My plan for Dubai was to go for one of the adventure tours, do a bit of shopping afterwards and call it a trip. Unknowing to me, the city had greater plans than I anticipated.
I had decided to shop before I heading off for any tour- not the best decision I must say-so.
I started at Al Ghurair mall. Navigating my way through the corridors of the mall, I kept hearing each shop whispering my name. It was as if they knew me even before I planned my way down to Dubai. Every outfit I was drawn to seemed to be making “goo goo” eyes at me -trying to seduce me to take them home. Shoes whispered, demanding attention to adorn my feet. Even accessories weren’t left out, blowing kisses and beckoning with every sparkle. I had put myself on a strict shopping budget of US$700 but by the time the malls were done with me, I was like a man without a prenup who had been ripped off of all his properties by his ex-wife!
The first shop drained me. I just kept picking and picking without checking price tags. I was feeling like a celebrity who could afford the whole shop. By the time I was done picking and paying, my wallet was practically empty. I had only a few Dirhams left but I wasn’t worried. Mastercard to the rescue!
The next two shops had me swiping and off I was with 6 shopping bags. I logged on to my online banking to have an idea of how much I had left in my account…Ewwoooo!!! Red alert moment. I picked up the phone and called a couple of people to assist in fueling my bank account (I borrowed the money!). My confidence grew after and I made my way this time to Deira City Center and back with a few more bags.
A friend had advised me against going on a Desert Safari because it was too hot (average weather was about 41˚C so) so I went back to Deira City center the next day to continue my shopping escapade. I told myself I would just buy a few more things and make my way to Abu Dhabi to meet up with another friend’s brother. As expected, I ended up cancelling Abu Dhabi (my friend’s brother had to go to Doha and I didn’t have enough money for the trip anyway) and headed to Dubai mall instead and got me some Hersheys (me and my love for Hersheys). I then window shopped for several hours, adoring the beauty of the mall.
“Do you have Shukran card madam?”
I must have heard this phrase not less than 10 times while shopping. I noticed that most of the shop attendants were immigrants from The Philippines, Nepal, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and even Nigeria. I got talking with a fellow Nigerian girl I met at New Look and I asked her how long she had been in the UAE:
Nigerian girl: “3 years.”
Me: “That’s quite a while o. Do you go home often?’
Nigerian girl: “Yes, every year when I’m on leave.”
Me: “How are you finding it sha?”
Nigerian girl: “It’s good. At least the money is not bad. You should have come next month, there will be mad sales then.”
Me: “Oh! I wish I knew about that. Maybe when next I plan to come, I’ll schedule for that period.”
My hotel was in Deira so I had a glimpse of the market scene especially at night. It reminded me a lot of Balogun market except a more organised and neater version. You can literally buy everything here. From clothes to shoes, bags, housewares, upholstery, gift items, food, drinks, you name it. I remember the shop attendant asking me how many dozens I wanted when I asked to buy a travelling bag (the extra bag I needed to pack my all the things I had bought on my shopping escapade).
He looked at me like I was saying nonsense but I ignored him. He kept explaining to me all the different bags they had in store and trying to convince me to buy more than I needed all to no avail. I just collected my bag, paid him AED20 and off to pack up all of Dubai in my room.
My last day had me wrapping up my trip. I had a request for perfume oil so I went to the Gold Souq to get a few bottles. Then came the Fortnum and Mason order and I dashed to The Address hotel to get them.
I must admit, the city is a fantastic shopping spot. A mall visit in Dubai is surely something to be savoured. The malls seemed to have the same basic layout. A lot of European high street brands, American brands, Middle Eastern brands (of course) and other well established brands as well can be found in virtually all of it. The top designer brands are not left out, just take a walk through fashion avenue in Dubai mall.
There’s no escaping from the shopping spell in this city I tell you. Whether it’s the beautifully laid out malls or the thrills of Deira market at night, have it somewhere in your mind that you’ll most likely be parting away with more money than you bargained for except you conquered the shopping spell in heavenly places by binding and casting. Just ensure you have some anointing oil with you to sprinkle when it tries to creep in.
If you’ve been to Dubai, what was your shopping experience like?