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Dubai itinerary: Revel in retail therapy


Shopping in Dubai is so much more than retail therapy — it’s a sightseeing, cultural, gastronomic and entertaining experience with a surprise at every turn.

With over 95 shopping malls, virtually every global brand is on sale, alongside a collection of homegrown boutiques and labels.

Dubai ranks second only to London in the highest number of retailers represented.

Traditional abra on Dubai Creek, Dubai, UAEPhoto:

Traditional abra on Dubai Creek, Dubai, UAE

Shopping is so popular, the city hosts an annual shopping festival, usually the day after Christmas through the end of January. This expanded sample itinerary is one of several posted on

Day One
Old Dubai

Start a shopping spree worthy of Cleopatra at the Egyptian-themed Wafi Mall that includes an Arabian souk.

Hop on or hire an abra (traditional open boat) to cross Dubai Creek, the original center of the city, to the old city. For centuries, the city’s commerce was built around the creek with boats zipping up and down plying their trade. 

Stroll the Al Souk Al Kabir or Meena Bazaar in Bur Dubai, one of the oldest areas of the city, and be impressed at the diamond and gold shops. The Dubai Museum is in this district and should not be missed; its gift shop has a large variety of mementoes. 

Shopper in Textile Souk, Old Dubai, UAEPhoto:

Shopper in Textile Souk, Old Dubai, UAE

Find the gold souk in the Deira part of the city and gaze at the shop windows glimmering with 18-, 21-, 22- and 24-karat gold jewelry and pieces.

Weave through the Textile Souk in Bur Dubai to discover silks, cotton and embroidered fabrics.

Wander through the Perfume Souk and be surrounded by the rich scents of jasmine, rose and amber. Fragrance is an important part of Arabic culture.  At some shops, visitors can create their own scent.

Day Two
Revel in retail

From Armani to Zara, the Dubai Mall has more than 1,200 shops, all at the foot of the Burj Khalifa. On Fashion Avenue, find designers the likes of Stella McCartney, Burberry and Alexander McQueen.

Dubai Mall, Dubai, UAEPhoto:

Dubai Mall, Dubai, UAE

Step outside to view the Dubai Fountain’s daily performances. The synchronized music and water dance is the world’s largest choreographed fountain system. At one point, the water reaches 450 feet or 140 meters.

Burj Khalifa, currently the world’s tallest building at 2,716.5 feet or 828 meters, has two observation decks: the 124th floor and the 148th floor called At The TopSKY.

The Burj Khalifa is respected for its collection of original Middle Eastern art and pieces from international artists. More than 1,000 commissioned works are displayed throughout the building. 

Day Three
Dubai’s stunning shore

In Jumeirah, be sure to visit the beach, if just to walk in the sand and gaze at the shoreline that includes the preeminent, sail-shaped skyscraper, Burj Al Arab Hotel. Wash the sand off and head over to Boxpark where repurposed industrial containers serve as quirky boutiques and or the Italian Renaissance-styled Mercato Mall for a huge array of dining and shopping options.

Spice souk, Old Dubai, Dubai, UAEPhoto:

Spice souk, Old Dubai, Dubai, UAE

At the Madinat Jumeirah resort, find more than 50 restaurants and the Souk Madinat Jumeirah, a traditional retail experience that showcases the best of Arabia.

Dubai Corporation of Tourism & Commerce Marketing


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