Wednesday 25 February 2015

Shopping in Dubai away from the malls and tourist areas.

Not everyone who comes to Dubai is here for the shopping, some of us live here and although you don't pay tax on your salary here, the cost of living is much higher than many other places.
Inside Dubai Mall

The Dubai Shopping Festival DSF, has celebrated it's 20th successful festival which runs January 1st to February 1st and was perfect timing for us on our relocation here when purchasing some essentials whilst waiting for our container and air freight to arrive. Including a massive discount of nearly 50% on a gas oven.

But I'm tired of the Malls now and having done all the touristy things I want to explore a little bit more of Dubai, the real Dubai, not just the attractions and the Malls.

Leaving the train at Diera City, the first place I saw was Diera City Mall, it was well signposted and whichever way you exited the train station it automatically draws you towards it.

After standing back and taking in the sights around me and confirming that everyone who drives a car in Dubai has a horn and every horn works, approximately every few seconds, I headed towards the bus station, in the hope of finding a few local shops. The guide books tell you where you can buy what and where, but when you arrive there's no sign posts to point towards the none tourist areas. It's a bit of hit and miss, but as long as you don't mind walking around and exploring, which is perfectly safe to do, you'll find some delights.
Two different style restaurants, the 1st one was more formal and near the train station, the second one, where I had lunch was off the beaten track, food was very cheap and very good and the staff helped me with directions to get back on the beaten track.

Another place to visit are the souks, but exiting the train at Al Ghubaiba or Al Ras you find yourself in the heart of the tourists again, but if you're prepared to wander a bit off the beaten track, head in the direction of the bus station again.

You'll find some amazing shops selling everything from material, hand made suits and dresses through to spices, gold, knock off handbags and wonderful little street cafes.

I've still Al Kamara and Al Jafilya to explore in search of quality leather handbags, not knock off, but if you do want a plastic designer copy then I've been told these are the best places to go to.

I found quite a few smaller independent malls, selling everything from Loom bands, through to toasters with toiletries, dried foods and clothes and of course what every visitor wants to buy when they come to Dubai, souvenirs.
The shops are packed full and you do have to rummage for items, if you have a pushchair or a wheel chair you certainly won't be able to get upstairs in these places and it can be hard to move around inside.
At the attractions, Marina mall and the airports you'll pay 4-5 times more for the same replica Burj Khalifa, Burj Al Arab, magnet, carpet, sand bottles and camels. Be warned though, when you buy a stuffed musical camel form one of these places it is likely to burst out into a verse or two of Happy Birthday.

Check out the 1-19 dirham stores, souvenirs aren't made to last forever anyway.

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