Shopping enthusiasts and shopaholics will feel like they have finally come to the place they have been searching for forever: shopping heaven. For real. Abu Dhabi shopping is exactly this. Shopping is absolutely the ideal thing to do here, as you can shop haute couture and designer labels from every possible global brand in shiny, air-conditioned mega malls as well as traditional crafts and local souvenirs from old-school souks and markets.
Fact one: you can buy absolute everything and anything in the capital city. Fact two: there is no tax in Abu Dhabi, and the VAT is only 5%. Add up these two facts and the outcome is indisputable: Welcome to shopping heaven! So, get your credit card out because you are guaranteed to make purchases and deals of a lifetime.
Abu Dhabi is well-known worldwide as an exceptional shopping destination, and the city is home some impressive shopping malls. The city has even developed entire neighborhoods into lifestyle and shopping districts such as The Galleria Al Maryah Island. Whether you’re seeking electronics, souvenirs, jewelry or the latest and greatest in fashion, Abu Dhabi has got you covered. From markets and malls, shopping centers and souks to brands and bartering, this shopping sanctuary truly has it all.
Looking to do some souvenir shopping? Although there is no limit to what you can buy here, certain traditional crafts and Arabic wares make more interesting souvenirs than others:
- Gold and diamond jewelry
- Precious and semi-precious stones
- Oudh and attars
- Pashmina shawls
- Persian rugs and carpets
- Arabian coffee and coffee pots
- Camel milk chocolate
- Arabian dates
- Hookah pipe
- Arabic lanterns
- Khanjar daggers
- Incense holders
- Anything with camels on
Gold and diamond jewelry
Let’s zoom in on the two items at the top of the above list. Buying gold jewelry and precious stones is still considerably cheaper in Abu Dhabi compared to other countries in the world. Another advantage is that Abu Dhabi, just like Dubai, is known for selling gold jewelry of very high quality. Obviously, every mall has jewelry stores, but you should try and visit the Gold Souk in Abu Dhabi. It is popular with both tourists and residents, as it has the feel of a traditional Arabic souk inside a contemporary shopping center, the Madinat Zayed Shopping Centre. Endless rows of stores with radiant window displays brim with gold jewelry, gems and precious stones. Should you decide to pick up a sparkling souvenir or a statement piece (why not?), be prepared to bargain. While the gold rate is fixed, there is definitely room to haggle over the cost of design and labor.