From the moment the aircraft door opens, Dubai will be etched into your memory. Is this where the saying ‘shop till you drop’ was coined? From small one-man outlets to the most exclusive brands, shopping in Dubai is surprising, addictive and never ever dull.
Dubai features three souks (Arab markets), the spice souk, gold souk and textile souk, each offering a very different experience. The spice souk includes dozens of stalls with the most delicious smelling herbs and spices. Although the salesmen are quite ‘proactive’ they always remain friendly and correct. The same applies to the gold souk, which offers a magical collection of golden rings, bracelets and necklaces in a ‘1001 Arabian Nights’ setting. Gold was traditionally reasonably priced in Dubai, but even here the prices have gradually increased. Nevertheless, all this bling is still presented as abundantly as buns in a bakery. People with a love for colour will adore the Textile Souk, which offers fabrics, shawls and harem trousers in every hue of the rainbow. The souk also sells a wide variety of colourful shoes.
Even if shopping is not high on your to-do list in Dubai, a visit to one of the immense shopping malls really is a must. The Dubai Mall, the largest shopping mall in the world and one of the most impressive, was opened in 2008. It features no less than 1200 shops as well as the world’s largest aquarium and parking for as many as 14,000 cars. Dubai’s second largest shopping centre, the Mall of the Emirates, takes things further. In addition to large shops from the most renowned fashion brands, the mall includes an indoor ski centre. Shivering on your skis while the temperatures outside are as high as 50 degrees Celsius; only in Dubai.