Over the past ten years, consumer behavior has rapidly changed due to the effect of globalization. One of the most important consumer trends involves the increasing popularity of taking shopping trips to the prosperous United Arab Emirates (UAE), and particularly to the Emirates' largest and wealthiest cities: the capital city Abu Dhabi and the global shopping and business hub of Dubai. Every year, hundreds of thousands of shoppers from all over the world flock to these cities to take advantage of the incredible bargains to be had at Dubai and Abu Dhabi's malls and street markets.
If a shopping trip to the UAE is on the cards for you and your family, read on for some useful tips and suggestions to help you make the most of your stay.
Shopping in Abu Dhabi
Shopping in Abu Dhabi is at its best at the Marina Mall, where well-heeled Emiratis shop for luxury designer goods. The mall's prime location on the waterfront is ideal, as it offers stunning views of the beaches and the city's impressive skyline. Another recommended outlet is Al-Wahda Mall, which regularly offers discounts of 25-50% on clothing and accessories.
For bargains on mobile phones, cosmetics, and perfumes, head to the souk (market) at the World Trade Centre: a tourist attraction in its own right. Don't miss the Qaryat Al Beri souk either, an atmospheric venue located by the Al-Makta canal that makes for a memorable shopping experience.
Shopping in Dubai
A stop at the Mall of the Emirates is pretty much mandatory! This huge mall is packed with designer shops and every detail speaks of opulence and glamour. Check the mall's special offers online before you go to see what special offers are available to take advantage of.
It's also worth visiting the city's street markets (especially Bur Dubai or Deira), where you can get electronics, cosmetics, souvenirs, and designer copies at very reasonable prices -if you are willing to bargain, that is. Dubai also has specialized jewelry, textile, and spice souks where you'll be able to get your hands on many one-of-a-kind goods that would be impossible to find in the US.
Last but not least, try to book your shopping trip during the first two months of the year to enjoy the Dubai Shopping Festival, a one-month event that combines an interesting cultural program with a fantastic range of discounts and promotions at pretty much every outlet in town.
It’s impossible to visit this shopping mecca without taking home a few goods, so make sure there’s plenty of room in your suitcase.
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