Dubai and shopping are synonymous with each other. The Dubai Shopping festival brings the world together to this oasis in the Arabian desert. Malls of Dubai are very popular not only for shopping but also for entertainment especially when the heat is soaring outside. No shopping to Dubai is complete without a visit to the Dubai Souq for some bargains on Gold and other jewelry. Local Dubai fashion is also taking off and there are a few boutiques where you can find those labels.
The world famous Dubai Shopping festival is held in January & February. It is much more than shopping. While the discounts, promotions and raffles with Porsche as jackpot are popular, the main reason people come to Dubai Shopping festival is for the entertainment. The menu offers street fairs, fireworks, traditional performance and the works. While the Dubai shopping festival happens winter, there is a summer equivalent during July-August. You get terrific hotel deals during the summer, if you can beat the heat!
Malls of Dubai are different from the rest of the world. Malls of Dubai help you escape from the sweltering heat of the day. So people come to Malls to socialise and spend their leisure time.
Dubai shopping is synonymous with Dubai Souk which is the traditional jewellery market located in Al Dhagaya in the commercial business district in Deira. It is said that approximately 10 tons of Gold is available in the Dubai Gold Souk at any time between the numerous small shops and the brands like Damas, ARY Jewellery, Shyam Jewellery and Joy Alukkas. Carpets, textiles, perfume, spices, frankincense and myrrh are also great bargains at the Souk.
At Deira Gold Souk is the world's largest ring. The star of Taiba is a 21 carat ring and weighs 64 Kgs! There are 600 Swarovski stones embeded in the Ring. It was the fruit of labour of 55 workers who worked for 45 days.
The entrance to Dubai Mall is from Doha Street. Dubai Mall can be accessed via the Metro. It is walkable from the Burj Khalifa station. If you are driving then come towards Financial Centre Road. The approach road to The Dubai Mall will be on the right.
Dubai Shopping is not complete unless you visit Dubai Mall, which is the world’s largest mall in terms of total area. There are more than a 1000 shops including Galeries Lafayette, Debenhams, Bloomingdale's, Waitrose and Marks & Spencer. Dubai Mall is also now a fashion capital of the world. Some of the popular fashion destinations are Louis Vuitton, Cole Haan, Ralph Lauren, Rolex, Max Mara, Mossimo Dutti, DKNY, Dolce and Gabbana, Dockers, Hugo Boss, Faconnable, Paul Smith, Lacoste, Fred Perry, Pierre Cardin, Ermenegildo Zegna, Guess, Mango and Zara.
The shop I liked the most is the toy shop called Bartolucci. It’s an Italian wooden toy shop. A 2 feet tall Pinocchio is seen cycling right at the entrance. You get all sorts of toys of Pinocchio. Bartolucci is a legend in Italy. Since 1981 Francesco Bartolucci has been selling his hand-made wooden toys. He started with local fairs and markets in Italy and has reached Dubai! Kids will go crazy in this shop ogling at and clamoring for wooden letters, clocks and music boxes.
I bought a door knock which features the long nose of Pinocchio.
The Dubai Aquarium and Underwater zoo is an awesome feature at Dubai Mall. 33000 marine animals can be seen from the giant acrylic panel. Open from 10am-10pm on weekdays and till midnight on weekend, the Dubai Aquarium’s tank has a capacity of 10 million litres! The walk through tunnel provides spectacular views at 270 degrees.
The Underwater zoo at Dubai Mall is located at level 2 and comprises of three ecological Zones; Rainforest, Rocky Shore and Living Ocean. The highlights include Otters, Piranha, Humbolt Penguins, Caiman Crocodiles, Lionfish, Giant Spider Crabs, Seahorses, Garden Eels, Archerfish, Arapaima, Water Rats, Paddlefish, Cichlids, and the Nautilus.
Ticket price for Dubai Aquarium and underwater zoo is AED 70 for adults and AED 55 for kids between 3 and 12.
The next stop in your Dubai Shopping extravaganza can be at the Mall of Emirates. This Mall has more than 500 shops. You can find department stores, fashion, lifestyle, sports, electronics and home furnishing outlets and the largest Carrefour of Dubai. 80 designed brands are available at the Mall of Emirates, including Bottega Veneta’s Y-3, Christian Louboutin and Prada.
Skiing, snowboarding, and tobogganing are possible at Ski Dubai at the Mall of Emirates. Kids would love the rides, racing simulators and theatres at Magic Planet. The popular attraction here being Robo Coaster, a two person thrill ride, Racing Simulators, 4D theatre and XD Dark Ride, the first 7D adventure in UAE.
Art lovers would enjoy DUCTAC which has classrooms and theatres catering to painting, sculpture, music, photography, literature, and leisure.
A recommendation for dining would be Tribes at the Fashion Dome. It has got an African Theme.
Reaching Mall of Emirates is a breeze. It is located at interchange four on Sheikh Zayed Road.
Another unique Dubai Shopping experience would be at Souq Madinat Jumeirah. It is the sophisticated cousin of the Dubai Souq. If you cannot handle the heat and grime of the real Souq, you can head to this air-conditioned Souq. Souq Madinat Jumeirah is famous for its fine quality carpets, handicrafts, souvenirs, fashion, jewels, leather and gifts. The prominent shops in this Souq are Lata's, National Iranian Carpets, the Pride of Kashmir, and Al-Jaber Gallery.
Raghda Bukhash is one of the most popular local fashion designers of Dubai. Her Pink Sushi label is a rage. Her skirts, handbags and clutch purses are extremely popular. Sweet Lolly and Crazy Daisy are the other popular Emirati labels. Amzaan is a boutique store where most of the local Dubai labels can be bought. Amzaan is locates on Sheikh Rashid Rd and contact no is 04 324 6754.
For my travelogue on Dubai Desert Safari, please visit Dubai Desert Safari.