Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates, is a hugely popular tourist destination and it’s not hard to see why. It offers travellers the chance to stay in a unique, constantly changing landscape dominated by architectural wonders. The city also has glorious sandy beaches and a huge selection of world class restaurants and hotels. Add to that the guaranteed hot and sunny weather and the chance to shop in an amazing selection of shopping malls, souks and bazaars and you’ll understand why it’s the ideal destination for a shopping holiday.
The City of Gold and Much More
Many visitors come to Dubai to shop for gold jewellery and the Gold Souk is an incredible place to visit. Hundreds of gold jewellery shops compete for your trade, selling all types of items in varying carrots of gold at discounted prices. If you visit during the Dubai Shopping Festival (held each year in January and February) or Dubai Summer Surprises (in July and August) there are even more sales and discount offers.
The Mall of the Emirates is another popular shopping attraction and is one of the largest and most elegant malls in the world. The centre houses over 500 shops and chic boutiques and sells everything imaginable; fashion, art, antiques and electronics. It’s also an entertainment complex with fine dining restaurants, cinemas, a theatre and even an indoor ski slope. You really can spend an entire day and evening here and combine shopping with leisure.
For a more traditional experience visit the historical Spice Souk or the fragrant Perfume Souk but be prepared to barter to get the best possible deal for all your holiday gifts and souvenirs.
Where to Stay
After a hard day of shopping you’ll want to know that you can relax in a comfortable and cool hotel. Thankfully in Dubai there’s no shortage of accommodation.
Hotel buildings themselves are usually stunning skyscrapers that form part of this cosmopolitan city’s distinctive skyline. The world’s tallest hotel, the Burj Al Arab, is in Dubai but all hotels offer stunning views of the golden beaches and the famous Palm tree-shaped, man-made island that stretches into the blue ocean waters. It makes sense to choose a city centre hotel in Dubai so that you can enjoy quick access to all the major shopping and leisure areas of the city. The Bur Dubai area is a great location
Best Places to Eat
The city itself is home to a mixture of diverse and varied world cultures and you’ll find this reflected in the international and traditional choices for dining. Many of the best restaurants are located in the hotels but you’ll also find an array of less formal dining options, ranging from street food, casual cafes to readily available takeaways e.
For some delicious traditional Arabic food take a break from shopping and stop by Al Nafoorah in the Emirates Tower; a business, hotel and shopping arcade complex. Serving delicious Lebanese food such as hot and cold mezze (appetisers) and shawarma; meats grilled on a spit similar to a kebab. Or try the hot buttered chicken in Ravi, a far less formal affair popular with visitors due to its relaxed atmosphere.
Sun, Sea and Shopping are a winning formula so instead of hitting the High Street this year why not travel to Dubai for summer sales and sunshine?