Shopping is something that everyone enjoys doing but it can also be quite an affair when in Abu Dhabi as shoppers may find themselves lost on how to choose from a diverse range of products. Abu Dhabi offers big modern malls to small souks.
As there are no taxes in UAE, prices can be competitive and bargaining can be done to get best deals. Though shops in malls have fixed price, small businesses are usually carried out through bargaining.
Here is our expert guide to Abu Dhabi best malls, shops and markets.
Malls and shopping centers
Shopping malls are the most popular places to Shop in Abu Dhabi. Malls and shopping centers are usually bustling places where people can meet, greet, eat and shop. Few of the famous malls of Abu Dhabi are Yas Mall, Madinat Zayed Shopping center, Marina Mall and Abu Dhabi Mall. These malls also serve as a venue for special events of Dance, Food festivals, Book Fairs, etc.
Yas Mall is the newest of all and is located on Yas Island. The mall features best showrooms for Clothes, jewelry, café, restaurants, supermarkets and electronic store.
Madinat Zayed Shopping center has over 400 shops selling just about everything. Even few of traditional souk traders have also moved here. The Madinat Zayed Gold Centre, next to the main mall, sells the finest gold, diamond and pearl jewelry.
Marina Mall is situated on the Abu Dhabi Breakwater on Corniche road and is surrounded by Arabian Gulf. The mall offers the best view of the city and has best shops for clothing, jewelry, and cosmetics. There are many shops selling pure fabric like silk, cotton, and linen. One may even find tailors tucked in the back street of the mall where they can create a perfect outfit of your choice. Do watch out for annual sale in the month of January and February in marina mall.
Abu Dhabi Mall consists of over 200 shops and restaurants on each floor. Kid’s complex and Cineplex is an added entertainment arena there. It is the best place for both shopping and entertainment.
Abu Dhabi Co-operative Society Complex is one of the oldest shopping centers. It is a buzz during weekends and evenings & features a Shoe Mart, Lifestyle shops, and The Baby Shop. Other shops include computer suppliers and ladies’ fashion outlets.
Few other famous names are The Galleria, Al Wahda Mall, and Khalidiyah Mall.
The best place to satisfy the lust for gold, Silver, diamond, and pearls is the Gold center at Madinat Zayed. There are many shops at competitive prices. Ornaments sold are completely certified. One may also visit Sheikh Hamdan in the city center or Liwa center for a wide variety of certified gold Jewellery with excellent designs and craftsmanship.
Just like Dubai, Abu Dhabi also features traditional Souks which are local markets where one may experience local life. There is the Carpet souk located at Al Meena road where you can purchase finest quality carpets. Near The carpet souk, is the fresh food and fish souk, which serves fresh food items. Another souk is the Al Ain Souk also known as the central souk which has a variety of products to serve from spices, clothes, footwear, and gold to a lot more.
Fashion and Clothing
For fashion and clothing, Shopping malls are the places to shop from. Do check out The Galleria, The Abu Dhabi Mall and The Marina mall for best brands to shop from. These malls feature famous international brands like Louise Vuitton, Marks & Spencer, Emporio Armani, Hugo Boss and a lot more.
Not just clothes or dresses, one may encounter best brands for footwear, eyewear, watches, bags and purses, jewelry and everything from head to toe.
Access to certain products such as alcohol and tobacco is totally controlled by Local laws, so it is better to buy these products from duty-free shops to avoid issues while custom clearance. One may purchase alcohol from other shops in the city as well but stock there is limited, also prices are comparatively high as compared to duty-free shops.
To clear the custom one person is allowed to carry: Maximum 5 bottles of wine, or 4 bottles of spirits, or 24 beers can. In case of tobacco: 2 kg of loose tobacco or 2 cartons of cigarettes is allowed and Perfumes and personal gifts of value up to 3,000 AED.