With its heady combination of traditional souks, designer boutiques and endless malls, Dubai is a shopaholic's dream. Come prepared to fall in love with 101 new purchases you never knew you needed – and don't forget to haggle.
Dubai's rush to confirm its status as a global capital has had a huge impact on the city's retail scene. Without losing the stalls and souks that link this shimmering modern city with its humble heritage, you can now alternate between bustling narrow streets and equally packed flagship stores, picking up presents for everyone you know – and a few for yourself, of course.
Dubai Shopping Festival
First organized by the government of Dubai in 1995, the Dubai Shopping Festival lasts for the whole month of January and is a celebration of retail therapy in all its forms. This year, the festival is celebrating its 23rd anniversary, making it the longest running festival of its kind. It's best described as a January sale on hyperdrive – throughout the month, shops and malls throughout the city have special offers on everything from jewelry to electronics and clothing. Prizes like cars, cash, and gold are raffled off, while performances of Bollywood concerts, ballets and Broadway shows complete your introduction to Dubai's high life. The festival is lasting from late December to early February, so you may get a chance to experience the festive New Year Eve in Dubai.
Dubai Summer Surprises
Capitalizing on the popularity of the Dubai Shopping Festival, the city has launched Summer Surprises, which typically takes place between June and September. This is a more family oriented event, catering to the children who are on school vacation, so it's a great choice if you're visiting with family. Our Radisson Blu Hotel, Dubai Deira Creek is conveniently located in the heart of the city, so it couldn't be easier to hop into a taxi or onto public transport and make your way to the malls in Dubai Festival city.
In a city where summer temperatures reach 113º Fahrenheit, shopping malls are oases of clear glass walls, gorgeous window displays and reliable air conditioning. Stores outside of malls and in the souks will close around noon and open again in the evening, so if you’ve got too much energy for an afternoon rest, malls are a great way to stay cool and keep busy. In addition to every high-street and designer brand you care to name, you'll also find spas, gyms, theaters, art galleries, child-care centers, mosques, and more, depending on which mall you visit. One of the most extravagant malls in Dubai is the Mall of the Emirates, which contains the indoor ski resort Ski Dubai and over 560 international brands in over 200,000 square meters of space.
As an important trading port, Dubai was famous for its souks long before the state of the art malls were built – the Deira covered market used to be one of the largest in the Arabian Gulf. One of the most famous souks in Deira is the Gold Souk, where gorgeous trinkets and jewelry of various karats are sold according to their weight and workmanship. Haggling is a common and encouraged practice at the souks, where visitors and locals alike are always looking to get the best deals available. The Gold Souk should be top of your list, but don't miss out on the Spice Souk, Perfume Souk, or Textile Souk either if you want a real glimpse of Old Dubai.
After an exciting shopping day, take a rest in your room at Radisson Blu Hotel, Dubai Deira Creek to recharge for the another day of exploration.