Dubai loves to shop. The city has just about perfected the art of the mall, the excellent air-conditioned “town commons,” where to go with the family, hang out with friends, and take in some entertainment. So what kind of goods should you look for? We’ve got the lowdown.

Dubai is a major gold trading hub and home to the glittering Gold Souq, which specializes in Middle Eastern and Indian jewelry but also has some contemporary European designs.

Dubai is a carpet lover’s paradise. Fine Persian carpets, colorful Turkish and Kurdish kilims, and rough-knotted Bedouin rugs are all widely available.

Lower tax means French brands are cheaper in Dubai than in Paris, but check the packaging to ensure they’re authentic. With spicy and strongly scented Arabian perfumes, you can be confident no other woman in the room will be wearing the same scent.

Fakes are found worldwide, but you’ll find bargains on real silky-soft 100% pashmina shawls in Dubai.

Bateel dates are the ultimate luxury food of the Middle East. These come from Saudi Arabia, which has the ideal growing conditions: sandy, alkaline soil and extreme heat. Quality control is tight: Bateel has its own farms and production equipment. The dates sold here are big and fat, with gooey-moist centers.

Supermarkets and Shopping Malls
Happiness is shopping at Spinneys, Carrefour, and Choithrams – the shelves are positively packed with international foodstuffs. Below is the list of our favorite malls:

  1. The Dubai Mall
  2. Mall of the Emirates
  3. Global Village
  4. Ibn Battuta Mall
  5. Souk Madinat Jumeirah
  6. City Walk
  7. Dubai Marina Mall
  8. City Centre Mirdif
  9. Mercato Shopping Mall
  10. Deira City Center Shopping Mall