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Best Shopping in Dubai

Wednesday, July 27th, 2011

Dubai, United Arab Emirates, has numerous attractions for tourists, many of whom travel very large distances from their grey and sunless homelands to soak up the sun and sand of the friendly part of Arabia. Another of the draws for visitors is the shopping, which is plentiful, varied, and, on the whole, cheap. This is a brief guide to making the most of the shopping experiences of Dubai.

Dubai UAE Mall
Photo by Prof. Tournesol

There is a government promoted ‘shopping festival’ in Dubai every January, which sees most shops and malls put on sales and other events to pull in the passing trade. This is a fantastic time to be in Dubai as it can coincide with a New Year’s Eve trip and the weather is still fantastic when compared with a standard northern hemisphere winter. There is also another sale season in high summer but this is not recommended, it is only there to try and increase business when traditionally few tourists come because of the searing and unpleasant summer heat.

Dubai is a place where westerners can get to try out their under used haggling skills. However, be aware that there is still a time and a place. Generally speaking haggling should be reserved for the less formal selling environments such as the souk (market), street vendors and pedlars. Shop assistants in the large malls or other western style outlets will not take kindly to you trying to haggle about the prices as they swipe the barcodes through their cash registers. Also remember that the aim of haggling is to get a ‘fair’ price, not to humiliate a poverty stricken local who needs to turn a profit to feed his family. Find the balance and everyone is happy.

One of the most popular types of goods for visitors to buy is electronics, which are usually much cheaper in Dubai than elsewhere because of the large numbers flowing through the city (it is also a large port sitting on the trade routes from the Far East to Europe) and the low import taxes. All visitors really need to be wary of with this type of purchase is that in many cases the goods are cheap because they are absolute rubbish, you will still pay a premium for quality. Also, although most electronics these days are a convenient size, if visitors want to buy something bulky (a large television perhaps) then you will have to factor the cost and hassle of getting it home into the low price.

Gold is another popular consumer good to be found in large quantities and relatively affordable prices in Dubai. There are some real bargains to be found, especially for gold worked into exotic Arabian styles, but visitors should exercise some caution. It is very rare, but visitors have been sold convincing but worthless jewellery in place of the real thing in the past and also, many countries will expect their citizens to report such purchases to customs when returning home so the appropriate tax can be paid.

Hotels in Dubai

Flora Creek Hotel Apartments Dubai RoomFlora Creek Hotel Apartments
Average Price: €76
Average Rating: 8.8

Metropolitan Deira Hotel Dubai RoomMetropolitan Deira Hotel
Average Price: €34
Average Rating: 7.2

Hotel Le Meridien Fairway Dubai RoomHotel Le Meridien Fairway
Average Price: €30
Average Rating: 8.0

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About the author

Venere Travel Blog writer matteo

Matteo is an active person with a lot of interests. Among all his hobbies, he likes traveling but his biggest passion is music. So is the passion for music, that he has actually written, and still writes, music reviews for some websites.

2 responses to “Best Shopping in Dubai”

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  1. Ken Keeler says via Facebook:
    July 27th, 2011 at 6:39 pm

    hope you are both ok xxx

  2. niva ratna shakya says:
    September 19th, 2013 at 5:44 am

    which season is best to buy a gold jewellery in dubai. is there any sale offer in gold jewellery?


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