Answers from Our Experts (1)
Dubai is a paradise for shoppers, with enormous malls, more traditional souks and a fantastic gold trade that’s closely regulated by the government. A budding gallery scene is also turning the city into a nascent hub for collectors of contemporary Arab, Persian and Far Eastern art.
Forbes Travel Guide’s editors think the best shopping in this modern Middle Eastern metropolis might be at the Dubai Mall, the grand-daddy of shopping centers – it is, indeed, currently the world’s largest – that’s home to countless stores, an ice rink, an aquarium and a giant outdoor fountain show that puts the Bellagio’s, in Las Vegas, to shame. The Mall of the Emirates is another fantastic shopping spot, with endless variety, tons of restaurants, an enormous supermarket and an indoor snow park called Ski Dubai.
Few people trek to the Ibn Battuta Mall, on the southern edge of town, but it does have some unique-to-Dubai shops and crazy architecture, even by Emirati standards. Gold is another great buy here, and tight government control of the trade means you can shop with confidence. The Gold Souk in Deira is still the most atmospheric place to peruse your options. For art galleries, start your hunt at the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), where an increasing number of curators are setting up shop.