The Dubai Shopping Festival is an annual month-long shopping extravaganza. Thousands of avid shoppers flock to Dubai to get great deals. The entire city comes alive with the buzz of tourists and shoppers. It is one of the best times to visit Dubai and experience its wonderful atmosphere. This year the Dubai Shopping Festival starts on 26 December 2019 and ends on 01 February 2020. You can visit any time between these dates to explore the different malls and their attractive deals and discounts.
Here is a guide to help make your Dubai Shopping Festival tour enjoyable and successful. From where to shop, what to shop, and where to stay, places to visit, and other important points, we have gotten it all listed for you. So, get planning for a memorable visit to Dubai during this Shopping Festival.
About Dubai Shopping Festival
The first Dubai Shopping Festival began in 1996. Today, it is one of the most eagerly awaited events of the year. It is a month-long celebration of food, culture, and the best retail shopping experience. The whole city is pulsating with energy and people come from all over the world to shop in different malls. Apart from shopping, this is also a good time to visit Dubai and experience its rich culture, heritage, and cuisine.
There are extravagant events, contests, shows, and celebrity performances at different venues during the Shopping Festival. You can enjoy these events after a long day of shopping and browsing through shops. There are also fireworks displays. The New Years’ Celebration at the Burj Khalifa is one of the highlights of the Dubai Shopping Festival. It is time to indulge in some serious retail therapy from the best brands.
Where to Stay
The Dubai Shopping Festival happens in all the malls across the city. However, the most popular shopping malls are the Mall of Emirates, The Dubai Mall, the Global Village, and the Deira City Center. These malls are situated in the city center, that is the Deira, and you must also get a hotel in this area. This will minimize travel expenses as taxis in Dubai are expensive. You can also use the metro services to visit the different malls.
There are many good hotels in this area, and you can find one that suits your budget. You can choose luxury high-end hotels, mid-range ones, and budget category hotels as well. However, keep in mind that the budget hotels may not be close to the malls that you want to visit. If you want to save on the accommodation cost, then it is best to book a budget hotel and take the metro.
Where to Shop
The Dubai Shopping Festival spans the entire city of Dubai. All the malls and souks in the city take part in this month-long annual shopping fiesta. However, there are some malls that you must visit to get the best retail shopping experience. You can also see performances, singing, and dancing in the mall complex.
One of the places you must visit is the Mall of Emirates. There are luxury brands available here such as Burberry, Rado, Gucci, and much more. Another place you must visit is the Global Village. This unique seasonal cultural village has pavilions from different countries such as China, Africa, Thailand, Turkey, USA, and of course India. It is part of the Dubai Shopping Festival.
This is a great place to shop, eat, explore the handicrafts of the different countries, and see local cultural performances. There are dance shows, puppet shows, singing, and other shows happening in the different pavilions. You can buy everything from exotic fruits and spices to clothes, shoes, accessories, costume jewelry, home décor, lampshades, and carpets. Make sure to wear comfortable shoes as you will have to walk a lot.
The Dubai Mall is the second-largest shopping mall in the world. It is also part of the Dubai Shopping Festival and a must-visit for you. The mall is open till midnight and has more than two hundred luxury brands under its roof. It is also home to the Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo. You can get a printout of the floorplan of The Dubai Mall for easy navigation.
You must also visit the Mall of the Emirates which the best place to shop, dine, and experience a variety of entertainment. There are innumerable shops and dining options for you to choose from. You can buy clothes, makeup, jewelry, and gadgets from the different shops here. For the little ones, there are plenty of toy stores, book stores, and shops selling games, stationery, and clothes.
If you want to buy gold jewelry, then you must head to the Gold and Diamond Park. You can splurge to your heart’s content on intricate jewelry. Browse through the different shops selling gold jewelry, and jewelry encrusted with precious stones. You can shop as per your budget, or simply marvel at the exquisite craftsmanship that you can see. You can visit Meena Bazaar for more affordable pieces.
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What to Buy from the Dubai Shopping Festival
You can easily get confused about what to buy seeing the variety available at the different places in the Dubai Shopping Festival. However, to get the best deals you need to do lots of research on what you want to buy before you visit Dubai. Here are the top ten things you can buy from the Dubai Shopping Festival.
The malls in Dubai are full of high-end luxury apparel brands. During the shopping festival, you can pick up designer clothes from international brands. However, you must know that many of the international designers do not offer any discounts or deals on their items during the Shopping Festival. So, you can research other brands which offer good deals.
Dubai is a great place to buy genuine leather products. Excellent quality leather is available here and you can buy them from local shops at great prices. You can buy leather shoes, wallets, handbags, and briefcases during the Dubai Shopping Festival. You can also buy leather decorative items and showpieces.
Spices and Dry Fruits
The aromatic spices of Arabia are a must-buy item when you are in Dubai. You can buy exotic local spices from the stores in the souks during the Shopping Festival. The other must-buy item is dry fruits. You must buy Arabian dates, pistachios, almonds, and other dry fruits in bulk at great prices.
Perfumes and Makeup
The Dubai Shopping Festival is a great time to buy branded makeup and perfumes without burning a hole through your pockets. You can check out the retail outlets which are offering discounts and bargains on luxury brands such as MAC, Elizabeth Arden, Chanel, and Yves Saint Laurent. These are available at Duty-Free prices.
Gadgets and Electronics
This is a must-buy item that must be on your shopping list when you visit Dubai Shopping Festival. You can find mobile phones and accessories from Apple, speakers from Bose and Sony at wallet-friendly prices. You can also find great deals on laptops and gaming equipment. Buy earphones, Bluetooth devices, or TVs at great bargains.
If you love watches, then this is the perfect time for you to pick up a luxury brand piece at a good deal. During the Dubai Shopping Festival, you can find the latest designs and makes of watches in the shops. You can buy either an analog or a digital watch depending on your preference. Some of the brands available include Rado, Tag Heuer, Breitling, Longines, and so many others.
Dubai Shopping Festival is almost synonymous to gold jewelry shopping. It is a must-buy item if you are visiting Dubai. There are different varieties of gold jewelry available at the souks and stores. You can buy a piece that suits your budget such as a necklace, a pendant, earrings, or bangles.
Dubai Shopping Festival is a great place to buy high-quality textiles. You can buy silk, cotton, brocade, and other textiles at great rates during the Festival. Merchants sell textiles from across the globe at throw-away prices during the Dubai Shopping Festival. You can buy these for yourself or as gifts.
Dubai Shopping Festival is a great place to pick up affordable but classy home furnishing items. You can find a variety of things such as lampshades, carpets, wall decors, antique vases, and furniture at wallet-friendly prices. This is the best place to buy good-quality home décor at unbelievable rates.
Things to do other than shopping
Shopping is the most important attraction of the Dubai Shopping Festival. However, there are also other things that you can do when you are there. Here are some other activities to do in Dubai apart from shopping.
Experience New Year’s Celebrations at Burj Khalifa
This is an unforgettable experience. You must plan your Dubai Shopping Festival trip during the New Year’s Eve festivities to see the magnificent celebrations at Burj Khalifa. The authorities cordon off the entire city to make way for different events. There are fireworks, performances, contests, and shows. Make sure you reach early to grab a good place to see the display.
Go for Desert Safari
This is the quintessential Dubai experience. No visit to the city is complete without heading out into the vast open desert for a safari. Ride on camels or on Land Rovers to reach the rolling dunes where you can take part in different adventure activities. You can also experience falconry with highly trained birds of prey.
Visit Ferrari World
If you are a racing fan, then this is a must-visit for you. Ferrari World is a one-of-a-kind theme park based on racing car company and its products. You can take part in the different activities here such as rollercoasters, race simulators, and virtual rides. You can also pick up souvenirs from the gift shop.
Dhow Cruise with Dinner
You can see Dubai lit up at night on a leisurely cruise down the Dubai creek. You can book yourself a cruise on a traditional Dhow along with a scrumptious dinner onboard. These are large wooden boats which sailors and traders used in the earlier days. Today these are floating restaurants where you can enjoy delicious Arabic meals with traditional entertainment.
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Experience the nomadic lifestyle
Go on an exciting adventure where you can experience the life of the nomadic people of Arabia. Understand the customs and traditions of these fearless men who live in one of the most hostile environments of the world. You can enjoy a rustic camp-style meal under the open sky in a traditional nomadic way. You can also visit the Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve to see the desert wildlife in their natural habitat.
Visit Dubai for an unforgettable experience
If you want to have a luxurious and indulgent vacation, then you must visit Dubai during the Shopping Festival. Plan your visit as soon as you can so that you can get the best deals on hotels and airfare. Visit the different malls and souks across the city and pick up clothes, jewelry, shoes, and makeup at unbelievable prices. This is also the best time to buy electronics and gadgets at Duty-Free prices. You can also experience the vibrant cultural melting pot of Dubai in Global Village. Try the varied cuisines available in the different fine dining restaurants in the city or visit one of the Instagrammable cafes. Learn about the heritage and traditions of the Arabic nomads in a desert safari outside the city. Dubai Shopping Festival is the best time to visit the city even if you are not a shopaholic. It is a time when the whole city comes alive and celebrates. So, get started and plan your visit to Dubai Shopping Festival now.