With its malls, souks, and markets, Dubai offers a more varied shopping scene than many visitors assume. Haggle for gold and fabrics in covered bazaars, splurge on designer wares at plush malls, or browse the city’s less grandiose complexes for great bargains. Shop till you drop in Dubai with our top picks.
Deira Gold Souk
Tucked into the Deira district, the Dubai Gold Souk boasts around 380 shops selling gold and silver jewelry. Pieces are sold by weight according to gold’s market price—displayed throughout the souk—with an additional charge for the craftwork involved. Visit independently to browse the outlets and haggle over the negotiable craftwork price, or take an old Dubai walking or shopping tour that includes a guided tour of the area so you can get shopping and bartering tips.
Bur Dubai Souk
Also called the Old Souk or Textile Souk, this covered bazaar bustles with shops selling fabric, clothes, and shoes and is a popular stop on Dubai shopping tours. Scout for silks, pashminas, and souvenirs, and consider using the budget-friendly tailoring services—just provide a sample garment or rough design and you’ll get a replica made to order in days or even hours.
Beneath the Burj Khalifa in Downtown Dubai, Dubai Mall is the world’s largest mall, with more than 1,200 stores, plus restaurants, cinemas, and attractions. It’s easy to spend the day here browsing chains such as Zara, department stores such as Bloomingdale’s, and designer houses such as Chanel. If time is limited, choose a Dubai tour that includes a visit or an excursion that pairs free time at the mall with another attraction.
Mall of the Emirates
The Mall of the Emirates sits on Dubai’s Sheikh Zayed Road and is a must for luxury lovers. Inside, you’ll discover high-end designer houses such as Gucci and Chanel, flagship department stores—cue Harvey Nichols—and a huge array of other shops. As a break, head for the mall’s Ski Dubai, the city’s massive indoor ski resort.
Karama Shopping Complex
Make tracks for this cheap-and-cheerful complex in Dubai’s Karama district if you want to avoid the high price tags of Dubai’s bigger malls. The 300-plus shops are crammed with budget-friendly electronics, luggage, trinkets, and copycat designer goods. To visit on a tour—with a guide for insider tips—book one of the many private shopping excursions that list it as an optional stop.