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Dubai's shopping malls have become iconic destinations. Visitors are greeted by hundreds of designer fashion brands, as well as everything from ski slopes to aquariums. Dubai Mall, the second largest shopping mall in the world, houses over 1,200 shops selling luxury items and high end fashion. The Mall of the Emirates is a shopping resort, offering visitors a mix of international brands and independent designers alongside a ski slope and a collection of top restaurants. New additions to the shopping circuit such as the Italian-themed Outlet Village are also starting to make their mark.
For a more alternative shopping experience, tourists can visit the vibrant, colourful Box Park, an outdoor shopping area constructed out of disused shipping containers. Stores such as Urbanista Boutique sell contemporary brands like Comme Des Garcons and Kenzo, as well as championing local designers. The Beach at JBR offers a maze of chic boutiques for beach goers, selling brands such as River Island and Victoria's Secret.
Shoppers will find an entirely different world in Dubai's traditional souks (markets). The Deira district plays host to the intricate jewellry of the Gold Souk, the fragrances of the Perfume Souk, and the aromas of the Spice Souk. Tourists can also lose themselves in the colourful stores of Satwa, where they will be greeted by an explosion of fabrics and textures. Karama Road is the destination for those looking to purchase souvenirs.
Dubai has zero sales tax and low import duties so certain items, such as electronic goods and gold jewellery, are priced very competitively. Shops tend to open from 8am to 1pm, reopening after the heat of the day at around 4.30pm until 8pm or even later. Malls will remain open from 10am until 10pm. Shops, malls and souks usually close on Friday mornings.
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