Top 10 things to buy in Dubai, UAE

Any trip to Dubai, UAE, is incomplete without shopping. Check the best things to buy when you are in Dubai. Shop at huge malls or local souks. Find an array of products to take home, from edible goodies to electronics, from artefacts to traditional perfumes. Discover what the best buys and where to shop for them in Dubai.

Dubai is not just a tourist hub; it is also a shopper's paradise. Glitzy shopping malls and swanky souks transport you into a world of extravagance and luxury. But that's not all; there are street stalls that exude an old-world charm. No matter where you head to shop in Dubai, you're sure to be inviting, ecstasy, into your life.

It's difficult to dodge and walk past the attractively dressed store windows that entice you with their wares. The bright lights and the stunning displays will lure you, but don't give in to the temptation, unless you know the best things to buy in Dubai and where to buy them from. So, what are the best things to buy in Dubai, UAE? This list provides you with 10 things that you must buy when you are visiting Dubai. You can also take a look at this, the UAE business directory to find some of the best shopping malls in UAE.

You can check reviews of electronic products in Dubai, UAE, and while you are at it, also make price comparisons of products in Dubai on this amazing website, before you make a purchase.

Pashminas shawls, scarves and stoles

Pashmina shawls make a pretty souvenir to bring back home from your trip to Dubai. These delicate and beautiful shawls, which can also be used as scarves and stoles, have stunning and intricate patterns and are available in myriad colour combinations, from muted shades to bright hues. They are exquisite because they are hand-woven. An authentic pashmina shawl would be made from pure silk and real cashmere yarn. They are super soft and keep you warm. A genuine pashmina shawl would cost upwards of AED 250.

However, there are cheaper varieties that can be bought for AED 30 upwards. But, these aren't the real pashmina and are made using a mix of yarns, mostly viscose and other synthetic yarns.

The best place to shop for pashmina shawls is the Deira Souk. But, you'll find several shops and stalls selling them, wherever you go. However, be careful when buying a pashmina, you don't want to pay the price for a real pashmina and take home an imitation. To check if the pashmina is genuine, coil one end of the shawl around your finger and tug at it. The fabric in an original pashmina will not shift, it will move as one piece, whereas with a synthetic shawl the yarns get displaced and move loosely and not as a whole.

Carpets and rugs

Dubai malls and Souks are a great place to shop for original Persian, Iranian and Cashmere handmade carpets and rugs. You'll find attractive pieces, available in different sizes and colours. A small size rug is affordable and easy to transport back home.

You'll need to put your bargaining skills to the test when shopping for rugs and carpets in Dubai. Almost all shopping malls in Dubai have stores selling these beautifully crafted beauties. But, if you are looking for a good carpet the best places to buy one would be the Pride of Kashmir, National Iranian Carpets, Al-Jaber Gallery and Lata's.

Of course, if you are looking for an affordably priced range then the best places to check are the modern Souks of Dubai. These air-conditioned, old-fashioned courtyards offer an array of handicraft items, including rugs and carpets. They aren't of the same superior quality that is available at the malls, but nonetheless, you'll make quite a steal.


Gold glittering in shop windows is a common sight in Dubai. Gold is cheaper here than anywhere else in the world since it is duty-free. It makes sense to buy gold ornaments in Dubai, to add to your collection. Gold in Dubai is certified for purity, so put aside any doubts and worries that you might have about getting cheated.

You can shop for gold at the Dubai Gold Souk in Deira. It is the biggest gold market in the Emirates, and possibly the largest in the world. Gold Souks are a place where you can bargain. No matter what the weight of your purchase, it won't hurt to ask for a good price.

Arabian scents - Oud & Bakhoor

Oud and Bakhoor are rich exotic scents that are emblematic to this region. They are among the most popular of the traditional fragrances in the Arab region, and you will do good to bring some home with you.

Oud is much like the attar or ittar that we get in India; it can be worn on the skin or dabbed on clothes. It is basically an essential oil, extracted from the wood of the Agarwood tree.

Bakhoor is chipped wood, soaked in aromatic oil. It is poured on charcoal ambers and used to perfume the house. The heady aroma fills the air and lingers. Oud and Bakhoor are traditional fragrances with a strong and powerful smell. These Arabian perfumes were used by the royalty and the perfume makers of today use the same age-old methods to make them.

Local perfumers sell their wares in shopping malls across the city, at very reasonable rates. The fragrance is intense and almost hypnotic and in a way very Arabian. These perfumes are customarily given the name of 'Fragrance of Dubai' and can be bought at any of the kiosks in Dubai Mall or at the Spice Souk.

You can also buy OUD tea, also called agarwood tea, which are available in a limited number of shops in Dubai. Try reputed brands like Arista Life OUD tea.

Spices, herbs and dry fruit

The Spice Souk close to Deira is a sight to behold. You will be greeted with an array of spices, whole and powdered. Different hues, spring up from neatly piled mounds of fragrant herbs and pungent aroma of spices. Arabian spices and herbs are aromatic and flavourful. They'll spice up your kitchen and the dishes you cook.

You will find spices in the local souks. Spices in Dubai are cheap, and of course, you can bargain a bit, when you shop there.

Orange blossom water and saffron are used extensively in Arabian cuisine. They lend a distinctive flavour and aroma to their food. Remember, to buy some.

Myrrh and Frankincense

You'll find myrrh and frankincense being sold in the spice souks. In fact, you'll smell them before you see them. Frankincense and myrrh are resins obtained from the bark of the Boswellia and Commiphora trees. They have been used since ancient times, as incense, perfume and medicine. They date back to Biblical times and were among the gifts the Three Wise Men from the East, brought Jesus.

Myrrh and Frankincense are used, even today, in ceremonial rituals. They have a potent and almost intoxicating aroma that lingers in the air. Since these are resins, they need to be ignited for them to release their aromatic smells. Souks selling the resins also sell ceramic resin burners. If you don't like the idea of burning incense, you could always pick myrrh and frankincense essential oil, they give out an equally strong and pleasant odour.

Shisha kits

Dubai is a unique blend of culture, a perfect amalgamation of antiquated traditions and modernity. And this is why it is common to find Hookah lounges and Shisha bars around the city. These are popular among the regulars and well-frequented by first-timers, who want to experience it.

Aficionados of flavoured smoke will find an assortment of the finest Shisha flavours in Dubai. You can buy Shisha kits, which are sold along with Mu'assel, which is a thick syrup made using vegetable glycerol, molasses and tobacco. It is what produces the flavoured smoke in the Shisha aka hookah.

You can pick from a variety of flavours, ranging from fruity ones like lemon and grape to strong herb flavours like mint and aniseed. There are unusual flavours to pick from, as well, such as Red Bull energy drink and gummy bear candy.

Almond dates

The entire Middle East is known for dates. When in Dubai, shop for some special varieties that you won't find in other parts of the world. They make the perfect gift to take back home, for family and friends.

You can choose from assorted varieties that come in neat, wooden boxes, carved, for that extra classy look. The range of dates includes deseeded varieties and dates stuffed with dry fruit and coated with rich chocolate. It is a gourmet's delight, as the rich flavours burst into your mouth, with every bite.

Chocolates and confectionaries

Make a stop at Bateel, the place that sells an exclusive range of gourmet confectionaries, including premium chocolates, top-quality dates, biscuits and savouries.

Bateel has stores and cafes across Dubai. You can hop into their store at The Dubai Mall or at the Mall of the Emirates or any of the other stores listed on their website -

Electronic goods

Dubai is a duty-free port, which makes all the electronic items cheaper than anywhere else in the world. You also buy the latest and the finest brands at electronic stores. So, be it cameras, mobile phones, home appliances, luxury gadgets, tablets, laptops and personal grooming and healthcare products, you'll find them all, in stores selling electronic goods.

You also have the option of buying electronic products, online in Dubai. There are many trusted online stores for electronic goods in Dubai, where you can browse through their stocks, before placing the order.

Make use of this list of things to shop for in Dubai. These are just suggestions because as you explore Dubai, you'll discover that it has a lot more to offer.

Related Articles

My interview at Bajaj Allianz for Graduate Trainee

This article is about my interview experience with Bajaj Allianz to work with them at Graduate trainee level. Read to know my experience about Bajaj Allianz and what questions were asked to me by the HR and how I fared in the interview.

More articles: Agarwood Tea OUD Tea AI


Author: Chitra07 Dec 2017 Member Level: Gold   Points : 6

Gold is definitely one thing that you can buy from Dubai. The gold we get there is better and pure than the ones we get in India. But remember do not exchange your Indian gold there as you will get a lower rate only. If you have Dubai gold, you can exchange it there, they will give you the same day's rate. When purchasing gold, go to shops with few branches or a single outlet as the making charges there will be less. The popular jewelry shops will charge huge amounts as making charges.

Electronics too you get at a comparatively cheaper rate in Dubai. Look for the offers and sales and then purchase it as you will get it at a discounted rate. Gitex is the famous exhibition in Dubai known for purchasing electronic items. Go purchase during Gitex and you will get many freebies along with your purchase. Now from Jan 2018 onwards, VAT will be implemented in Dubai which will increase the rate of electronic goods and Gold. There will be 5% VAT on these goods.

Dates, of course, is cheap in Dubai. It is the land of date palms. You can even have dates directly from the palm trees planted on roadsides. You get different qualities of dates there and also in different varieties. The cheapest to the most expensive ones can be found in the souks and shopping malls. Dates with chocolates, dates with almonds or pistachios, dates cookies, dates syrup etc are available in Dubai at a cheaper rate.

You get almost everything in Dubai from different parts of the world. Be there during Dubai Shopping Festival and visit Global Village. You can purchase products from different countries directly from the vendor. There will be pavilions for each country and they will be selling the traditional products of each country. Salesmen from different parts of the world come to Dubai for shopping festival and you can directly purchase from them. You can use your bargaining skills at Global village. Towards the last days of shopping festival, you get things at a cheaper rate but it will be really crowded then.

Author: Natarajan07 Dec 2017 Member Level: Gold   Points : 3

Excellent article with shopping tips to get the best out of money and time while in Dubai. Are dollars accepted at many places or is it safer to carry AED's.
The Dubai Mall is said to be a must-see place which has the best in almost everything on display and a paradise for the window shoppers, including a large aquarium and ice rink. Shoppers can have their shopping delivered to their hotels and not worry about carrying them everywhere. If shoppers have a liking to play the lottery, Dubai millionaire lottery is well known wherein the chances of winning are higher compared with regular lotteries.