Synonymous with exciting shopping adventures, Dubai sits on top when it comes to shopping complexes. Aside from the traditional souks found around Dubai, Sharjah and other emirates, shopping malls in Dubai are, without a doubt, one of the top city attractions. There are more malls in Dubai than anywhere else in the Middle East! There are many who visit Dubai specifically to shop-‘til-they-drop. Many Dubai hotels provide transportation to a number of malls in Dubai exemplifying the importance of shopping in the city. Modern shopping malls in Dubai are distributed in areas all around the city accommodating visitors and locals alike.
Choosing which Dubai mall to explore will depend on if you’re looking for great prices or more upscale shopping and dining. When to go depends on which day of the week it is. On the weekends any Dubai city mall will be jam-packed with people so it’s best to arrive early. Though shopping hours can vary, the most common hours are 9am through 1pm and about 4pm through to 9pm and sometimes later. Fridays are the most important day for prayers and all stores close from 11:30am to 1:30pm. To counter the afternoon lull, most malls in Dubai are open quite late on Friday nights.
Offering a huge variety of products tagged with affordable prices, almost every Dubai city mall provides an international shopping experience with the added benefit of excellent local products. Every Dubai mall offers products free from taxes making famous brand names more affordable. The lack of taxes also encourages people to buy more, boosting the economy. Haute couture from cities like Milan, the best in electronics, local Bedouin jewelry and much more are all available in Dubai.
There are many malls in Dubai aside from the most famous, The Mall of the Emirates, which is a great place to shop and take a ski trip! The Deira Center Dubai Mall features more than 300 retail shops adjacent to the Sofitel Hotel by Dubai Creek. Shop for anything your heart desires, from electronics to gold and jewels to carpets to brand name clothing. Every year the Deira Center hosts more than 20 million shoppers from Saturday through Thursday between 10 and 10. Six thousand complimentary parking spots are the icing on the cake if you’re driving.
The smaller, yet more charming, Dubai city mall called Mercato Mall, is designed congruent with the Italian Renaissance. Mercato, meaning market in Italian, evokes a Mediterranean atmosphere and features almost 100 contemporary stores and specialty shops. It’s a close trip from Jumeirah Beach and also near the zoo. The Oasis City Center is one of the shopping malls in Dubai catering toward children’s entertainment. It boasts an impressive 10,000 sq.ft. kids’ fun center. The Oasis Mall comprises 300,000 sq.ft. in total and is well-known for having very affordable prices. The main retail products are children’s clothing and toys.
One of the biggest malls in Dubai is the City Center Shopping Mall. Almost 1.30 million sq.ft. Of retail space, 6000 parking spots, 300 stores, plenty of dining opportunities, a textile and jewelry court, an entertainment complex and many local Arabian goods makes it pretty well all-encompassing. Other shopping malls in Dubai include The Hamarain Centre adjacent to the J.W. Marriott, Al Bustan Centre, Al Ghurair Retail City and Lamcy Plaza.
It’s helpful to note that even though the majority of malls in Dubai do have fixed prices, bargaining is still an accepted practice. Though most electronics stores, high-end boutiques, supermarkets and large department stores don’t practice bargaining, negotiating prices in a friendly manner is acceptable at most other stores and outlets. If you’re shopping for more traditional items during your holidays look for Arabian tea pots, wood and silver dhows, Persian rugs and carpets, prayer beads, semiprecious stones and marble goblets. Make sure to compare all prices for electronics before making a major purchase as they can differ significantly from mall to mall. Most of all, have fun and don’t be afraid to use your most amiable bargaining skills to get the best deals!