From Lavish Malls to Traditional Souks: Here’s Where to Shop in Dubai

Lavish Malls and Traditional Souks: Best Places for Shopping in Dubai

Dubai is undoubtedly one of the best destinations for shopping. You can find everything from sparkling gold jewelry to luxurious clothing to perfumes to spices to electronics in Dubai.

The emirate of Dubai hosts Dubai Shopping Festival – a month-long shopping extravaganza – every year, attracting more than 3 million visitors from all over the world. The 22nd Dubai Shopping Festival has just kicked off and in this article today, I will list some of the best places for shopping in Dubai.

Best Places for Shopping in Dubai

1. The Dubai Mall

The city of gold is also the city of malls! Dubai has hundreds of malls – big and small – spread across the emirate. It is not surprising that a teenager couldn’t decide which mall to go to because “all of them are awesome.” Happens to the best of us!

So, when it comes to shopping and you are in doubt where to begin from, close your eyes (not literally) and head straight to The Dubai Mall.

The Dubai Mall

The Dubai Mall is one of the biggest malls in the world and is home to over 1200 stores. It is also one of the most visited attractions in the world. To cut it short, I would just say that The Dubai Mall is huge, like really really huge – both in size and numbers.

You better be ready to take long walks here where you will find hundreds of luxurious brands, cafes, restaurants, and many leisure activities. If you are a true shopper by heart, you will never get tired of The Dubai Mall!

Travel tip: Don’t miss The Burj Khalifa and Dubai Fountain while you are visiting The Dubai Mall. Both these attractions are just nearby.

2. Mercato Shopping Mall

Mercato means ‘market’ in Italian. This mall may not be one of the biggest malls here but it holds the pleasure of being the first ever ‘themed mall’ in the Middle East.

Mercato Shopping Mall Dubai

The design of Mercato Shopping Mall is based on a distinctive Renaissance architectural concept which portrays how a Mediterranean town looked during the European Renaissance. The mall captures traditional Italian, French and Spanish art.

Located on Jumeirah Beach Road, this beautiful mall offers about 140 luxury brands to choose from. A multiplex cinema, a supermarket, and number of cafes are also present here.

Mercato Shopping Mall attracts not only locals but thousands of tourists every year as well. In fact, the Big Bus tour of Dubai includes this Shopping Mall in its list of tourist attractions and landmarks.

Travel tip: After your visit to Mercato Shopping Mall, you can relax at the Kite Beach which is nearby.

3. Ibn Battuta Mall

Follow extraordinary adventures of Ibn Battuta, who – at the young age of 21 – begun his journey to explore the world including lands of Egypt, Tunisia, Persia, India, China, and Andalusia. Inspired by the life of Ibn Battuta, this mall is the perfect place not only for shopping but to explore history and culture.

Shopping in Dubai: Ibne Battuta Mall

Each court reflects the story of Ibn Battuta and culture of the land he traveled to. You will find a beautiful hand painted dome in Persia court, pyramids in the Egypt court, a huge Chinese Junk in China court, a working elephant clock in India court, a lion fountain in Andalusia court and many other wonders inside the mall.

Ibn Battuta is home to around 300 stores, 50 restaurants, a multiplex and more. The future plans of this mall includes bringing 600 additional stores.

Besides shopping, you’re going to take lots of pictures here, I’m sure! And just so you know, this mall is my favorite one.

4. Mall of the Emirates

Opened in late 2005 and located at interchange 4 on Sheikh Zayed road, Mall of the Emirate is home to over 600 international brands. Also present are over 100 cafes/restaurants and a 14-screen multiplex.

Known as the world’s first ‘shopping resort,’ Mall of the Emirates is not just about shopping and dining. This luxurious mall includes a Magic Planet family entertainment area and the 500-seat capacity Dubai Community Theatre and Arts Centre.

Dubai Shopping Guide: Mall of the Emirates

That’s not it! This mall has its very own ski ring called ‘Ski Dubai‘ – the Middle East’s first indoor ski resort and snow park. Feel like skiing in the desert? You know where you should be headed!

5. City Centre Mirdif

Spread across 1,96,000sqm of gross leasable space, City Centre Mirdif houses over 450 international brands including 80 multi-cuisine dining outlets. Located along Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Road, City Centre Mirdif welcomes over 24 million visitors every year.

Best Places for Shopping in Dubai - City Centre Mirdif

In addition to shopping and dining, City Centre Mirdif offers many options for family entertainment. This includes iFly Dubai – an indoor sky-diving simulation center, Magic Planet – the region’s leading family entertainment center, Little Explorers – a children’s edutainment center, Yalla! Bowling – a 12-lane cosmic ten pin bowling attraction and Aquaplay – a water-based recreation facility.

For movie-goers, the mall features a 10-screen cinema, too.

6. WAFI Mall

Shop at over 350 brands and dine at over 30 restaurants at WAFI mall. The mall – part of the WAFI City – is influenced by architectural styles including Egyptian and Turkish.

Wafi Mall Souk - Dubai

This is where you can observe the modern interpretation of the Pharaohs – magnificently exhibited through exquisite stained glass, intricate mosaics, carvings, and sculptures.

WAFI mall is also home to Souk Khan Murjan – a traditional souk (market) showcasing Arabic handicraft and more. This mall is a great way to experience traditional Arabian-style shopping in modern-day Dubai.

WAFI mall features an in-house traditional-styles souk. This brings me to the outdoor souks of Dubai – where you can experience the real excitement of shopping in traditional markets.

7. Dubai Gold Souk

The biggest gold market in the world is located in Deira area of Dubai. This is where you will find best quality gold jewelry at a reasonable price.

Over 300 retailers – big and small – offer jewelry made from this precious metal in virtually any size and shape. The government keeps tight control over the quality of everything sold here – lowering chances of fake materials being sold.

Dubai Gold Souk

The best thing about traditional markets? Bargain! If you feel like buying gold here, make sure you bargain and settle for a better price.

Even if you’re not into buying this sparkling metal (like me), a trip to Dubai Gold Souk is worth a visit.

What the Fact: As per an estimate, over 10 tons of gold is present here in Dubai Gold Souk any given time! They don’t call Dubai the city of gold for nothing boy!

8. Perfume Souk

Like gold souk of Dubai, the perfume souk is also worth visit even if you are not into buying any of those fragrances. And if you’re not thinking of buying perfumes from here, I must ask you to reconsider your decision.

Located just near the gold souk in Deira, this traditional perfume market offers exotic perfumes, essential oils, incense sticks and traditional oud. You can’t resist the fragrance around the streets of the market.

What the Fact: For those who are wondering, Oud is one of the most expensive and rare natural resources in the world and is derived from resin. Oud is worn by locals all over middle east and I would suggest you take some along your way back home. It can be the perfect gift for anyone who is in love with fragrances.

9. Spice Souk

While you are wandering around gold souk and perfume souk, also follow the road towards the Spice Souk. This is where you will get to savor the strong aroma of spices and herbs.

Spice Souk Dubai

Spice souk is one of the most visited markets of Dubai. Besides different spices like cinnamon, cumin, turmeric, cloves etc, you can buy top quality saffron at highly reasonable price. And what about buying dates, nuts and local blends of teas? Well, feel free to bargain and buy them!

10. Souk al Bahar

Located in the heart of Downtown Dubai, Souk al Bahar means ‘Market of the Sailor.’ Souk al Bahar is a modern take on traditional Arabic-styled markets and is home to over 100 shops offering jewelry, carpets, and textiles products.

Also present are over 20 restaurants, cafés, and lounges, most of which are ideally located along the extensive waterfront promenade. Dubai’s most famous sites – Dubai Fountain and Burj Khalifa are just nearby. Also present here is the Dubai Mall – which I mentioned above.

If you’re looking for a perfect day which includes shopping, dining and sightseeing in Dubai, Souk al Bahar and Downtown Dubai is your place to be.

Best Places for Shopping in Dubai: Summing Up

From lavish, a-la-grand malls like The Dubai Mall, Ibn Battuta Mall and The Mall of the Emirates to traditional Arabic markets like Gold Souk and Spice Souk, Dubai’s shopping scene offers exciting options to choose from. No wonder Dubai is one of the best shopping destinations around the world.

if you are bit buy the shopping bug while in Dubai, do visit any of the malls and souls mentioned above. I am sure these places will satisfy your shopping needs in all possible ways.

That’s it, folks! These were some of the best places for shopping in Dubai. I hope you found this article worth your time. If you think there should be more places added here, feel free to let me know. How was your shopping experience in Dubai? Share with me!

Dubai is much more than shopping, of course! here are top 10 activities in Dubai you must book to get the best out of your trip.

Related: Shop, Dine, Relax: Here’s How to Spend A Perfect Day in Dubai

Book interesting adventures and tours: