you look for, where you come from, what mall you go and the time you are there. But it is relatively cheaper for people from high tax countries.

However there are some malls where you can find some stuff cheaper regardless the time but typically it is located a bit far from the Dubai city like Al Karama market, Lulu Dept Store and Dragon mall. Down below you will find the list of malls along with attributes what make those mall special and good to shop at.

You will find the price for your favorite brand-name item in Dubai is almost the same as what you pay in your country. But some people visit Dubai to shop for the luxury experience, amazing malls, great choice of luxury goods, strengthen family bond, feel the traditional Arabic culture, etc. So yo may have the same stuff at the same price but with more luxury travel experience in Dubai.

what about shopping in Dubai from the souk? It depends on the type and locations of the souk! Like souk at the Madinat Jumeirah or Donwntown Burj Dubai, these actually shops which are located in a old design copy of souks, and under full central A/C, no sweat when you go around these souks - that does not mean you get to buy cheap goods in there, they almost selling same goods like those in the malls. 

7. do we have to bargain when shopping in dubai?

While bargaining in the souqs is acceptable, it’s not in a mall. The general rule is that if an item has an official looking price tag on it in a smart shop, then it probably won’t be a good place to try your bargaining skill. But if there are no price tags and you are buying something of a traditional or local nature, such as a shawl or textiles, then give it a try.

Do you enjoy and good at bargaining?

Some travellers claim that one of the fun parts shopping in Dubai is bargaining or haggling. For you who never do bargaining perhaps the following tips are useful. Again, bargaining is only acceptable at souks not at malls unless at carpet stores. This tips below applied for non-gold items when you are shopping in Dubai. 

  • Never pay the first price you’re offered because you’re probably paying double the value.
  • You may think that the first price you're given is cheaper than what you’d pay back home, but isn't that nicer if you get it a lot less?
  • Start with 50 percent less of the firstly price you're given. (keep in mind the salesman will perhaps laugh and make you feel embarrassed)
  • Stick with your first bargain and pretend to leave the store, at most cases the salesman then will drop the price then you raise yours a little and you keep doing it until you think the price is acceptable. 
  • It is always better if you know the price of the item you are haggling for by comparing the price of the same item in a mall. For example the price of miniature of a crystal Burj al Arab for 10 AED in Al Karama market would cost at least 100 AED  in the malls and tourist area .

Are you a gold lover? Here are some tips to bargain the piece that you love to purchase when you are shopping in Dubai.

  • The gold price is set internationally on a daily basis. 
  • The price of 24 carat gold, should be clearly shown in the store.
  • Always check the price in the internet before you go to the gold souk that you can compare it to the price displayed. If it is not clearly displayed, ask the salesman
  • Once you have chosen a piece that you might like to buy, the salesman will weigh it in front of you and calculate the price
  • Ask about the quality of the gold. 24 carat or less carat.
  • Ask what the price would be if it was calculated at today’s gold price, only. It will be less but should not be dramatically less than the original price quoted to you. I would say you may purchase the piece at maximum 20 percent higher than the original price.  The work put into a piece of jewelry is charged for, but if it is a locally made piece, it should not be much
  • Handle the bargaining process with patience and humor. You will get the best prices through being charming not through being aggressive

more general information on shopping in dubai

  • Most shopping malls in Dubai are open from 10am until 10pm.
  • On Fridays, most if not all malls and shops open from 2pm, to accommodate the Friday worship hours and close at 11pm or 12 pm
  • When you need  a taxi, use the one with a based-meter fare system. Taxi is safe in Dubai.
  • Make sure to check around the souk before deciding on what to buy, as many shops sell similar items. (Haggling and comparison shopping is common, see above note on bargaining
  • Be aware that the watches and handbags sold in the street souk are mostly fake.
  • Use general rules when you are using credit card that many shops charge an additional fee for its use especially for international shopping. It should not hurt asking the rate of charge to the salesman.  Click HERE to find a general rule for using credit card for international shopping

any question about shopping in Dubai guide?

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