Shopping in Dubai | Malls | Souks & Street Shopping

The city of Dubai is a juxtaposition of tradition and modernity. This is the ultimate place to plan your next shopping indulgence. Shopping in Dubai is endless, from it’s malls & souks, to traditional street shopping. Dubai is the beating heart of the international fashion scene.

The key ingredients behind Dubai’s popularity are sparkling beaches, awe-inspiring modern architecture, expansive desert and of course, the overwhelming shopping scene.

Before you witness this madness over shopping in Dubai, it is best to get prepared well in advance to be a part of it. With this article, we are aiming to present you with the real time picture of shopping in Dubai.

Why is Dubai Famous for Shopping?

With a series of swanky mega malls and traditional souks – Dubai is the undisputed King of Shopping in the region. In order to establish itself as one of the major shopping destinations in the world, this is the first city to introduce a shopping carnival, the Dubai Shopping Festival.

Hopefully, now you can imagine the dedication and madness they have got here when it comes to shopping. This year The Dubai Shopping Festival scheduled from 17th December 2020 to 30th January 2021.

Dubai has also introduced a policy of duty-free shopping. This policy saves you from paying anything extra towards national and local taxes for your international buys. It is probably the most enticing part of holidaying in Dubai.  

If you’re thinking of shopping in Dubai as an exorbitant affair for the rich and famous, then allow me to tear that notion apart. The city is home to a hoard of ancient Souks which are just perfect for pocket-friendly buys.

In addition to this, Dubai’s shopping scene is also dominated by thousands of street vendors. When you are not ready to spend too much yet not willing to compromise the quality, go for souk shopping in Dubai.

Shopping in Dubai is irresistible primarily because of its extraordinary collection from of international brands. You name it and they have it in their shops. Designer clothes, watches, perfumes, shoes or fashion jewellery – all global brands are here at Dubai to offer you a wholesome shopping spree.

The Best Shopping Malls in Dubai

Dubai is a duty-free shopping paradise for shopaholics. Foreign shoppers love to buy things from Dubai to get everything from their wish list. True to its charisma and reputation, the city houses a series of humongous and opulent shopping malls. Here is a readymade list of 10 best shopping malls in Dubai to save your time.

1. Dubai Mall

Dubai Mall | Shopping in Dubai | The Vacation Builder

It is impossible to list down the best shopping malls from Dubai without mentioning the Dubai Mall. Located on the Financial Centre Road near Burj Khalifa, it’s the largest shopping mall in the world.

This flagship shopping centre by Emaar Properties spreads over a total area of 12 million square feet. Furthermore, its internal floor area of 5.9 million square feet houses more than 1,200 luxury retail stores, 200 food/beverage outlets and two anchor departmental stores. In addition, this mall accommodates Dubai Aquarium, Underwater Zoo, Ice Rink, Reel Cinema and the enchanting Dubai Fountain.

If you’re afraid of wasting too much time in finding your desired outlets at Dubai Mall, then just relax. Retail shops of this mall have been clustered into different areas as per the product categories. You can even download the Dubai Mall App in your mobile to have everything at your fingertips.

Shopping at Dubai Mall can be a hard pinch on your pocket, but if you’re a brand loyalist, then you should never skip this place.

Dubai Mall Opening Hours: Daily 10.00 AM to 12.00 AM

Contact Number: 800 38224 6255 (800 DUBAI MALL)

Website: https://thedubaimall.com/

Things to do at Dubai Mall

2.  Mall of the Emirates

Shopping in Dubai | Mall of the Emirates

There’s only one shopping complex that can match the grandeur of the Dubai Mall and it is the Mall of the Emirates. This mall has been designed mindfully to offer shoppers a supreme shopping experience.

Your shopping extravaganza at the Mall of the Emirates comes with several fun elements. It always feels like relaxing vacation time at the mall and you never feel any rush.

The Mall of the Emirates comes with many attractions but Ski Dubai is the most sought-after one for sure.  This 85-metre high artificial mountain peak features five ski slopes for snowboarding. Ski Dubai encompasses a 3,000 square metre Snow Park too. Playing with snow and enjoying snowball fights right in the warm lands of Dubai feels extraordinary. 

The Mall of the Emirates is not just any ordinary shopping centre, it is indeed the world’s first shopping resort. The mall proves its worth with more than 500 international brand outlets, 14 VOX movie screens, 95 restaurants and a massive parking area of 7,900 parking slots.

The Mall of the Emirates Opening Hours: Sunday to Wednesday 10.00 AM – 11.00 PM, Thursday to Saturday 10.00 AM – 12.00 AM.

Contact Number: 800 663 6255 (800 MOE MALL)

Website: https://www.malloftheemirates.com/

Dubai Mall vs Mall of the Emirates

3. Wafi Mall

Shopping in Dubai | Wafi Mall

Located on Oud Medha Road in Dubai, Wafi Mall is one of its kind. This mall was established in the year 2001 to give people a magical place to shop.

What makes Wafi Mall strikingly different from others is its conspicuous architecture. This Egyptian themed shopping mall displays a beautiful collection of artworks under the roof of its pyramid styled façade framework. Shopping at Wafi Mall is like stepping inside a pyramid.

There are more than 350 outlets at Wafi Mall that sell clothes, accessories, handmade products and home decors of Arab origin. The most notable attraction of Wafi Mall is Cleopetra’s Spa. This rejuvenating centre allows you to unwind your body and mind like never before.

Wafi Mall Opening Hours: Daily 10.00 AM to 10.00 PM

Contact Number: +971 4 324 4555

Website: https://www.wafi.com/

4. Ibn Battuta Mall

Shopping in Dubai | IBN Battuta Mall
Photo From TurnerConstructionCompany

Located on Sheikh Zayed Road, Ibn Battuta Mall is another marvellous shopping Mecca in Dubai. This mall is one of the largest themed shopping malls in the world. Ibn Battuta Mall features a single-storey structure that was designed to offer homage to the famous Moroccan explorer Ibn Battuta and his travels.

With six distinct retail courts, shopping at Ibn Battuta Mall is indeed a journey of exploration and adventure. These six courts represent the six countries that Ibn Battuta travelled in a span of 24 years – Egypt, Tunisia, India, Andalusia, China and Persia. Each court is a fine amalgamation of the designs and characters from that particular region or country.

This fantastic shopping mall is the home to more than 270 shops, 50 restaurants, 21 movie screens and a huge parking space for 45,000 vehicles. Strolling through the lanes of Ibn Battuta Mall is something like taking a small round trip of the world!

Ibn Battuta Mall Opening Hours: Daily 10.00 Am to 12.00 AM

Location: Sheikh Zayed Road between interchanges 5 and 6, Jabel Ali Village, Dubai

Contact Number: +971 4 368 5140

Website: https://www.ibnbattutamall.com/en

5. Dubai Festival City Mall

Shopping in Dubai | Dubai Festival City Mall
Photo From WikimediaCommons

If you’re wishing for a fun-filled day out paired with fantastic shopping opportunities, Dubai Festival City is the place for you. Located at the upbeat and lavish premises of the Dubai Festival City, this mall is a fine blend of business and entertainment.

Dubai Festival City Mall comes with a great choice of 500 international brands, home furnishing stores, plush movie theatres and multicuisine restaurants. Robinsons Department Store is the highlight of the mall that offers a whole range of luxury brands. This mall is also known as a celebrated destination for organizing business meets and corporate conferences.

Overlooking the Creek, Dubai Festival City Mall offers splendid views of the town’s shimmering skyscrapers as soon as the sun sets in. That’s the reason people love to celebrate New Year’s Eve right at the Dubai Festival Mall against the backdrop of a gleaming skyline.

Dubai Festival City Mall Opening Hours: Daily 10.00 AM to 12.00 AM

Location: Crescent Road, Dubai Festival City, Dubai

Contact Number: +971 800 332

Website: www.dubaifestivalcitymall.com

Read Our Guide to Dubai Festival City Mall

6. Dubai Outlet Mall

Shopping in Dubai | Dubai Outlet Mall

If you’re looking for great deals on luxury brand items, Dubai Outlet Mall is waiting for you. This is the favourite place in Dubai for bargain hunters. What makes this shopping mall special is its year-round attractive deals on branded fashionwear. No one offers discounted end-of-season sales or clearance sales as Dubai Outlet Mall does.

There are more than 1200 brands available at Dubai Outlet Mall. The shopping options are not just restricted to fashionwear. This place showcases an impressive collection of footwear, electrical goods, perfumes, interior décor items and home furnishing products too.

Dubai Outlet Mall Opening Hours: Thursday to Friday 10.00 AM – 12.00 AM, Saturday to Wednesday 10.00 AM – 10.00 PM.

Location: Route 66, Al Ain, Dubai Road, Dubai

Contact Number: +971 4 423 4666

Website: www.dubaioutletmall.com

7. City Centre Deira

Shopping in Dubai | Deira City Centre

City Centre Deira is one of the oldest malls in Dubai. Located at the beautiful waterfront of the Port Saeed Road, this mall was one of the pioneers which introduced the global shopping scene to Dubai. This is why Deira City Centre has a strong and loyal fanbase.

This shopping complex accommodates over 370 outlets including Marks & Spencer, Debenhams, Zara and many more. For cheap deals, don’t forget to visit Mumuso, Miniso and Daiso. If your stomach needs refuelling after several rounds of shopping, you can get a bite from Paul, Carluccio’s or Gazebo.

Apart from shops, Deira City Centre comes with the Magic Planet to entertain any youngsters accompanying their parents to the mall.

City Centre Deira Mall Opening Hours: Daily 10.00 AM to 12.00 AM

Location: 8th Street, Port Saeed Road, Dubai

Contact Number: +971 800 226 255

Website: www.citycentredeira.com

8. BurJuman Mall

Shopping in Dubai | BurJuman Mall
Phtoto From BurJuman.com

BurJuman shopping mall can be best described as a healthy fusion of famous labels and luxury fashion brands from all over the globe. Located at the heart of Bur Dubai, this mall is one of the oldest shopping malls in town. Since the 1990’s, BurJuman has been offering people of Dubai great fashion choices.

The mall features a 3-level structure that offers shelter to more than 320 shops and around 100 cafes and restaurants. Furthermore, BurJuman comes with plenty of entertainment options including the Magic Planet. Movie buffs can always catch up on the recent releases at any of the VOX Cinema theatres at the mall.

BurJuman is the only place in Dubai where you can spot an outlet of Saks Fifth Avenue. The pavilion gardens and open courtyards of the mall are the best places to hang out with your loved ones.

BurJuman Mall Opening Hours: Saturday to Wednesday10.00 AM – 10.00 PM, Thursday to Friday 10.00 AM – 11.00 PM.

Location: Khalid Bin Al Waleed Street, Al Mankhool, Bur Dubai, Dubai

Contact Number: +971 4 352 0222

Website: www.burjuman.com

9. Mercato Shopping Centre

Shopping in Dubai | Mercato Shopping Centre

When it comes to gorgeous shopping centres in Dubai, we need to mention the Mercato Shopping Centre. This place allows buyers to shop amidst some of the most captivating Italian architecture in the town. Mercato brings a little but authentic piece of renaissance style architecture from Italy for everyone to cherish in Dubai.

The Mercato Centre features more than 130 shops selling a wide range of products. Apart from shopping, you can enjoy a sumptuous meal at any of its restaurants.

When your kids are with you, Fun City gaming zone is the best place to keep them glued. At Mercato, there’s also a multiplex to treat you with all sorts of global cinemas.

Mercato Shopping Mall Opening Hours: Daily 10.00 AM to 10.00 PM

Location: Jumeirah Beach Road, Jumeirah 1, Dubai

Contact Number: +971 4 344 4161

Website: https://mercatoshoppingmall.com/

10. Dubai Marina Mall

Shopping in Dubai | Dubai Marina Mall
Photo from Dubai-Marina.com

Dubai Marina Mall epitomises the ambitious vision and vibrant waterfront life of Dubai. This modern and thoughtfully designed shopping complex is a heaven for shoppers looking for a leisure visit to one of the most happening spots around the city. Furthermore, if you’re staying at JBR, then this is just a stones throw away.

Dubai Marina Mall may seem relatively smaller in size when compared to other shopping centres in Dubai but it sits right at the heart of the most happening area, the Dubai Marina.

With an area of 390,000 square feet, this four-level mall houses around 130 retail outlets and plenty of restaurants and cafes. Whats more, you can engage yourself in cinematic thrills at the Reel Cinemas. The mall also takes good care of children’s entertainment too. Dubai Marina brings high-street fashion brands under one roof so that shoppers get everything they wish for.

Dubai Marina Mall Opening Hours: Sunday to Wednesday 10.00 AM – 10.00 PM, Thursday to Saturday 10.00 AM – 11.00 PM.

Location: Exit 32 directly off Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai

Contact Number: +971 4 436 1020

Website: www.dubaimarinamall.com

The Best Souks in Dubai

Dubai is nothing short of a “treasure chest” for shopping spices, dry fruits, textiles, perfumes, jewellery and many other fascinating things. The best places to buy these goods are the traditional souks, spreading all across the city.

Below we have listed down the best shopping souks in Dubai where shopping feels like an invigorating experience.

1. Deira Gold Souk

No one else can beat the reputation of Dubai when it comes to love for Gold. The city relies upon its very own Deira Gold Souk to purchase gold ornaments. A visit to this ancient gold souk is enough to mesmerize you and then captivate you to make at least one purchase.

Lanes of the souk are lined by hundreds of jewellery shops, sitting next to each other. Gold purity comes in 24K, 22K, 21K, 20K and 18K variants and current market rates are displayed outside each store. Even if you don’t plan to buy gold, don’t skip Deira Gold Souk as its liveliness is unparalleled.

Shopping Tips: Deira gold souk shopkeepers quote big prices when they see foreigners. So, you must bargain skilfully to grab the best price.

Deira Gold Souk Opening Hours: Open all days of the week from 10.00 AM to 10.00 PM. Friday timing is from 4.00 PM to 10.00 PM. Usual lunch break session is from 1.00 PM to 4.00 PM.

Location: 54 Al Khor Street,Deira area near Al Ras Metro Station

For more on The Best Places to Buy Gold in Dubai visit here.

2. Deira Spice Souk

Another splendid and aromatic souk awaits you very close to the famous gold souk in Dubai. This ancient marketplace showcases exotic as well as indigenous spices and greets you with its conspicuous aroma coming from the stalls. Deira Spice Souk takes you to a whole new world of vibrant hues, enticing smell and the bustling trading floor of Dubai.

Shopping Tips: High-quality saffron strands, dry fruits, fresh herbs and spices are the favourite picks from the spice souk. Always ask for samples before you buy. The vendors lower the price if you buy in bulk.

Deira Spice Souk Opening Hours: Everyday from 10.00 AM to 2.00 PM and 4.00 PM to 10.00 PM. Friday from 4.00 PM to 10.00 PM.

Location: 26 34 Street, Deira, Near Al Ras Metro Station

3. Perfume Souk

When we talk about the luxurious Arabian lifestyle, how is it possible to describe it without mentioning perfumes? Arabians were always ardent fans of good smell and it reflects through their eternal love for perfume. To reach the aromatic heaven of perfumes, you just need to head east of the Gold Souk.

At the Perfume Souk, there’s no escape from strong aromas of hundreds of traditional fragrances, particularly the Arabic attars. Stored in a small glass bottle, each perfume has its own aromatic story to unfold with just a drop.

Shopping Tips: You can create your own personalized perfume with help of the shopkeepers. You can also buy Bakhoor or Oud to make your room smell great. Incense sticks are must-buys if you love to be surrounded by that oriental smell. Bargaining is essential to get the right deal.

Perfume Souk Opening Hours: Friday from 4.00 PM to 10.00 PM. All others day from 10.00 AM to 10.00 PM.

Location: Sikkat Al Khali Street, Deira, Near Al Ras Metro Station.

4. Textile Souk

No shopping spree is complete with buying clothes or textiles. If you take a short boat ride from Deira across the Dubai Creek, you will find yourself at the alleyways of Dubai’s Textile Souk.

Located along the Creek in Bur Dubai, this is the most sought-after and oldest textile hub in the city. Shops here are stacked with rolls of fabrics including fine silks, hand-weaves, cottons and machine-made fabrics.

Shopping Tips: You can explore outfits prepared by local designers. The designs and pattern will not disappoint you. Apart from fabrics, this souk offers stunning collections of buttons, laces, stones, sequins and readymade orders. Kashmiri shawls are sold like hot cakes.

Textile Souk Opening Hours: Friday from 4.00 PM to 10.00 PM. Other days of the week from 10.00 AM to 10.00 PM.

Location: 57 Ali Bin Abi Talib Street Bur Dubai, Near Bur Dubai Abra Station

5. Souk Madinat Jumeirah

All traditional Dubai souks give you an excellent shopping opportunity only if you possess a sharp bargaining skill. But if you lack this bargaining skill, then Souk Madinat is the place for you. Souk Madinat offers you with more of luxurious and branded goods with the same ancient feel of a typical souk from the town. Tucked into the posh locality of Jumeirah, Souk Madinat is packed with designer stores and high-end restaurants.

Shopping Tips: Visiting Souk Madinat at night is the best shopping slot to avail. This is the time when the souk comes alive with live music and on-the-spot performances. Fixed pricing saves you from haggling.

Souk Madinat Opening Hours: Everyday from 10.00 AM to 11.00 PM.

Location: Al Sufouh Road, Jumeirah, Dubai

For a full Guide on Souk Madinat Jumeirah read this article.

More Souks in Dubai to Explore

Meena Bazaar

  • Located at Khalid Bin Waleed Street, Bur Dubai.
  • Opening Hours: Everyday 9.00 AM to 10.00 PM
  • Best for textiles, perfumes and jewellery shopping
  • Beware of duplicate products

Dubai Flea Market

  • Multiple locations including Jumeirah Lakes Towers, Ibn Battuta Mall, Zabeel Park and The Greens
  • Good for local and second-hand product shopping
  • Such shopping events can be seen 2-3 times a year over different locations across Dubai
  • Hone your bargaining skill

Global Village

  • Located on Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Road E 311, Dubai
  • Saturday to Wednesday 4.00 PM to 11.30 PM, Thursday and Friday 4.00 PM to 12.30 AM
  • A seasonal shopping event held during the months of October to April
  • Shops from 90 different countries
  • Turkish kebabs, USA burgers and Indian delicacies are must-try

Street Shopping in Dubai

Although world-class shopping malls immensely dominate the Dubai shopping scene, the city is also home to a hoard of street markets. However, these markets are often not considered as a primary shopping destination by foreign tourists.

Surprisingly though, all of the street markets in Dubai sell quality products at affordable prices. If you are interested in exploring these street markets during your visit to Dubai then see our list below:

1. Meena Bazaar

  • Located near Khalid Al Waleed Street in Bur Dubai
  • Best known for Pakistani and Indian clothes, gold jewellery
  • This market remains open from Saturday to Thursday

2. Deira Old Souk

  • Located in Bur Dubai
  • Ideal place to shop for shoes, clothes, fabrics and fashion jewellery at cheap prices
  • Enough scope to bargain and bring down the quoted prices

3. Al Fahidi Street

  • Located on Al Fahidi Street in Bur Dubai
  • Best place to buy all sorts of electronic items at reasonable prices
  • Night shopping feels great
  • Remains open from 10.00 AM – 12.00 AM (Saturday to Thursday), 4.00 PM – 12.00 AM (Friday)

4. Karama Shopping Complex

  • Positioned along a street running across the Karama district in Dubai
  • A wonderful market offering massive variety of clothes, footwear, clothes and sportswear
  • Bargaining skill must be sharp to reach the reasonable price range

5. The Walk at JBR

  • Located at the Jumeirah Beach Residence Walk
  • This 1.7-kilometre stretch is dotted with many supermarkets and boutique shops
  • Best to buy bags, jewelleries and local handcrafts

Dubai Shopping Festival

Dubai takes shopping seriously and Dubai Shopping Festival proves their effort to the world. This captivating shopping carnival is organized by Dubai Festival Retail Sector Promotion Establishment (DFRE) in collaboration with Dubai Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM).  The Dubai Shopping Festival is the biggest shopping extravaganza in the whole Middle East.

Dubai Shopping Festival 2021 Dates

Dubai Shopping Festival is on its 26th edition this year. It will be held from 17th December 2020 to 30th January 2021.

What Dubai Shopping Festival has to offer?

Dubai Shopping Festival is a month-long shopping carnival that comes with numerous attractions. Let us take a glance at them.

  • Unbeatable deals
  • Fashion shows
  • Flash sales
  • Celebrity performances
  • Live music and street performances
  • A strong cosmopolitan cultural vibe
  • Amazing artworks
  • Countless events and activities for children
  • Stunning display of fireworks
  • A scope to explore multi-cuisine food across the globe
  • Holiday deals and attractive tour packages specially curated for tourists planning to visit the festival

Things To Keep In Mind When Shopping in Dubai

Before indulging in your long-cherished shopping binge in Dubai, we have summed up a carefully thought list of handy tips for you:

  • Don’t shop in a hurry. Take your time.
  • Not all luxury items are cheaper in Dubai
  • Try to shop more during the shopping festivals
  • Online shopping in Dubai comes with cheaper rates
  • Explore traditional souks in Dubai to get something exotic without burning a hole in your pocket
  • Never miss the clearance sales at malls/shops
  • If you can afford it, then always buy gold jewellery, perfumes, handcrafts and antiques in Dubai as they’re much cheaper here.

Where is it Cheap for Shopping in Dubai?

Many people fear to lose a fortune over their shopping binge in Dubai. But that’s just part and parcel of Dubai’s shopping scene. There are several local markets and souks where you can get everything under your budget.

There is another way to go shopping for cheaper prices in Dubai. Check out the deals and discounts that international brands and famous shopping malls in Dubai are offering. By doing this, you will get the same quality products at much lower prices. This is the most effective way to save more without compromising on the quality part.

Where is Best Place to Buy Designer Clothes in Dubai?

It is hard to pick just a few designer shops in Dubai. The whole city is overcrowded with plenty of such outlets. Below are the shops and malls where designer items can be found at reasonable prices.

  • Robinsons, Festival City Mall
  • Harvey Nichols, Mall of the Emirates
  • Bloomingdale’s, The Dubai Mall
  • Le BHV Marais, City Walk
  • Galeries Lafayette, The Dubai Mall

Are Designer Clothes Cheaper in Dubai?

That depends on the exchange rate you are receiving against your currency. If the currency of your homeland is going strong against the Dirham, then items may seem cheaper to you. Recently the Dirham is doing great against the Dollar and Pound Sterling, which means designer products will not be that much cheaper anymore in Dubai.

Dubai still offers gold at cut rate prices in comparison to other countries though.

Are designer bags cheaper in Dubai?

Most designer bags come cheaper in Dubai as many of them are made in the Middle East. However, not all luxury brands. Louis Vuitton, Gucci and many other luxury bags can be found slightly cheaper in Dubai though.

Conclusion

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