Dubai is world-renowned for its majestic shopping malls and designer boutiques; whereas Muscat, Oman’s capital, is also an up-and-coming hotspot for indulging in a touch of retail therapy. Whether it is world-famous fragrances, stunning jewellery, or high-end fashion you’re after, we’ve got the inside story on the Middle East’s shopping scene.
Dubai Mall – Dubai, UAE
There’s no doubt that when it comes to shopping, Dubai reigns supreme. Internationally recognised as something of a fashion hub, this impressive city boasts a wide range of glittering shopping malls. These massive retail outlets are so much more than a place to go shopping: they’re home to a range of high-end eateries, as well as cultural attractions such as theatres and art galleries.
Dubai is home to whole host of massive shopping malls – even the savviest shopper would feel spoilt for choice. Of course, the impressively large Dubai Mall is a good place to start. Home to well over 1,000 shops, it’s the largest of its kind in the world.
While it might seem a little overwhelming to even the most seasoned shopper, the massive retail space is intricately designed and separated into different areas. Fashion Avenue is the place to go for finding high-end designers such as Dior, Givenchy, Oscar de la Renta, Jimmy Choo and many more.
The Grand Atrium is where you’ll find stores of luxury jewellers such as Cartier and Tiffany & Co, but you’ll also find an area known as the Souk which is home to a whopping 220 jewellers from across the region.
There’s a whole host of excellent restaurants here too, not to mention other impressive attractions such as the Dubai Ice Rink, Underwater Zoo, and an indoor theme park, making it a viable option for the whole family!
Mall of the Emirates – Dubai, UAE
Situated in the centre of New Dubai, the Mall of Emirates is a shining beacon for fashion lovers. While it’s not on quite as grand a scale as the Dubai Mall, with approximately 600 stores, it’s a truly stunning building, boasting a lavish interior.
Walk the highly polished marble floors and admire the impressive skylight overhead, before heading into the renowned Harvey Nichols department store to pick up the latest trends from your favourite designer.
There’s also a wide variety of elegant boutiques here, along with a massive selection of cosmetic stores. And it’s not just the stores that are designer – if you’re stopping off for something to eat, you’ll find that the Emporio Armani Café is just the ticket for a designer espresso!
Additionally, there’s a cinema, art gallery, and community theatre should you wish to break up your spending spree with a touch of arts and culture. Alternatively, if you’re looking for a break from all that designer retail therapy (or the Middle Eastern sun), then you can head to the mall’s very own wintery wonderland. Yes, Mall of the Emirates is also home to Ski Dubai – the city’s own indoor skiing centre!
Sharpen your ski skills and take a skiing lesson, or why not (quite literally) chill out with the penguins at the Penguin Encounter?
Al Khamis Plaza – Muscat, Oman
In recent years, the capital city of Oman has been catching up with the thriving fashion scene in neighbouring UAE. Al Khamis Plaza is a much smaller mall than the likes of Dubai and Abu Dhabi’s epic offerings, but this two-level mall is situated in the very heart of the Qurum shopping district – dubbed locally as the number one hot spot for serious shoppers.
Al Khamis Plaza is the place to find all the latest fashion offerings from high-end designer brands, including Givenchy and Lanvin. The shopping plaza also has a range of stylish boutiques offering exclusive jewellery ranges. If you’re fancying a new pair of designer sunglasses, Al Khamis is the place to pick up a new pair of specs from the likes of Cartier, Police, and Carerra.
Capital Stores – Muscat, Oman
If you’re looking for luxury shopping in Oman, then Capital Stores – located in the Qurum shopping district – does not fail to deliver. You’ll find a wealth of top designer beauty brands here, including the likes of Dior, Clarins, and Guerlain.
Capital Stores is also the perfect shopping spot if you’re in the market for designer fragrances, such as Jean Paul Gaultier, Mark Jacobs, and Roberto Cavalli.
Khimiji Megastore – Muscat, Oman
One of the most famous and well-known malls in Muscat, Khimji is an impressively large shopping centre that is home to a wide range of international brands. As one of the country’s largest retailers, you’ll find a vast array of designer products here.
If you’re in the market for top designers, then expect to find a gorgeous and extensive range of labels from the likes of Nina Ricci, Chanel, Paco Rabanne, and Jaeger. The mall is also home to an array of designer jewellery stores too – perfect if you’re after a dashing new Rolex.
Of course, it’s not just the international designers and brand named products you’ll be able to pick up whilst shopping. No shopping trip would be complete without paying a visit to a traditional souk to pick up a local treasure or even just enjoy the frenetic and atmospheric experience.
In Dubai, you’ll find no end of these traditional Middle Eastern bazaars, stacked with a vast array of goods. The loud chaos and ramshackle setup is in stark contrast to the glittering and pristine malls in the city – but well worth the visit as Dubai’s souks are some of the best in the region.
Oman’s Mutrah souk is well worth the visit, not least to observe the cacophony of haggling and bargaining with vendors for lush jewellery and beautiful antiques.
If you’re something of a style icon or a label-lover, then you’ll find that this part of the world is a bustling hubbub of places to go and truly indulge your shopping addiction.
Dubai’s impressive malls are home to a plethora of designer stores and boutiques – a retail nirvana for high-end fashion. For the Middle-Eastern souk shopping experience, Oman is the place to be.
While you’ll find a number of modern malls in Muscat, visiting the the traditional markets and souks is an experience in itself; take in the sights and sounds, haggle for a bargain or find an authentic Middle Eastern treasure.