Shopping in Dubai

Shopping malls, best time for shopping and what to buy in Dubai

Dubai is a city of shopping malls. The top 5 shopping malls to see in Dubai are unique and all of them are easily accessible by Dubai Metro. They are ordered based on the distance from the city centre.


Deira City Centre is one of the oldest malls in Dubai. It was opened in 1995. The mall is in Deira. There are many hotels and hotel apartments in surroundings areas, so if you are staying in one of them that you will be very frequently visiting this mall. You will also be visiting this mall, if you have a stop-over flight in Dubai and staying near the airport. Deira City Centre is just 1 station away from the Dubai Airport.

The mall has over 370 outlets including Carrefour, Debenhams, Iconic, Giordano, Benetton, Marks and Spencer, Sharaf DG, Jumbo and Virgin Megastore. There is a international food court and over 60 restaurants in the mall. It is owned by the Al Futtaim group.


Dubai Shopping - Dubai Mall
Opened in Nov 2008, Dubai Mall is the world’s largest mall spread over an area one of 1 square kms. It is also world’s most visited shopping destination. The Dubai mall is connected to Dubai Metro Red line by a walk way. The Dubai Mall contains more than 1,200 shops including big names like Galeries Lafayette, Debenhams, Bloomingdale's, Waitrose and Marks and Spencer. Dubai mall is owned by Emaar Properties.


Dubai Shopping - Mall of the Emirates
Mall of the Emirates is Dubai's second largest shopping mall. It was opened in Nov 2005. It is located on the Sheikh Zayed Road, fourth interchange. Most famous attraction in this mall is Ski Dubai, which has the worlds largest indoor snow park. You can get here by Dubai metro Red line. Mall of the Emirates has over 700 outlets featuring more than 500 international brands shops including Carrefour, Centrepoint, Debenhams, Harvey Nichols, Home Centre, Jashanmal and Marks and Spencer. The mall has 2 international food courts and fine dining restaurants and cafe's most notably being the The Cheesecake Factory. The mall is currently undergoing expansion. It is owned by the Al Futtaim group.


Dubai Shopping - Dubai Marina Mall
Dubai Marina Mall was opened in Dec 2008. It is developed by the Emaar group. The mall is located on the artificial Dubai Marina canal. The key feature of Dubai Marina mall is its location on the Marina Promenade offering a pleasant outdoor setting to spend your time. The distinctive circular atrium of the mall offers stunning views of the Dubai Marina. The mall has over 160 stores including Waitrose Supermarket. The Address hotel is attached to the Dubai Marina Mall.
The Jumeirah beach and the beachfront promenade "The Walk" is a short walk from the Dubai Marina Mall.


Dubai Shopping - Ibn Battuta Mall
Ibn Battuta Mall is the world’s largest themed shopping mall uniquely designed to celebrate the travels of the famous Arabic explorer Ibn Battuta. It is located on the Sheikh Zayed Road, 6th interchange closer. The mall is close to Jebel Ali, so the area around is still under development. If you have visited Las Vegas, you will get a feeling of dejavu, as some of the interiors are similar to the Casinos of Las Vegas.
The mall six courts inspired by the countries visited by Ibn Battuta - Egypt, India, China, Andulusia, Persia and Tunisia. The mall has over 270 outlets and over 50 restaurants.

Dubai's Mega Shopping Events

1. DSF - Dubai Shopping Festival

Dubai Shopping Festival 2016 DSF
DSF was started in Feb 1995 to promote Dubai as a shopping destination. Since then, it is held every year for one month between Jan and Feb. It coincides with the winter tourist season which is the best time to visit Dubai. DSF is the middle east's largest shopping and entertainment extravaganza. During this time, the entire city of Dubai is decorated and there is a festive environment all around. There are events of kids, daily fireworks displays. There are raffle draws which give out luxury cars, kilograms of gold, as winnings. Retail outlets across the city of Dubai, offer huge discounts and offers during DSF. Next year, Dubai will be celebrating the 20th Anniversary of DSF. It will be held between 1st Jan 2015 to 1st Feb 2015.

2. DSS - Dubai Summer Surprises

Dubai Summer Surprises 2015
DSS was started in 1998 to complement the winter shopping festival of DSF. It is held every year between mid-Jun and mid-Jul. It is a summer off-peak season so you get good bargain deals on hotels and flights. The period also happens to be a school holiday period for GCC residents, so you will find them flocking to the city.
The main focus of this festival is on the kids. There are programs and events for kids all over the city. Modeshworld, an entertainment and education fair is also held during this time. In 2014, it was held between 12Jun14 and 08Sep14 at Dubai World Trade Centre attracting over 500,000 visitors. The main attractions were Angry Birds experience, Hello kitty, Lego/Duplo zone, ice themed Winter Wonderland, Little stars as well as rides, carousels, kiddie bungee jumping and video games.

3. GITEX - Gulf Information Technology Exhibition

GITEX 2015 Computers and Electronics Exhibition in Dubai
GITEX is a computer and electronics exhibition. It is a week long event started in 1996. It is held every year in the month of April and October. In 2015, the spring version will be held between 1-5 April 2015 and the bigger autumn version will be from 3-10 October 2015.
The event hosts traders and retailers from the middle east and african region. The outlets give discounts and offers on laptops, tablets, mobiles, electronics and other consumer durable products. Even if you cannot visit the exhibition, most of the electronic stores in malls also offer various deals on their products

What to buy in Dubai

1. Apparels

Dubai Shopping - Clothes and Apparels
Dubai is a one stop shopping destination for all the international clothing and footwear. You will find American brands like New Yorkers, Aeropostale, European brands like Mango, Woolsworth, Debenhams and Asian brands like Giordano Hangten, Biba.

2. Gold Jewellery

Dubai Shopping - Gold Souq Market
Gold Souk (market) has over 200 gold outlets with a stunning display of gold jewellery and ornaments. Even if you are not buying gold, the Gold Souk in Dubai is a worth a visit, just to see the sheer volume and display of gold in one place. Gold Souk is in Deira.

3. Spices

Dubai Shopping - Spice Souq Market
Long before its modernisation, Dubai was a hub of spice trade. Even now you can buy spices from different parts of the world in the Spice Souk. Spice Souk is very close to the Gold Souk in Deira. Spices and dry fruits are also available in the super markets like Carrefour, Spinneys, Lulu.

4. Electronics

Dubai Shopping - Electronics
All the shopping malls in dubai will have at least two or three big electronic stores. The most popular electronic stores in Dubai are Sharaf DG, Jumbo, Jacky's, Plug Ins, EMax and Computer Care. Apart from these, you will also find outlets of the major electronic brands like Apple, Samsung, LG, Bose, Canon, Nokia, Sony, etc.

5. Perfumes

If you are a perfume lover, then you will be spoilt for choice in Dubai. But don't forget to try the Arabic perfumes, Arabic oils and the famous Oud (wood soaked in perfume oils) unique to the middle east.

6. Souvenirs

Dubai Shopping - Souvenirs
Glass and metal models of Burj Al Arab, Burj Khalifa, Sheesha sets, are some of the souvenirs you can buy and gift for your friends and family. Most of the malls have Souvenir shop. You can also buy them in the dollar shops located on the streets of Deira and Bur Dubai.