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Low cost shopping in Dubai: fact or fiction?

Contrary to notions that you can do low cost shopping in Dubai, low to mid value goods are at par with European prices if not more expensive. The only difference is when you are buying luxury goods where you will feel the difference in prices due to import duties. The good news is, there are places where you can go and stuff you can buy without spending a fortune.

Where to go

You can do low cost shopping in Dubai if you’re after traditional goods such as local souvenirs, ethnic clothes and shoes. Fine carpets are great buys as well as gold, pashmina silk, spices, and perfumes.

  • Madinat and Al-ain camel market

The most prominent of bazaar shops or souks is the Madinat where you can get lost in the local colours and flavours. Have a blast hunting for the perfect memento of your trip or to give as gifts to friends. There are plenty of shops offering traditional Middle Eastern clothes, so you can buy them at great prices. Haggling is often the norm rather than the exception so be good-natured and do it with a sense of fun even if you only managed to get the price down by a few dirhams. Try also the Al-ain camel market and look at traditional daggers or khanjars.

  • Dubai Mall

This is the best mall in the country and houses high end brands for clothes, shoes, and jewellery (diamonds and gold). Although this is not the place to go if you’re not prepared to part with loads of cash, the facilities are great including an Olympic-sized skating rink, an aquarium, and aqua zoo. There are also fountain shows similar to those at the Bellagio in Las Vegas.

  • Burjaman Mall

Burjaman is another premium mall which sells all high-street fashion brands. Even if you do not intend on buying anything, it’s worth taking a look at those luxury goods all under one roof.

  • Mall of the Emirates (MOE)

The MOE has 520 shops under its roof from international brands of clothes and shoes to housewares and electronics.

  • Deire city centre mall

This mall is not quite in the league of MOE and Dubai Mall, but if you want something smaller and less overwhelming, this place is okay for browsing.

Beware of fakes

Low cost shopping in Dubai is a possibility provided you know where to look. Another thing to keep in mind is to check if you’re buying the real thing or cheap knock offs. In addition, if you’re going to the same shops where there is one at home, then you’re better off buying them locally than travelling all the way to Dubai. The bottom line is, use your good judgement, compare prices, and check if you won’t need to pay tons of import duties once you get back home.

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