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“Cheap Shopping in Dubai”
Review of Dubai

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Manchester, England
Level 5 Contributor
71 reviews
192 helpful votes
“Cheap Shopping in Dubai”
Reviewed September 2, 2009

You will finad this info vary rarely CHEAP shopping and souvenirs in dubai. Yes it is possible. there is a place called Al karama market which is near the inner city deira area. you would have to ask the cab driver to take you to the Al Karama Market.

There is the Al karama centre as well but always go to the market first. Karama is a south indian quater of the city where all the south indians live and the markets are full of souvenirs and little things you can buy to take home. i bought a crystal Burj al arab for 10dhs - in the malls and tourist area at least 100 dhs

remember to haggle and bargain these are indians remember!

52 Thank BritishBedouin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
43 helpful votes
“Dubai August 2009”
Reviewed August 28, 2009

We have just come back from a trip to Dubai. Overall we had an excellent time and although Dubai has its critics, I would say that Dubai caters for almost everything as it strives to be the biggest and the best in everything it does!

Hotels - We stayed at the Taj Palace in Deira for a few days, taking advantage of not only a special offer on room rates, but also to make it easier to travel to shops/clubs etc in the city area of Dubai. The Taj Palace is a lovely hotel. The room was huge, and the beds were large and comfy. Any questions/requests we had were dealt with by the concierge effectively. The hotel has a few restaurants. We tried Handi which was an amazing Indian restaurant. We had a thaali there and it was quality food at a reasonable price. The Taj doesn’t have any local attractions, but is not too far from Meena Bazaar (Indian area) or the Gold and Spice Souk.

For the rest of our trip we transferred to the Westin Mina Seyahi on the Jumeriah Beach. Jumeriah is the wealthy part of Dubai, and this was an excellent location. Firstly the hotel is newly built, and so was of an excellent standard with a large lobby. The room was large and comfortable and very well decorated. Bathrooms were lovely too. The balcony was lovely, a really good way to relax and take in the views of the sea (or to the palm as construction has unfortunately restricted the lovely sea views!!). I would definitely recommend a balcony, and preferably one that looks on to the beach! The room cleaning staff were fantastic, always changing towels, linens (or doing up bed) etc and were quick to respond to any requests. The hotel had quite a few restaurants and bars, but they were quite expensive, so we tended to eat at other places.

The hotel has a private beach and water sport activities. Kayaking was free, so was sailing (if you already know how to sail!). For a charge you could also do banana boats, donut ride (where you sit on an inflatable and a power boat pulls you), a trip around the palm & Burj on a power boat, water ski etc. Beware of the jelly fish if you swim in the sea - there were plenty on view!! The Westin is next to its sister hotel Le Meridien, which has a cool bar on the beach called Barasti and shows sports. The hotel also has a kids club.

The hotel was in an excellent location, not far from the Burj, the Atlantis, Dubai Marina, Dubai Mall, Mall of the emirates, Jumeriah Beach Residences, Wild Wadi Water Park, Dubai marine club and the Madinat souk.

Overall the Westin was a fantastic hotel in an excellent location and I would recommend it as a good value for money beach hotel!

Food - Handi (Indian) at the Taj Palace hotel (Deira) was fantastic. The Buffet dinner at the Atlantis was fantastic value for 175dh, and had an amazing range of salads, mains and desserts. You could not be disappointed!! Tea at the Burj Al Arab was a highlight, with an excellent selection of cakes/sandwiches/scones/teas etc to go with the delightful view. Ushna (Indian) at the Madinat (next to Al Qasr hotel and 5 mins from Wild Wadi water park) was an amazing Indian with fantastic food and service at reasonable prices (they have offers Sun - Thursday before 6pm). For an excellent range of places go to Jumeriah Beach Residence (JBR) for a street of around 30 or so restaurants. We ate at a Mexican place (food wasn’t great) and an Indian place called Sukh sagar - this Vegetarian place had an extensive menu which included Chinese, Thai and Italian food at very cheap prices. If you want to eat at bargain places try Shiv Sagar at Meena Bazaar or try food courts at malls. Food at Dubai Mall and Mall of emirates isn’t too bad & they have a decent selection of restaurants and food courts.

Clubs - My advice would be to grab a Time out Dubai magazine as soon as you get there - as each club is buzzing on a specific night! Many of them don’t charge for ladies (various ladies nights). Some clubs will require boys to be in a mixed group or within a couple. Unfortunately we didn't make it to the right clubs on the right nights. Most clubs play house music, but we wanted Rnb and we struggled to find any, though each club will have an Rnb night. Elegante at the Royal Ascot Hotel played Rnb music on the night we went (a fri night), but beware they charged 100dh for boys and girls to get in and drinks were extortionate. Plus the crowd were awful - hardly no one dances, people just stand and watch!! Zinc was a much better club (I think it was at the Crowne Plaza hotel). It had a proper dance floor and there were a few more people dancing!! Boudoir at the Dubai Marine Resort and Spa hotel was a lovely venue. However the dance floor was tiny and the crowd again was rubbish - if we had a club with that decor in London, we would probably have a much better atmosphere!! We ended up leaving Boudoir early and had a boogie at the Havana club next door which had much better music (even though it was empty!!). Unfortunately Sho Cho also at the Dubai Marine Resort) was closed but its meant to be pretty good. At last one place that was an excellent venue was the Sanctuary at the Atlantis. Predominantly a European crowd with a large dance floor (and an entire section that was closed). It also had podium dancers (that actually dance on a ring on the second floor of the club). The club played house, but it has an rnb night each Tuesday.

Taxis - Taxis are relatively cheap when compared with the UK. From our Westin Hotel, it was approx 25dh to get to the Palm and about 10dh to go to the Dubai Marina or the JBR. It was around 20dh to get to Wild Wadi and the Madinat. You can also get free shuttles to the Dubai Mall and the Mall of Emirates. Check the timetable, but beware the buses can be full before they reach your hotel!!

Water Parks - We went to the Wild Wadi and the one at the Atlantis, and I would recommend the one at the Atlantis. Water Park was an excellent way to keep coolish in the hot august temps. Its relaxing and quite good fun going through the different water shoots etc. The ride with the vertical drop wasn’t actually too scary, and it goes through the fish tank and drops you in a pool of water. Note that the Atlantis also does both shallow and deep water interactions with Dolphins at the Dolphin Bay and was really good fun. A tip is to buy the dolphin bay interaction and water park ticket in advance from your hotel as you can bargain, and get a cheaper price than paying on the day at the Atlantis!

Desert Safari - Buying from your hotel can be expensive. Try and Bargain with the tour rep at your hotel. or buy from an agent at Meena Bazaar. We got ours for about £25 from Amazon Tours. Be prepared for a bumpy right - try not to eat too much before the trip as plenty of people were throwing up in our envoy after the dune bashing!! The food was fantastic and we were all forced to try out the belly dancing. We had to pay extra to do quad biking but it was good fun.

Other trips - we didn’t really do others as it was so hot, but they have a trip to the Hajar mountains which looked interesting, and you can also check out Abu Dhabi.

Shopping - very expensive!!! Its sooooo much cheaper in the UK! I cant believe im saying that!! My advice is to avoid shopping malls if you are limited for time, but there are a few good non-shopping activities worth checking out!!

Burjaman Mall - this is in Deira and is an upmarket mall which houses all top end designer brands. Forget going there if you aren’t willing to spend serious cash!!

Deira city centre Mall - although much better than UK malls, it isn’t anywhere near as flash as the Dubai Mall or the Mall of The Emirates (MOE).

MOE - This is the one with Dubai Ski. Dubai ski looked cool, probably good if you can already ski as they don’t let you use the slopes without many lessons otherwise. If you just want to mess around they have "snow park" tickets. If you are not fussed with Dubai Ski, then its prob best to head to the Dubai Mall instead!

Dubai Mall - this is the best mall in Dubai. Shops are super expensive but the non-shopping facilities are great. There's an Olympic size ice rink and a walk through aquarium. There is also an aqua zoo which was ok. It was worth paying 25dh to do a glass bottomed boat ride for 20mins at the top of the aquarium as you get to feed fish, ask questions and chat to the divers. The Mall also has a "Bellagio style fountain show" every half hour or so which was cool. The mall houses an Armani cafe (I didn’t try it) and has some amazing chocolatier shops if you need to get gifts for anyone!! Restaurants seemed good, we ate at the California pizza kitchen which was quite good. The mall also had a Gold and Diamond Souk - I didn’t bother even looking!!

Madinat - this was a cool place to go for shopping for souvenirs and for traditional Arabic clothes/items etc. There were quite a few food places (Ushna Indian restaurant was fantastic).

My advice with mall shopping is forget going to any shop that is also resident in the UK - just buy it from home instead!!

Ramadan - If you are going there during Ramadan be prepared for some changes!! Firstly clubs close a few days prior to Ramadan, so plan carefully. No eating in public, but you could eat in your hotel, on the beach and at the airport. All food places in malls etc will close until sunset. Though one cool thing about Ramadan was the traditional Iftars that they places at hotels (tents with Arabic sweets/pastries and tea/coffees).

We found all the workers in Dubai to be really friendly - waiters would chat to you for ages! Taxi drivers were nice and even our hotel security guard spoke to us for about 2 hours on the beach when we were chilling one evening!! Construction has really calmed down at the moment - the recession has impacted activity over there. I wouldn’t recommend going in the summer heat for children as temperatures are uncomfortable on the beach, but we got used to the heat quite quickly. Everything is air conditioned so you can always nip back to your hotel if it gets too hot!

Overall I would recommend Dubai for people of all ages, there is always something to do!!!

43 Thank icegirlLondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rome, Italy
Level 4 Contributor
33 reviews
19 helpful votes
“Hot shopping”
Reviewed August 25, 2009

Great hotels at reasonable price, shopping opportunities, probably the best worldwide: you can easily pay-back your stay if you buy the right items (e.g. at the gold market).... and you play the negotiation in the right way.
I went in August and it was too hot, hard to walk outdoor, even the sea water was almost boiling. Oct-March is the best period.

Thank Victorky
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
West Yorkshire
Level 5 Contributor
73 reviews
57 helpful votes
“Not what I expected”
Reviewed August 24, 2009

Arriving, by car from Abu Dhabi, the Dubai skyline reminded me very much of Manhattan, with its multi-storey hotels, apartment blocks and business centres.
To be fair, our's was a short stop over of only four days, but it was not what I expected. We visited both major water parks and very extremely impressed by the beautiful, exciting and well run Atlantis, but by comparison we felt that Jumiera Beach Water Park was beginning to look tired and in need of some T.L.C.
Our helicopter sight seeing flight over the city was spoiled by a hazy atmosphere and poor visibility, which made photography difficult and disappointing. At the end of the flight we were informed by the pilot that visibility on that day was particularly good and never really got any clearer.
The beaches were clean and extensive but carried warnings about the dangers of swimming in the Gulf waters.
Shopping? Very expensive and no different than any city in England. Malls contain every high street store we find here including M&S, Waitrose and even B.H.S., thugh the prices were higher.
The whole city resembles a huge building site and will probably be worth a visit when it is finished.

1 Thank SheilaWestYorkshire
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Doha, Qatar
Level 2 Contributor
9 reviews
16 helpful votes
“The beaches of Dubai”
Reviewed July 14, 2009

As a regular visitor to Dubai, I am somewhat bewildered at your inclusion of this city in your top beaches destinations.
The beaches in Dubai are, for the most part private and attached to hotels and unless you are a guest or pay an entrance fee, these are not available to the public.
The remaining stretches of beach are hardly the magnificent stretches implied in your recommendation. Rather, they are modest spaces in the built up areas where the facilities are minimal and where you are likely to be arrested for kissing your wife or indeed showing any affection deemed to be improper these days in this haven of 'tollerance".
You may, however partake of the varied and too often seedy nightlife where, if you are not propositioned in the first 30 minutes, you have been mistaken as one of the morals enforcers disguised as tourists.
From a relaxing beach perspective, this destination has very little to recommend it.

4 Thank seanieOman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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