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Dubai - Shopping

Dubai's excellent shopping facilities and the tax-free prices on offer are major benefits of living in this city. Dubai attracts shoppers from around the world, keen to take advantage of the wide range of goods on sale at bargain prices, particularly during the annual Dubai Shopping Festival, which in recent years has been held in January and February. Over 3 million visitors attended the 2005 Festival. Some of the most popular items for which shoppers come to Dubai include gold, designer clothes, perfumes and Persian carpets. During the Festival, there are also handicrafts, food, clothes and other items from around the world on sale in the Global Village.

Dubai has more than fifty modern shopping malls as well as the traditional souks which are so popular with tourists and local residents alike. Many of the malls include UK and US chain stores, designer clothes shops and a wide range of other stores, and also have dining and entertainment facilities.

Some of the most popular shopping malls in Dubai include BurJuman, which can be found at the Corner of Bank Street and Trade Centre Road. With around 300 high class stores including Saks 5th Avenue, BurJuman is one of the best shopping centres in Dubai for designer label clothes. Wafi City is another particularly exclusive mall selling designer clothes, jewellery and watches.

Deira City Centre is a very popular mall with Debenhams and Woolworths as anchor stores, and more than 300 stores selling an incredible variety of goods, including fashion, electronics and traditional Arabian furniture, carpets and handicrafts. This mall also includes a multiplex cinema, bowling alley and children's entertainment centre, along with many restaurants and cafes.

For IT products visit the Al Ain Centre, next to the Ramada Hotel, and for best quality gold and diamond jewellery try the Gold and Diamond Park on the Sheik Zayed Road, off Interchange 4. Perhaps the best place to buy high quality, original keepsakes and gifts is The Courtyard in Sheik Zayed Rd, a complex of artists' workshops and craft stores.

For an authentic Arabian shopping experience, try the many traditional souks, with their individual shops congregated by the types of products sold. Be prepared to haggle, as bargaining for the best price is a way of life here. The most famous and probably the most popular is the Gold Souk in Deira, where 24-carat and 22-carat necklaces, watches and other jewellery can be bought, sold by weight, at very reasonable prices. The spice souk and the perfume souk are also very popular with residents and tourists alike, for their traditional charm and heady aromas.

For inexpensive shopping in between the souks and high class malls, try the Deira Tower Shopping Mall in al-Nasr Square.

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