There is no doubt that being in Dubai will unleash inside of you an uncontrollable urge to shop. It’s inevitable, and my advice to you is to just embrace it. Whether you’re into luxury shopping, souvenirs, or the latest in tech – you’ll pretty much find it all in Dubai. Apart from the obvious things you can buy (international stores, local boutiques, and tech), there are plenty of Dubai-centric things you can buy from there that will be the perfect souvenir to take back home.
Best Things to Buy in Dubai
Camel Milk Chocolate
A home-grown delicacy is one of the best things you can take from a city, and Dubai has plenty.
One of the most famous delicacies is the camel milk chocolate which is actually manufactured by one company, so you can get a gist of just how valuable it is. You can choose from all types of varieties for the chocolate (I recommend the spiced Arabia one) and they work perfectly as fun souvenirs for your friends and family too.
If this isn’t your first time in an Arab city, then you probably know by now that dates are insanely popular.
They are an essential part of the Middle Eastern (and Muslim) culture as well – and they’re quite healthy. If you’re visiting Dubai in Ramadan, you will find dates everywhere (they’ll even be given to you for free). But if not, the Bateel shops have some of the best gourmet dates you can find.
Rugs and Carpets
It won’t take you more than a minute at the plentiful souks to realize that you need a rug or a carpet. Persian patterns dominate the scene with gorgeous embodiments, colors, designs and shapes. Yes, they definitely are more expensive (and heavy), but they’re a souvenir you can actually use for quite a long time when you go back home and it’ll always be there in your house, taking it up a notch.
Oudh & Bakhoor
For hundreds (maybe even thousands) of years, the distinct Arabic perfume has been there. Literally, travel anywhere in the Middle East and you’ll be met with this authentic “Arabic” smell that just smells like really nice perfume. That is what oudh is about – they are a number of very unique perfumes that you can choose from (you can even find branded versions of them) and the oud is actually quite rare, so it’s very hard to find back home. You can also try Bukhoor (scented bricks), that basically burn slowly and fill the house with a luxurious smell (think incense but more premium). The oud is derived from agarwood resin which explains how distinct the smell is.
You can also try getting perfume oils from any “attar”. You can choose from a plethora of different smells, too.
Cashmere (or pashmina) shawls
These can be extremely expensive (they’re made from cashmere and blended with silk), but are definitely a gift/personal gift worth buying. Whether you want to treat yourself, or treat someone close to your heart – the shawls work perfectly for that.
Pro-tip: To make sure you’re not actually being scammed, try running the shawl into a ring. If it gets in easily, then it’s not a fake.
Gold, gold and more gold
You might think that buying gold from Dubai is going to be unreasonable expensive, but it’s the complete opposite, actually. It costs a lot less than most cities around the world if you go to the gold souk. They are the perfect gifts or souvenirs, and you can even use them as a saving method. There is a wide array at the gold souk and you can definitely haggle your way through the souk.
Every spice imaginable
Do you feel like your food has become a little bit too bland? The spice souk will take your cooking game to a whole other level. If you want to bring some Dubai flavors back home, then the spice souk is the actual definition of a treasure trove for spices.
Strong aromas and flavors will literally turn the simplest meals into the most flavorful.
You can also always just venture off to one of Dubai’s mega-malls and wander around the hundreds of stores there. After all, the biggest mall in the world is located in Dubai – so shopping should definitely be on your list of things to do there.