Sunday, 5 February 2012

Dubai Shopping and Sightseeing



Sightseeing
Dubai is a great holiday destination if you enjoy shopping, sunbathing and souks. Most of the entertainment in town revolves around the malls and hotels. The Dubai Mall is famed for its spectacular water fountain display, and the Mall of the Emirates for the indoor ski slope. 

jewelled slippers in the souk


The Authentic Souks
The gold souk, silver souk and spice souk are all located in Old Dubai just to the west of the city. The most interesting way to get there is on an abra boat from Bur Dubai boat station, it only costs 1AED (20p).

If you've been to the medinas and souks in Egypt and Morrocco, Dubai souk unfortunately pales in comparison, but it does offer an authentic view of the old city. There isn't a great deal for tourists to buy here apart from slippers and kaftans, but it is an interesting afternoon or morning out. You can get good deals on Gold if you're looking for something special.

An abra boat





To be honest the best souk for shopping is Souk Madinat but, as is the case with most things in Dubai, it's modern and not authentic. Best things to buy here are jewelled slippers, jewelled kaftans (of better quality than in the Old Town), trinkets and ethnic jewellery. Much of it is imported from India and surrounding countries.
Souk Madinat

The Malls
Dubai is famous for its huge sprawling malls and sky scrapers. The two main malls worth visiting are:

Burj Khalifa
Across the way from the Burj Khalifa (the tallest building in the world) Dubai Mall houses hundreds of international stores and boutiques as varied as Bloomingdales, Mulberry and Waitrose, as well as an enormous food hall.

Inside the Burj Khalifa is the Armani Hotel. Decorated with a chic minimal beige interior, as you'd expect from Mr Armani. It's a good place to stop off for a post-shopping, pre-dinner aperitif.



The other attraction Dubai Mall is known for is the Water Fountain display. The creators went to Vegas, studied the fountains at the Bellagio and did it better! The spectacular displays take place every half hour and are indeed a sight to behold.


Souk Al Bahar across the bridge from Dubai Mall is full of restaurants, I recommend High Thai.

The Aquarium at Dubai Mall


Best known for its indoor ski slope – I know, skiing in Dubai sounds crazy, but it's a lot of fun.
The best shops in the mall are Boutique 1 and Vera Moda housing designer labels such as Missoni and Alexander McQueen.


Other Highlights
If you fancy something different after all the sun bathing and shopping, why not try the desert safari www.desertsafaridubai.com? Go driving over the sand dunes in 4x4's, then have dinner in a bedouin camp whilst being entertained by belly dancers. Alternatively there are two great water parks, The Wild Wadi and Aquaventure at The Atlantis.

The sand dunes
Or if you fancy a real adventure take a hot air balloon ride over the desert.

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