Since Abu Dhabi is synonymous with luxury and opulence, shopping in Abu Dhabi can be an extravagant affair. While the ginormous malls in the emirate are where you will find everything trendy and up to the minute, the souks of Abu Dhabi are where the tradition and culture are still alive. Shopping in Abu Dhabi can be an overwhelming experience. Be prepared to burn a huge hole in your pocket because you may run out of money but you won’t run out of things to buy in Abu Dhabi.
If you are confused about what to buy in Abu Dhabi and from where this extensive guide about shopping in Abu Dhabi will provide you with all the best recommendations.
Shopping in Abu Dhabi: What to shop
Abu Dhabi is famous for a lot of things offering a huge scope of shopping that you will have a hard time choosing what to buy and what not. But if you can, indulge yourself in shopping in Abu Dhabi for all these things which makes the place famous worldwide.
Did you know from where Aladdin found his flying carpet? It was from the souks of Abu Dhabi. Just kidding! If not a flying carpet, you must buy beautiful carpets and persian rugs on your trip to Abu Dhabi. It can be a fascinating experience for you. The carpets are so famous they are even imported to the countries all over the world. A carpet from abu Dhabi decorated in your living room can be a great conversation- starter.
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2. Oud (Perfumes)
If while wandering in the market lanes of Abu Dhabi you wonder what that fragrance is, it is probably the famous Arabic perfume called Oudh. Oudh, the signature Abu Dhabi perfume, is derived from tropical Agar tree and is most sought after shopping item in Abu Dhabi. The distinct smells and sweet undertones make it an instant favourite among buyers and souvenir collectors.
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3. Dallah (Arabic Coffee Pots)
You know what makes a perfect souvenir in Abu Dhabi? It is dalla, a unique coffee pot used in Arabian countries to serve coffee. The bulbous pots are a sign of generosity and hospitality in Arabic culture and are in use for centuries to brew coffee and serve Qahwa. It can be made of brass, silver, steel, and even 2 carat gold which is used by the royalty.
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4. Dates (Khajoor)
One of the things Emirates is famous for and you should bring back too is the Arabian dates. No wonder the streets of Abu Dhabi are lined up with tall trees of dates. The large, juicy brown dates are traditional treats and often served to the guests. They can also be a little expensive given how time-consuming and complicated date farming is. But don’t you dare fly back to your home country without buying yourself some Arabic treats
5. Sougha Art
Sougha is less of an art and more of an initiative started by an NGO in Abu Dhabi to keep alive the culture and tradition of Arab. Inside the store of Sougha, you will find artifacts made of date pits and items made from Saffa which is an artwork of dried palm leaves. Talli is another folklore artwork used in embroidery which you can consider buying for yourself.
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Shopping in Abu Dhabi: Where to shop
If you are confused about the right places to shop while on a trip to Abu Dhabi, the following list will give you an idea about the popular places to visit for shopping.
1. Abu Dhabi Mall
The ginormous glass exteriors makes it a world-class shopping centre right in the heart of Abu Dhabi. Apparels, accessories, footwear, cosmetics, gadgets, there are over 200 shopping stores where you can sort your shopping needs. Also, it is a great place to escape the scorching heat for Abu Dhabi. So, even if all you want is to window-shop, there is no better place than this. There is an extravaganza of restaurants where you can dine if you are tired of carrying your shopping bags. Put shopping Arabian dates and gourmet chocolates from Bateel Dates Shop on your list while you are visiting the mall.
Address: Street #2, Tourist Club, Abu Dhabi, UAE
Timings: 10 AM – 10 PM
2. Avenue at Etihad
An avenue of high rise building, this is where all the Sheikhs come to shop. Extravagance flows in abundance in Avenue at Etihad as you will find all the prestigious brands here. It is one of the swankiest shopping malls in Abu Dhabi. Set over two floors, find exclusive stores and gourmet restaurants at one intimate location. With world’s first Stephane Rolland store, and the likes of Hermes and Chloe, the range of exclusive retail stores will blow your mind. Even if your pocket doesn’t allow you to shop, it sure is a good place to window shop. They have shopping festivals going all year around. Make sure you check them out.
Address: Corniche West Street, Opp Emirates Palace Hotel – Abu Dhabi, UAE
Timings: Sat-Thur: 10 AM-10 PM, Friday: 3 PM to 10 PM
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3. Yas Mall
With 400 of the world’s top brands, 24 screens VOX cinema, and high-profile restaurants all under one roof, Yas Mall in Abu Dhabi is the biggest mall on affluent Yas Island of Abu Dhabi. It is just 15 minutes away from Abu Dhabi International Airport so hardcore shopaholics can come straight from the airport. From fashion to footwears and furnishings to toys for kids, you can buy everything from here. Apart from the retail stores, there is a lot of entertainment options like Adventure HQ, Battlezone, and Lego Pop-in & Play to keep visitors busy and entertained inside the mall.
Address: Yas Mall, Yas Leisure Drive, Abu Dhabi, UAE
Timings: 9AM- 12 AM
4. Marina Mall
Located on the breakwater of Corniche Road, Marina Mall in Abu Dhabi is one of the biggest malls in Abu Dhabi. As you enter inside the Marin Mall, you will enter into a world of glamour and style with a range of stores at your disposal. The mall has over 400 stores from where you can shop all your wants and luxuries. The mall is so big that it is very easy to get lost in the premises. Its main entrance when lit up in night looks so magnificent. It was even recognized as one of the top shopping malls in Abu Dhabi by Forbes.
Address: Abu Dhabi, UAE
Timings: 10 AM – 8 PM
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5. Souk Central Market
Souk Central Market is another one of the buzzing shopping places in Abu Dhabi. The popular mall is quieter and calmer of all the shopping malls in Abu Dhabi. It is rebuilt on the same place where the first souk of Abu Dhabi was set up in the open air. The charming wooden construction will impress your vision and take you back in time. If you have had enough of the modern, gigantic malls, you can pay a visit to the Central Market which still carries the authentic feel. It is the best mall in Abu Dhabi to buy antiques, perfumes, and traditional handicraft items.
Address: Hamdan St, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Timings: 10 AM – 10 PM
If there is any perfect place to shop, dine, and discover new things it is at Galleria. While spectacular waterfront and cityscape make it appealing to the eyes, a whole range of branded stores provide you with an opulent Abu Dhabi shopping experience. The mall has all the designer labels like Jimmy Choo, Moschino, Marc Jacobs, Balenciaga and many more where those who speak Prada come to shop. It is also connected to uber-luxurious Rosewood Hotel through a network of a corridor. So you can stay at the hotel and come to shop at Galleria whenever you want. Also, do not miss the fine dining experience.
Address: Al Falah St – Abu Dhabi – United Arab Emirates
Timings: 10 AM – 10 PM
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7. Carpet Souk
One of the most interesting things you can buy in Abu Dhabi is carpets. And, what is the best place to find the finest carpets in Abu Dhabi? It is at Carpet Souk. The narrow lanes of carpet souk are lined up with opulent Persian rugs and The intricate design and a myriad of colors will make it hard for you to not buy one for yourself. And who knows if you are lucky you may find Aladdin’s Kaleen from the Arabian Nights. Make sure you use your haggling skills while shopping from Carpet Souk. It is one of the cheap shopping places in Abu Dhabi.
Address: Abu Dhabi – United Arab Emirates
Timings: 10 AM – 10 PM
8. Souk Al Zafarana
Have you had enough of the ostentatious malls in Abu Dhabi? If yes, head to Souk AL Zafarana and immerse in true Emirati culture The place is famous for Arab spices, perfumes, traditional garments, henna, and dallah (Arabian tea pots). If you are looking for cheap yet authentic souvenirs, there is no better place than this. Mubdia Village, which is a section headed entirely by women, is where only women shoppers are allowed.
Address: Al Jimi, Al Ain – Abu Dhabi – United Arab Emirates
Timings: 9 AM – 11:30 PM
Further Read: Hotels In Abu Dhabi: Best Of Arabian Hospitality And Luxury
Shopping in Abu Dhabi markets can be a great experience especially for those who love shopping. Plan a trip to Abu Dhabi so that you can buy wonderful souvenirs back from your trip.
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Frequently Asked Questions About Shopping In Abu Dhabi
What are the special things to buy in Abu Dhabi?
Camel milk chocolate, Dubai dates, Persian carpets, rugs, Arabian perfumes, Pashmina shawls, aromatic wood chips and oils, gold jewelry, Arabic coffee pots, spices, and hookah pipes are some of the souvenir items you can buy at Abu Dhabi.
Which are the traditional places to shop for in Abu Dhabi?
Traditional souks are the best places to buy local products. Dress conservatively when you shop at these places. They signify Arab culture and are the places where you can buy the finest quality of Arab items like carpets, clothes, food, etc. You can bargain for prices at these markets.
Which are the best malls in Abu Dhabi?
The Abu Dhabi Mall is a popular place for shopping gourmet items, dates, and satiate your sweet cravings. Yas Marina Mall has multiplexes that play Hollywood movies, has an ice rink, bowling alley, and many more entertainment options.
Which is the best place for shopping designer fashion items?
Avenue in Etihad is one of the best places to shop for designer and fashion items. It is opulent and has some of the best fashion stores housed in it. Paris Avenue is a place to find the best of affordable fashion. The Galleria is also a great place to shop for fashion and jewelry.
Where to shop for art pieces?
Barakat Gallery, Etihad Modern Art Gallery, Ghaf Art Gallery, and Salwa Zeidan are some of the best places to shop for artworks, jewelry, antiques, artworks from local and international artists.
Which are the top restaurants to eat in Abu Dhabi?
The top restaurants to eat in Abu Dhabi are Villa Toscana, Punjab Grill, Byblos Sur Mer, and Zuma. Villa Toscana serves great homemade pasta and seafood. Punjab Grill is the best Indian restaurant, Byblos Sur Mer serves authentic Lebanese and shisha. Zuma serves the best Japanese and Asian cuisine.
Which place serves the best Arabic cuisine?
You can taste Arabic food and desserts at the Al Maqam that showcases live performances along with great food. They also host Arabic cooking classes.
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