Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Shopping in Dubai

During the summer months, when the sheer heat forces you indoors in air-conditioned environments, malls are your best bet for a day out. Malls in Dubai aren't just for shopping, they include entertainment, adventure and cultural outlets too. Options span from the High-end Burjuman mall and Boulevard for haute couture, the Gold Souk at Dubai Mall or Deira to the more reasonably priced Deira City Centre, Lamcy Plaza and Dragon Mart.

Most of the malls are based around a theme, which make them a sight seeing experience in themselves.

The Dubai Mall with its fountain to rival the Bellagio, largest single tank aquarium in the world, SEGA Republic and ice rink is currently the largest mall in Dubai.

The Ibn Battuta Mall is divided into sections designed to resemble the countries travelled by legendary traveller Ibn Battuta and is home to the UAE's only IMAX screen. Wafi City Mall has a Pharaonic theme to it and has a wonderful souk downstairs called Khan Murjan from where you can pick up souvenirs and local handicrafts.

Mall of the Emirates is home to Ski Dubai where you can enjoy the experience of Skiing on snow slopes even when the temperature outside is nudging 50C. DUCTAC - Dubai Community Theatre and Arts Centre is also on the premises with a wonderful library and theatre.

The Souk Madinat Jumeirah is a mall but designed in the style of a Souk - semi-open and semi-air conditioned. You can take an abra ride here in sanitized conditions. The Madinat Theatre here normally has very high quality international companies performing.

Global Village is an outdoor shopping and entertainment destination that is usually only open in the evenings for 3 months in a year (November to February) with stalls and products from across the globe.

If the temperature is conducive to outside walking, you may want to explore the more traditional shopping souks that are so filled with character. The gold souk in Deira is bordered by the spice souk and a very well stocked fish and vegetable market across the road. The textile souk across the creek has materials from across the world and in every kind of fabric, colour and price range.

Karama is a shopping zone mid-way between a traditional souk and a low price mall. It’s a good place for daily shopping or bargain clothes. Do polish your bargaining skills before you head to this area.

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