Dubai is shopaholic heaven. This is the city that boasts the world’s largest shopping mall and whose major annual event is the Dubai Shopping Festival – even its name sounds suspiciously like “do buy”. The seriousness with which Dubai takes its retail therapy is evident in the lavishness of many of the spectacular modern malls that dot the city, some of them virtual tourist attractions in their own right, attracting an eclectic crowd of local Emiratis, Western tourists and bargain-hunting Indian and Filipino expats. Alternatively, there’s still plenty of old-fashioned Arabian shopping to be found in the souks of Deira and Bur Dubai, piled high with traditional items like gold, perfume and spices at cut-throat prices – which can often be lowered still further if you fancy a spot of good-natured haggling.
Opening hours for mall shops are usually 10am to 10pm; some stay open until midnight between Thursday and Saturday, while a few remain closed on Fridays until 2pm. Opening hours in souks are more variable: in general most places open daily from 10am to 10pm, though many close in the afternoon from around 1 to 4/5pm depending on the whim of the owner, and some places don’t open on Friday mornings. Bargaining is the norm in the souks; prices in mall shops are fixed.
Everything you need to know before you set off.
Travel offers; book through Rough Guides
Planning your trip to Dubai
Everything you need to plan where to go and what to do.
The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.
Burj Khalifa: is the world’s tallest building worth the hype?
One of Dubai’s main attractions and currently the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa draws in hundreds of people daily to marvel at the views from i…31 Jan 2017 • Lottie Gross insert_drive_file Article
Away from the skyscrapers: how to find the “other” Dubai
It’s big, brash and lays claim to so many world records it might even have the world record for the number of world records. But beyond the superlatives, skys…22 Nov 2016 • Lottie Gross insert_drive_file Article
12 of the most beautiful places in the Middle East
The Middle East is a paradox. Located at the cultural crossroads between east and west, the region nowadays tends to make headlines for all the wrong reasons, b…16 Nov 2016 • Gavin Thomas insert_drive_file Article