The best reasons to shop in Dubai, UAE

Dubai is a great shopping destination. But, what when is the best time to visit Dubai? Plan a holiday in January & February and catch the Dubai Shopping Festival or travel to the city if July & August for the Summer Surprises, another annual shopping gala, in Dubai.

I am not one of those avid shoppers, who mark their attendance, all the sales, nor am I one of those impulsive shoppers, who pick up everything that they set their eyes on, especially when travelling abroad. But yet, I think of myself as pretty qualified to write about shopping in Dubai, UAE. So, here is my list of what makes Dubai the ultimate shopping paradise.

Dubai Shopping Festival

Dubai is famous for its shopping festival, which the locals call the DSS. Well, you can find the whole world converge in Dubai, during January & February, which is when the DSS is organised, each year. The weather this time of the year is wonderful. It is winter in most parts of the world, but in Dubai, you still get to catch the sun and get a natural tan. The temperatures are warm during the day, for a swim if you want, but the mercury dips during the late evenings, as the desert air cools the place.

Visit Dubai during the shopping festival for an electrifying experience. You will find citywide sales, massive discounts, fantastic promotions and deals and sweepstakes with Porsches to be won. But, that is not all, because there is a lot more happening, in terms of entertainment, to make your visit memorable, such as street carnivals and funfairs, with kiosks selling delicious food and there are amazing firework displays at night. The Heritage & Diving Village is abuzz with cultural activities and traditional performances that you can catch.

There is just one problem though, it is peak season, and there are a lot of tourists (both leisure and business), so the hotels tend to get expensive, especially when you book during this period. It is best to err on the side of caution and make your reservations well in advance, instead of waiting.

Dubai Summer Surprises

Dubai has a summer equivalent of the DSS, called Summer Surprises that kicks off at the end of June and continues until end August. It is quite similar to DSS, with sales everywhere. You can get excellent bargains on almost every product. The advantage of going to Dubai during the Summer Surprises is that the hotel-room tariffs are heavily discounted.

Dubai summers can be scorching, with temperatures rising upwards of 41 °C (106 °F). But the indoors are air-conditioned, as are the metro and the taxis, so you won't really feel the heat. But, you can always have a beer, to cool yourself down, at the bars and pubs.

The stores offer huge discounts and there are a number of deals and promotions going on during this period. Major electronic and smartphone stores in Dubai have great deals and lucky draws with some amazing prizes to be won.

Shopping Malls

The malls in Dubai are more than just a place to shop. They are a place where all the fun happens. They provide loads of entertainment, for different age groups and make an ideal socializing hub, for getting together for a game of bowling or a movie or catching up with friends over a mug of coffee. Malls in Dubai have many restaurants, cafes and small eateries. There is usually some carnival-like activity on, in the atrium. You can also get pampered at a salon or at a spa or go skiing or play in the snow.

In addition, the malls have art galleries and theatres and there are mosques, for the devout, Muslims. And there are hundreds of showrooms, shops and stalls for you to shop, selling a variety of products from perfumes and cosmetics to high-fashion clothes and accessories. The malls in Dubai are akin to little townships. Have on a pair of comfortable walking shoes, because the malls are massive and you'll be walking a lot.

Mall of the Emirates

Dubai is famous for its shopping malls – all of them are spectacular, offering varied experiences to visitors. But, if I am asked to pick one mall out of the scores that Dubai has to offer, I would, without doubt, choose the Mall of the Emirates and for good reasons. It is one of the most luxurious places to shop in. It is plush and makes you feel special. The Mall of the Emirates is among the largest in Dubai, and it is also among the most aesthetic.

As you step into the mall, you'll find your spirits lift, as it is warm and inviting, with glistening marble floors, expansive walkways and an exquisite skylight. And shopping at this mall in Dubai is an experience in itself. There is something for everyone, from well-designed and well-stocked department stores, including Debenhams and Harvey Nichols and stylish boutiques like Etoile and Omega. High-class designer stores such as Tiffany & Co and Balenciaga and a lot more including a bookshop, cosmetics, shoes and accessories outlets and branches of many mega electronic and smartphone showrooms in Dubai, UAE.

The mall also boasts of Ski Dubai, theatres, art galleries and screens. There are a lot of places to eat, from swanky restaurants to bars and cafes.


A visit to a souk must be on the itinerary of every traveller to Dubai. These quaint Middle-Eastern bazaars are abuzz with activity. They present a delightful atmosphere and have an aura of their own. The sights and smells are vibrant and intriguing –and transport you into an altogether different world.

Apart from traditional stuff from perfumes to incense and spices the souks are a place for great bargains on carpets. And of course, if you want to shop for gold, the gold souk is the place to visit. The local souks sell everything, including cameras, computers, accessories and digital electronic gadgets.

If you have souvenir shopping on your mind then the souks are an ideal place to shop for them. You'll find exclusive items such as myrrh and frankincense along with ceramic burners, saffron in tiny containers, shisha pipes and Aladdin lamps, Bedouin silver jewellery, engraved boxes and trays and more. Remember to bargain.

Dubai's shopping hours

Another reason that makes shopping in Dubai pleasurable is the convenient opening hours. The shopping malls remain open from 10:00 hours until 22:00 hours, every day, though a few businesses open their retail outlets at 14:00 hours on Fridays. I love the convenience this offers, especially when it is a short trip and you want to make the most of it.

However, souks and small outlets close for lunch and siesta, between noon and 17:00 hours, but then it's generally too hot to step out of air-conditioned comfort during these hours.

Online shopping

I like the fact that many retail stores, here, have an online presence, which adds greatly, to the convenience of shopping. For instance, if you are looking to buy a camera or a smartphone or a laptop, you can compare prices of electronic goods, in Dubai, UAE, from the comfort of your hotel room. You can also locate retailers and either shop online or at the store. It allows you to shop leisurely, without being hassled by the salesperson or having to make an on-the-spot decision.

And finally, shopping in Dubai is best enjoyed when the sun goes down. The whole ambience gets charged and it's quite an exhilarating feeling.

Have you been to Dubai? Why do you recommend Dubai for shopping? Please leave your suggestions in the comment section.

Article by Juana
Juana is a freelance writer, with years of experience, creating content for varied online portals. She holds a degree in English Literature and has worked as a teacher and as a soft skill trainer. An avid reader, she writes on a variety of topics ranging from health, travel, education and personality development.

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Author: Chitra18 Oct 2017 Member Level: Diamond   Points : 7

Yes, I have been to Dubai. One thing I like about Dubai is you get almost everything in this Emirate. The cheapest things are available at Day to Day shops and other 5 Dhs shops and you get all the expensive things at the malls. So people of all category can shop.

Another attractive factor is the night life. Even at midnight the shops will be open so that you can meet your immediate needs. There are certain shops that are open 24/7, like Shop N Save.

Apart from online shopping, you get delivery to your door steps even by making a call. This facility is available mainly for grocery shopping. Almost all the shops and malls have the facility to use debit and credit cards. So even a person without liquid cash can also shop.

You get products from almost all parts of the world in Dubai. During shopping festival, you get stuff from many different countries. Towards the last days, they sell it off at cheap rates if you have good bargaining power. But the rush and crowd during those days will be too much.

On the whole, Dubai is an excellent place to shop and to enjoy your vacation and stay.

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