Dubai is known for excess and extravagance. Sitting on the Persian Gulf Coast of the United Arab Emirates it is a city built on the wealth of the oil trade, now finding it’s economic future in tourism, real estate and financial services. The tourist industry in Dubai is largely based on the phenomenal shopping malls and beautiful hotels with every add on imaginable.
Getting to Dubai could not be easier with flights from Heathrow many times a day to cater for holiday makers and the many business travellers that fly in and out of the city regularly. Flights are relatively inexpensive meaning you can save your pennies for when you get there and decide to buy out the entire shopping centre. Stay in Travelodge’s budget hotel in Heathrow terminal 5 the night before you fly out of this same terminal as another way to save all your cash for your trip.
For those coming from other parts of the world, Dubai is often economic place to have a stop over, especially if flying with Emirites.
Dubai is dubbed the shopping capital of the Middle East, and for good reason. There are over 70 shopping malls in Dubai, attracting fashionistas and bargain hunters from across the globe. The largest of these malls also has the title of the largest shopping mall in the world and is home to 1200 shops. The infamous Dubai Mall is situated on the 20 billion dollar Downtown Dubai complex and attracted more visitors in 2012 than the entire of New York City! The mall is not just home to shops, it also houses a 22 screen cinema, a hotel, a full aquarium and underwater zoo, an ice rink, and Sega Republic which contains 150 games. Phew, that’s a lot of things to fit under one roof.
Unlike shopping in the UK, prices in Dubai are not always set in stone. Aside from electronic shops, supermarkets and department stores, most shops operate on a policy of friendly negotiation, so don’t be afraid to haggle as it’s a way of life in the United Arab Emirates. Watch what other people do if you are unsure on how to go about opening price negotiation, and follow their lead. It’s worth the effort as it could get you a decent discount on something you probably would’ve bought anyway. Haggling is especially recommended at the traditional markets known as souks that surround the shopping areas of the city and one of the must see experiences of the city is the stunning spice market.
A common worry when visiting Dubai is that western clothing may be offensive to citizens of the city. Many residents in Dubai are actually expatriates from Western countries and therefore there is a mixture of Western clothing and traditional Islamic dress. Many Emeriti too are taking on Western clothing due to this mix in population. There are decency laws in Dubai that prohibit skimpy clothing even on beaches, but these do not apply within hotel grounds.
If you’re going to have a blow-out you might as well do it in style. So gather your savings and some friends and head to Dubai for the ultimate shopping experience.
Remember to visit this wonderful shopping destination you can apply for Dubai visa online.