What to Buy in Dubai - 16 Must-Buy Souvenirs To Take Back Home

Did you know the biggest festival in Duba is the Dubai Shopping Festival? This gives you a clear glimpse of how much the Emirate loves to shop. So the bottomless sightseeing list isn't the only thing impressive in the UAE. 

A shopping haven for everyone, you cannot visit Dubai and come back empty-handed. With its many shopping malls and souks, there is something available for every tourist. But with so many options, people tend to miss some of the must-buy items. So if you're wondering what to buy in Dubai, we have prepared a list of the items that the UAE is famous for. 

1. Gold and Diamond Jewellery

It would be unfair to visit the “City of Gold” and not indulge in a little bit of gold shopping. There is no better place than Dubai to purchase those gold necklaces or bracelets. The prices of jewellery here are relatively lower than in many other cities due to their tax policies. Apart from gold ornaments, you can also buy diamond and platinum jewellery at reasonable costs. Though the prices are low, a little bargaining can get you a good deal for your purchase.
Average price: 110 AED per gram
Where to buy: Dubai Gold Souk, Gold and Diamond Park, Joyalukkas outlets, jewellery stores, etc.

2. Oudh and Bakhoor

If you are a fan of the distinct aroma found in the streets of Dubai and want to bring home the same fragrance, Oudh or Bakhoor is your answer. Made from the wood of the Southeast Asian agar tree, Agarwood, Oudh is an expensive fragrance oil that is one of the most unique things to buy in Dubai. It comes in different forms such as pure oil, mixed oil, floral oils or perfume fragrances. Bakhoor refers to the chips of the agarwood that are burnt to produce an equally pleasant aroma. An excellent alternative to room fresheners, candles and incense, both Oudh and Bakhoor are highly demanded items.
Average price:
Oudh- 1000-40,000 AED
Bakhoor- 100-500 AED
Where to buy: Perfume Souk in Deira, Spice Souk, and perfume shops in malls.

3. Pashmina Shawls

Pashmina is no stranger to Middle Eastern residents. Made from the hair of goats and blended with silk, it is a beautiful but a slightly expensive thing to buy in Dubai . With numerous fakes in the market these days, it is incredibly crucial to make sure you purchase the authentic stuff and pay the right price for what you are buying. An actual test for real pashmina shawl is if it can pass through a ring. If this is a little over your budget, you can always opt for the alternate viscose or silk versions.
Average price:
Real Pashmina shawls- from 250 AED
Viscose Shawls- 30 AED
Where to buy: Pashmina House, Textile Souk, and Karama Market.

4. Persian Rugs and Carpets

There is absolutely no doubt regarding the beauty of Persian rugs and carpets when wondering hat to buy in Dubai. Slightly on the expensive side and bulkier to carry, these carpets are quite an exquisite artefact to adorn your home’s floors. Hand-made carpets are costlier than machine-made ones, but they are worth spending the money on. The stores in Dubai offer you the option of customising your carpet if you don’t prefer an available one. They come in different sizes, and their prices vary accordingly. The quality, material and amount of work performed on them also affect their rates.
Average price: 400 AED and above
Where to buy: National Iranian Carpets, Souk Madinat Jumeirah; Persian Carpet House, Souk Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai Mall, Mirdiff City Centre and Souk al Bahar; Bur Dubai Souk

5. Arabian Coffee and Coffee pots

Coffee lovers will find some unusual delight in this bitter yet refreshing taste of Arabian coffee and hence, if you are a coffee-addict, this is one of the best things to buy in Dubai. Often accompanying some sweet treat to balance out the flavours, the coffee here is known for its strong taste. It is quite a souvenir to take back home, along with coffee pots, locally known as “dallah”. Designed in traditional Arabic styles, these pots are usually made of copper and are suitable for everyday use. Some are rimmed with gold and silver and fall under a more expensive category. They can be used for decorative purposes as well.
Average price:
Coffee- 125 AED per kilo
Coffee pot- 20 AED and above
Where to buy: Dubai Coffee Museum, Dubai Souks and major supermarkets for pre-packed coffee.

6. Arabic Attars

Arabic attar
These perfume oils, locally known as Arabic Attars, are widely famous for their aromatic fragrance. Prepared from plant sources, these alcohol-free oils come in various scents and sizes and are used by both men and women in Dubai. The vendors can help you choose from the vast array of Attar options and can even prepare a special one by mixing and blending different scents. If you're looking for a traditional souvenir to take back home, this is one of the best things to buy in Dubai. 
Average price: from 90 AED
Where to buy: Perfume Souk in Deira, Perfume shops in malls and the airport.

7. Electronic Items

Though not a speciality of Dubai, the electronic items available in Dubai stores are relatively cheaper than many markets. From smartphones, tablets, laptops, LED TVs, cameras, etc., everything appears to be more affordable. However, it is best to compare the prices with what you get in your home country to get an actual benefit out of the purchase. This might not be the most traditional thing that comes to mind when you think of what to buy in Dubai, but if found a good deal, this could be the most value-for-money product you take back home. 

            Where to buy: Al-Fahidi Street in Bur Dubai area, Sharaf DG store or other electronics store in malls.

8. Camel Milk Chocolate

A delicacy of Dubai and also a must-have thing to buy in Dubai, camel milk products are quite famous for their enticing taste. Camel milk chocolates are so rare that they are produced by one company only- Al Nassma. Their chocolate bars come in five varieties- whole milk, 70% cocoa, dates, macadamia, and spiced. The most recommended ones are the chocolates shaped like camels.
Average price: 44-165 AED 
Where to buy: Al Nassma kiosks at-Dubai Mall, Burj Al Arab, Burj Khalifa, Souk Madinat Jumeirah, The Palm, Atlantis, Grand Hyatt, Jumeirah hotels & resorts, Bab Al Shams Hotel, Emirates Towers Hotel, Kempinski, Anantara Hotels & Resorts; duty free shops; Camelicious camel farm.

9. Dubai Dates

Dried fruits are standard snack options for people in Dubai. The excellent quality of the dates produced here makes them a favourite among tourists as well. Eaten raw, used in desserts, served with coffee, used to make non-alcoholic beverages, gifted during Ramadan, they seem to have never-ending uses. Aside from their commercial benefits, dates are also considered rich sources of nutrients like magnesium, calcium, copper, etc. You will find a wide assortment of Dates in Dubai, taste and pick the ones that best suit you. This little power-snack is the best thing to buy in Dubai if you have a long day of sightseeing. 
Average price: dates per kilo- 35-250 AED
Where to buy: Dates Souk at Deira Food Market, supermarkets, Bateel outlets at-Burjuman Centre, Dubai City Centre, Dubai Marina Mall, Festival City, The Avenues Atlantis, Old Town, The Walk JBR, Dubai Mall, Al Naeem Mall, Ras Al Khaimah, Town Centre Jumeirah.

10. Dubai Spices

The perfect way to bring the feeling of Dubai back home is to buy the local spices. Full of flavour, these spices are sold in markets at reasonable prices. They are known for having the magical ability to transform the dish from bland to mouth-watering. If you love cooking or want to gift it to someone who does, these spices make the ideal gift option.
Average price: 10-25 AED per pack
Where to buy: Spice Souk, Supermarkets

11. Hookah Pipe

Hookah pipes are found everywhere around the globe. But nothing cuts it as well as the authentic Arabic ones. Take home a bit of tradition when you make your list of things to buy in Dubai. Shisha smoking is popular Arabian culture. Even if you don’t want to indulge in the actual process of the activity, you can buy a hookah pipe and use it as a decorative piece at your home. These beautifully designed pipes come in different sizes and shapes. Some come with two pipes, but most of them have a long hose.
Average price: 50-370 AED
Where to buy: Smokers’ Centre outlets, Carrefour Hypermarket, Dubai Souks.

12. Lanterns

Arabic lanterns
Just like how we saw it the Aladdin movies, Arabic lanterns are the perfect addition to any decor. Want to take something home that will amp up your house? A lantern is one of the best things to buy in Dubai. A common decor item in Emirati homes, lanterns make perfect souvenirs if transported safely. Made of copper and tin with filigree work, they have intricate patterns that add on to their beauty. They can be placed on a table or hung up. Cheaper versions of these lanterns are made up of aluminium and glass.
Average price: 30-500 AED
Where to buy: F-Zone at the Dragon Mart, Homes R Us and Karama Souk.

13. Lamps

These intricately designed and ornamented lamps are guaranteed to take you back to the stories of Aladdin and the genie. They are often inlaid with stones and intricate carvings. Coming in varied sizes and shapes, they are quite unusual yet beautiful things to buy in Dubai.
Average price: from 60 AED (approximately)
Where to buy: Karama Souk

14. Incense Holders

Arab incense burner
Apart from some enticing incense fragrances, Dubai has some fantastic incense holders to offer for shoppers. Containing frankincense or myrrh, they impart a rich and aromatic fragrance. They are widely used in wedding ceremonies and religious celebrations.
Average price: starting from 15 AED
Where to buy: Spice Souk, malls.

15. Traditional Arab Shoes

Arab shoes
Dresses and footwear of any culture are excellent souvenir options to take back home. The conventional Arab shoes are differently designed for both men and women. Men’s shoes usually include thread work, while women’s shoes are enhanced with beads and baubles. Arab shoes are the perfect things to buy in Dubai if you want a quirky addition to your outfit. 
Average price: 50-100 AED
Where to buy: The Cloth Souk, Al-Karama, and the Old Souk.

16. Arabian Daggers

Part of the traditional Emirati outfit for men, these khanjars can look pretty magnificent on the walls of your home. Primarily made of wood these days, the blades gently curve at the tip, and the handle is decorated with markings. The more ornate ones come with marble or silver handles.
Average price: from 100 AED
Where to buy: Yemen Pavilion at the Global Village and Mutrah Souq.   
There is an endless list of things to buy in Dubai. Apart from the above mentioned 16 items, muskets, perfume holders, jewel chests, Quran stands, Abayas, etc. are also popularly purchased. If you are a shopaholic, Dubai is your dream location to go shopping on a budget. So now that answers your questions of what to buy in Dubai.

This post was published by Archita Zutshi