Dubai Duty Free Shopping Guide Dubai

Dubai Duty Free and Shopping Guide

It's hard to believe that a few decades ago Dubai was just another minor Gulf trade port. The discovery of oil in 1969 changed all that and made Dubai into what it is today a mass of skyscrapers, golf courses, luxury hotels and, of course, shopping centres. In Dubai duty free and reduced price wares are often thought of as the primary reason to visit, and shopping has long been central to the character of this emirate: even at the beginning of the 1900's it was known for its souks. Every airport has a duty free area selling goods ranging from jewellery to clothes to electronic items.

The Dubai Duty Free complex at the Sheikh Rashid Terminal of Dubai International Airport is particularly huge 5,400 square metres. This makes its motto of 'Fly, Buy, Dubai ' seem quite apt (and there's 7,000 sq m of shopping space in the airport overall). The website ( has more information on the venture. Since 1996 there has been a month long spring Shopping Festival 'Layali Dubai' in Arabic aiming to draw tourists and raise the profile of the Dubai as a duty free shopping destination.

It's also true that there is a wide selection of goods available throughout the city at prices that are cheaper than at home. There are malls selling everything from fake Gucci to Ikea to (at the top end shops the state is particularly famous for) real Gucci. Well known shopping areas include the Deira Gold Souq for, as the name suggests, gold; Deira Old Souq for spices; Al Fahidi street for electronics; Deira Towers for carpets, the Wafi Centre for various luxury items and Meena Bazaar for textiles. Bur Dubai and Deira Covered Souq have an Indian/Pakistani influence. And Karama is the district to bargain for a fake Gucci watch, if you are so inclined.

When you've trawled Dubai duty free concerns will no doubt give way to more physical ones dinner, for example. There are plenty of places to blow the money you've saved on shopping, including a Gordon Ramsay restaurant opened in 2003. And/or you could visit some of Dubai's other attractions such as the Buri Al Arab, the state's sail shaped seven star wonder hotel. Within the hotel are further attractions such as a suite covered in leopardskin. Sadly, at about £1000 per night your Dubai duty free savings are unlikely to buy you a stay there you've done some serious shopping. For more information about duty free shopping in Dubai and other aspects of your visit, the Ministry of Information and Culture's official site is one port of call.