Best shopping spots in Dubai, UAE

Burj Khalifa in Dubai, UAE

Burj Khalifa, Dubai

The city of Dubai (UAE) would certainly be the gold medals’ favorite, had there been a sport named shopping. Where else in the world would you find a dedicated celebration ‘Shopping Festival’ each year? Here is a city where shopping is a national pastime. But unlike shopping districts or store-lined streets in other hot favorite shopping towns, here it’s all about the malls. There are hundreds of these vast ‘monuments of consumerism’ where tourists stagger about with more bags than they can feasibly carry.
Dubai’s vast malls come studded with cafés and restaurants, and often with a whole bunch of enormous entertainment features. The Dubai Mall, the biggest in the world, stands next to the Burj Khalifa. It boasts of a theme park, an ice-skating rink and a giant aquarium inside. Another top mall, the Mall of the Emirates, includes the world’s biggest indoor ski slope. The malls in Dubai act as socializing spots, places for hanging out with the family or for meeting up with friends for a movie, coffee or bowling. Thankfully, most of them are extremely clean, easy to get to and offer a wide range of facilities. And, most importantly, they’re all air-conditioned, which is useful during the summer months.
The Dubai Shopping Festival
Held in the month of January and February, it has become much more than just what it sounds. The huge discounts, loud promotions, wide sales, and contests with Porsches as the prizes, all make it an enriching experience altogether. The venue is well laid out for kids’ entertainment, street fairs with food stalls and vivid fireworks. At the Diving and the Heritage Village, traditional dance performances and various cultural activities are the major attractions.

Dubai Gold Souq - visa to Dubai

Gold trader at Gold Souq in Dubai, UAE

The Souks
In Arabic, Souk means a place where any kind of product can be exchanged or bought. The closest equivalent is bazaar. There are opportunities for la fresco shopping too. Dubai’s best buys are the things we associate the most with the Middle East: carpets, textiles, spices, gold, perfume frankincense, and myrrh. The Deira covered market was once the Arabian Gulf’s largest. The city’s Spice Souk is small and a lot more busier than it once was, but a stroll here is an aromatic boon for the senses.
Gold Souk and the Textile Souk are the other notable Arabian style Souks in the metropolitan city. They’re not just for tourists, these gritty and ramshackle Souks are where the real people shop for everyday things. Deira’s covered Souqs are the places where you would find belly dancing costumes, traditional outfits, hookah (sheesha) pipes. At the Gold Souq, anything that glitters is worth consideration. Bur Dubai’s Textile Souq sells splendid Indian saris, colorful fabrics, stylish Aladdin slippers, and Arabian antiques. For discounted souvenirs, the Karama Souk is the best place in the region.
So, what would you take home as a souvenir? Something traditional from the souks, say, gold jewellery, or an Arabian outfit? Or would you rather scan through the malls for designer accessories or the latest electronic gadgets? Either way, you take a dip in the pool of the enriching experiences the temples of consumerism have to offer here.
Please note that in order to enter the UAE many foreign visitors are required to obtain their official travel visas at the VisaCenters in USA, UK and Canada.

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