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Dubai shopping

Shopping malls function as air-conditioned town squares and are busiest in the evening. On Friday, the Islamic day of prayer and rest, most big malls open at 10 am, but the souks and smaller shops won't open until 4 pm, and everything stays open until at least 10 pm. Expect to bargain everywhere except at the big brand names or Western chain stores. A visit to the gold and spice souks is a must, but be warned: These areas have become highly tourist-oriented. In a bid to attract more visitors and make the experience more "comfortable," the streets of the souks have been largely covered over with teak roofs and most of the stalls have been transformed into proper shops—all the better for air-conditioning but not necessarily for atmosphere. Alcohol is expensive in this city; you need a special license to buy it from the shops, and there's a 30 percent tax markup. However, you can pick up four bottles (of anything) at the duty-free in the luggage collection hall before you exit the airport; they will be gratefully received by your Dubai-based friends.

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DAS Collection, Dubai

Dubai is the Paris and Manhattan of abaya design. Emirati socialites love filmy, colorful long gowns that comply with Islamic modesty yet are as contemporary,...more

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Five Green, Dubai

Urban chic comes to the city thanks to this cutting-edge concept store (which combines a gallery, club, and shop) that stocks Lebanese pop art and menswear from...more

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Gold and Diamond Park, Dubai

Crammed with jewelry shops, this mall is similar to the gold souk concept but is its 21st-century incarnation; an altogether more genteel, air-conditioned...more

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Malls, Dubai

The major malls have many of the same stores; the distinguishing factor for locals is proximity. You can easily spend a whole day at the Dubai Mall, one of the...more

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Souks, Dubai

The open-air markets lining the creek near the dhow port are a living museum of Dubai's trading history, and it's possible to hit all of them in a few hours....more

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Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.



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