If it’s time to indulge in some retail therapy, head off to an exotic locale like Dubai for the ultimate shopping fix. As one of the world’s largest business hubs and a modern, metropolitan city, Dubai can be an attractive destination for solo travelers interested in shopping, entertainment and relaxation. Unlike many other cities in the United Arab Emirates, Dubai is home to a mix of modern and ancient attractions and has been nicknamed the “shopping capital of the Middle East”, home to dozens of shopping malls that have become attractions in themselves. Solo travelers can enjoy the freedom of “mall hopping” over the course of the day, savor mouthwatering food at restaurants right inside the mall, and enjoy a host of entertainment options day and night.
Use this sample itinerary to plan your shopping excursion to Dubai as a solo traveler:
Where to Go: Dubai’s Top Shopping Destinations
Some of the biggest shopping centers in Dubai are located in high-rise buildings and are a part of the city’s skyline. From the Twin Towers to the Burjuman Centre, you’ll find dozens of luxury shopping malls scattered throughout the city and many are within a short taxi cab ride from each other. When you’re traveling solo, consider visiting at least two or three malls over the course of the day. Look up store directories and maps online before you go so that you can chart out your course and budget your time at each destination.
Popular Dubai shopping destinations to add to your itinerary include:
– Ibn Battuta Mall ‘” a themed shopping destination that tells the story of 14th century Arabian explorer Ibn Battuta. The mall is divided into six themed areas, including North Africa, Persia and China.
– Mall of the Emirates ‘” an architectural masterpiece encompassing 6.5 million square feet, this mall is a tourist attraction in itself with its 14-screen multiplex cinema, indoor ski resort and gaming arena.
– Lamcy Plaza ‘” an open retail display mall that houses a mix of international and local brand name stores
– Al Bustan Centre ‘” the closest shopping destination to the Dubai International Airport, this mall is home to the Fantasy Kingdom indoor amusement arcade center, designer clothing stores and gift shops.
-Dubai Spice Souk ‘” traditional open-air that sells high-quality spices and gifts.
Where to Stay: Hotels Near the Shopping Districts
If you want to stay right at the mall you shop in, reserve a room at Al Bustan Centre and Residence located on top of Al Bustan Centre. This 640-room hotel offers apartment-style amenities and services and is ideal for extended stay travelers. The Studio or Executive Studio is a good match for solo travelers. The suites are fully furnished with a television, kitchen, refrigerator, comfortable bed and other basic amenities.
Stay at the Grand Millennium Dubai when you want easy access to the Mall of Emirates and the Ibn Battuta Mall, located within a ten-minute drive from the hotel. This luxury hotel has spacious and inviting guestrooms, and offers deluxe amenities including an onsite health club and fitness center, LCD televisions, bathrobes and slippers, and a chargeable mini bar.
Al Bustan Centre and Residence
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Phone: +971 (0) 4 263 0000
Grand Millennium Dubai
Sheikh Zayed Road – Exit 36
Al Barsha South – TECOM – Media City
Dubai – United Arab Emirates
Phone: +971 (0) 4 429 9999
Where to Eat: Fueling Up for Your Shopping Rounds
When you’re trying to save time during your mall hopping rounds, plan to eat at the food court or gourmet dining venues right inside the mall. All of the shopping destinations in Dubai, from the venues inside high-rise buildings to the open air markets, offer cuisine from around the globe and an opportunity to indulge in traditional Middle Eastern favorites. Restaurants such as Al Hallab in The Dubai Mall and the Mall of the Emirates serve authentic Lebanese cuisine and an assortment of traditional desserts including Hallawet and Jazareiah.
When you’re traveling solo, order some appetizers or sandwiches “to go” from three or four restaurants and put together your own mini meals to enjoy throughout the day. If you do want to enjoy a sit-down meal, make sure you make reservations in advance because even the in-mall restaurants can fill up quickly and leave you with long wait times.
Al Hallab Restaurant & Sweets
Mall of the Emirates
2nd Floor, next to CineStar
Al Barsha Arena
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
+971 (0) 4 282 3388