From mega malls to traditional souks, check out Dubai’s five best shopping hotspots
Dubai has long had a reputation for being one of the world’s best destinations for shopping. The Middle Eastern city is teeming with mega malls, designer boutiques, traditional souks and mall complexes, which take retail therapy to a whole new level.
One person who knows all about Dubai’s love of shopping is Destination 2’s Middle East travel guru, Chris Blackwell. Here he talks us through the city’s best malls, markets and stores.
1. Dubai Mall
Think London’s Westfield or Manchester’s Trafford Centre, but far bigger. The Dubai Mall is the world’s largest mall by area and one of the city’s best attractions.
You’ll find no less than 1200 stores, including designer houses, jewellers and local boutiques, in this breathtaking shopping destination.
But that’s not all the Dubai Mall is famous for; the complex also boasts several amazing kids zones, an ice rink and the impressive Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo.
The Dubai Aquarium isn’t like your average aquarium. The enclosure not only boasts a spectacular selection of marine life, it’s also home to one of the world’s biggest reptiles – King Croc!
The Dubai Mall is both lavish and extraordinary. It’s also within walking distance of the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building.
2. Souk Medinat Jumeirah
Dubai isn’t all ultra-modern complexes and futuristic skyscrapers. Believe it or not, there’s another side to Dubai shopping, one that reflects the city’s rich heritage.
The Souk Madinat Jumeirah is an awesome recreation of the Middle East’s expansive bazaars and markets, where traders and shopkeepers sell handmade goods and traditional wears. You’ll find everything from Persian rugs to handcrafted crockery along the indoor market’s many avenues and walkways. The souk also boasts a fine selection of restaurants, cafés and bars, which provide the perfect sanctuary after a long day of shopping.
3. Dubai Gold Souk
Following in a similar vein to the Souk Medinat is Dubai’s Gold Souk, which can be found in Deira. As it’s name suggests, this luxurious market specialises in all things gold. Jewellers and traders from all over the world come here to buy and sell this precious material. If you’re looking for an engagement or wedding ring for that special someone, the Gold Souk is the perfect place to pick up a unique band at a price that’s often negotiable.
4. Mall of the Emirates
Expect shopping beyond your wildest dreams when you visit the superb Mall of the Emirates shopping mall. Developers were given a budget of $218 million dollars to build this huge shopping hub and it shows. The mall boasts over 600 shops in total, including a Harvey Nichols and Debenhams for those must-have luxury purchases.
Much like the Dubai Mall, shopping isn’t the only reason to visit the Mall of the Emirates. The complex also doubles up as a world-renowned entertainment centre. A 14-screen VOX cinema and Theatre and Arts centre are among the mall’s enviable boasts, but the real showstopper is the award-winning Ski Dubai complex.
Ski Dubai provides all the fun of the Alps, in the heart of the Middle East with slopes of varying heights, professional lessons and a fun family snow play area for the kids.
5. Wafi City
Last but by no means least on this list is the exceptional Wafi Mall, which boasts the world’s biggest high street chains and traditional Arabian souk. The first thing you’ll notice about Wafi City is its Egyptian-inspired structure, which focuses around a grand Pyramid. You’ll feel like Cleopatra with a credit card when shopping in this stellar complex.
No expense has been spared at the Wafi Mall, with Syrain, Turkish and Moroccan influences that all add to the grandeur of this first-rate marketing places – it’s truly unique.
As with many of Dubai’s shopping malls, the complex also takes on the form of an entertainment centre. Mini golf, a kids’ entertainment centre and several restaurants all feature here.
On top of all of this, the Wafi City mall also boasts a relaxing spa, for kicking back and taking it easy.