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The shopper’s guide to Dubai

Center of Dubai
Center of Dubai

Dubai has turned shopping into something really special. It's famous for its huge, fancy malls that are a cool break from the desert outside. These places are like big, busy markets where families meet up, friends hang out, and there's always something fun happening. But what are the special things you should look for when shopping in Dubai? Let’s dive into a guide on what to grab.

Gold: Dubai's Sparkling Keepsakes

Dubai is a top spot for buying gold. It has places like the Gold Souq, filled with beautiful jewelry from the Middle East, India, and even Europe. There's also the Gold & Diamond Park for more modern styles. Gold in Dubai can be cheaper than many other countries because making it and selling it here costs less. Plus, there aren’t as many extra charges or taxes. The price of gold jewelry might depend on how good you are at making a deal. It's smart to know the current gold prices, which you can see on electronic boards at the souq, and talk about the price over the making costs.

Carpets: Magical Mats

For those who love carpets, Dubai is like a dream. You can find everything from real Persian carpets and colorful Turkish kilims to traditional Bedouin rugs. Dubai is known for having top-notch carpets at great prices, but remember, bargaining is part of the deal.

The real deal with carpets is the wool quality. The best wool comes from sheep living high up in the mountains because it's thick and full of lanolin, making the carpet shiny, strong, and stain-resistant. The wool should be natural, not treated with harsh chemicals, and dyed with plant colors to keep its beautiful look. Even though some sellers talk a lot about where the carpet comes from or how many knots it has, the most important thing is how the wool is handled. Carpets from good wool get even better with age.

Perfume: Unique Aromas from the Middle East

While you might find French perfumes for a good price because of lower taxes, make sure they're real. The best finds are the Middle Eastern attars, which are special perfumes that smell like nothing else. Picking a perfume can be tricky because smelling too many scents can confuse you. To clear your nose, try blowing out hard through it three times – this is a trick from top perfume makers.

Pashminas: Soft and Stylish

There are lots of fake pashminas around, but the real deal is 100% cashmere, super soft, and comes in all sorts of colors and designs. They make a lovely gift or a treat for yourself. To check if it’s real cashmere, try pulling it through a ring. If it slides through easily, it's the real thing.

Dates: Sweet Treats

Bateel dates are the fancy food of the Middle East. The stores look like fancy jewelry shops and have the dates displayed beautifully, making them a great gift. Bateel is very picky about making sure every date is perfect, coming from the best places in Saudi Arabia.

Spices: The Flavor of Dubai’s Markets

The spice market is a must-visit for anyone who loves cooking. You can find cool things like cardamom-flavored condensed milk to make your desserts and coffees extra tasty, and Natco rose syrup that's perfect on ice cream. Don’t forget to grab some saffron for its amazing smell and color, and zaatar to add a Middle Eastern twist to your meals.

Shopping in Dubai is not just buying stuff; it’s about enjoying and discovering the city's rich culture through each unique find.

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