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Not content with having the biggest casinos, largest gambling revenue and dubious distinction of being the most densely populated territory in the region, Macau is now setting about making itself the shopping capital of Asia, if not the world. With the Wynn Esplanade and Venetian's Grand Canal Shoppes already well established, the purchasing index was bumped up a notch with the mid-2008 arrival of the 211,000-square-foot Shoppes at Four Seasons. Touting itself as the city's first luxury shopping mall, brands on offer include all the major names: Gucci, Hermès, Chanel, Louis Vuitton, etc. So far it deserves the attention it has received, with promotions, such as free limousine service (if you spend more than HK$50,000 in one day), a mall concierge and an image consultant. Hong Kong, the self-appointed "Shopping Capital of Asia," has good reason to be concerned.
Big changes have occurred since the liberalization of the gaming industry and Macau is becoming a place for shopping luxury goods. Everyday thousands of tourists from mainland China visit the big commercial galleries adjacent to the new casinos and buy brands like Cartier, Dior, Prada, Louis Vuitton or Hugo Boss. For that kind of shopping experience there are approximately 600 duty-free shops to choose from in the interconnected Shoppes Cotai – consisting of Shoppes Grand Canal at The Venetian, Shoppes at Four Seasons at The Plaza and Shoppes Cotai Central at Sands Cotai Central. Other resorts, like the Wynn Macau and the MGM (One Central complex) also feature high-end commercial galleries. Owned by Stanley Ho’s STDM, the New Yahoan department store (Av. Comercial de Macau) has nine floors offering many different products that range from electronics to baby clothing. Also interesting, Fisherman's Wharf is a shopping and entertainment complex that replicates traditional districts of Europe and America.
Last but not the least, Macau is a well- known haven for antique lovers and collectors. The areas close to the Senado Square and the Ruins of St. Paul's have many antique dealers displaying used Chinese household items, furniture and ceramic pieces. The traditional wet markets offer another shopping experience. The beautiful and lively Red Market is worth seeing.