13 March 2015

Souks and shops - Part 2 of shopping in Dubai

For today's post I hand over to my travelling companion; Julia Melson. Time to let a shopping expert give some advice, especially when it comes to the worlds largest shopping mall! So with pictures by myself (once again looking up rather than at shops) and words by Julia, Part 2 is all about Souks and Shops and the journey in between. 

As far as comparisons go, today's shopping expedition was by far one of the most extreme. The day started with a trip to Dubai's old quarter. Now if it's counterfeit goods and gold you're after, then these markets areas are for you. However some of these items can be found at Wembley market in London on a rainy Sunday morning. So is it really worth coming all this way and spending your cash here? For spices and gold, probably yes. Counterfeit goods...um...best leave that one for the individual to decide.

Dubai Mall however offers slightly more to the western visitor, expats and locals alike, especially with a taste for the commercial lifestyle. To start with the journey from the Souks to the Mall was 'interesting' to say the least. With the metro segregated into female and mixed carriages, one can only feel slightly perplexed. As a local lady abruptly 'shoved' the men into the mixed carriages and a companion being disciplined for chewing gum on the train we felt somewhat under scrutiny. 

The mall however was something entirely different. A mall is an understatement. The noun 'urban resort' more fitting. The mall itself is set over four vast floors. A mix of UK, European and American based chain stores such as Next and Marks and Spencers to suit the array of British and American expats whilst stores such as Victoria Secrets and Bershka for the European visitor. Floors are divided into fashion/shoes/electrical and so on. 

A three hour trip simply was not enough for this. A suggestion for seasoned shoppers- prepare a plan of attack and stick to it. You can plan your trip using the interactive maps located throughout the mall or pick up a leaflet. Stick to where you need to go and browse when you're done. The three hours was way too short, especially with a visit to the fountain show and aquarium which were sacrificed for shoes and handbags. Real ones and not the souk ones.

One last suggestion. Ladies - invest in some hiking boots and walking sticks and leave the Primark flip flops for Sunday afternoon Tesco trips.

My thanks to Julia for her input  Please let me know what you think. How did you rate the souks and the shops? Is the Dubai Mall the shopping mecca for shopaholics?  

Next week we continue in Dubai with The Second Tower.


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