No holiday trip is complete without shopping souvenirs or the best mementos of a local place to take back home. Carrying local gifts is always exciting to revive travel memories and share the love with loved ones back home. Souvenir is not an article but a complete glimpse of that tourist area. As you all know Dubai is heaven for shopping or in other words you can say Dubai’s synonym is Shopper’s Paradise, and so there are many options to carry your favorite souvenirs from Dubai after your perfect Dubai holiday tour. So let’s check some shopping in Dubai – souvenirs from Dubai with many options suiting to all tastes, budgets and age groups.
Let’s pick some best collections with insider tips on where to buy, how to carry, price range, and select some sweet surprises, exotic stuff, elegant styling pieces to bring back smiles on your loved ones back home.
Best Places to Buy Souvenirs from Dubai – Shopping In Dubai – Souvenirs From Dubai
- Al Fahidi Souk, Deira spice, textile souk, Gold Souk – CLICK TO READ ABOUT COMPLETE GUIDE ON AL FAHIDI SOUK
- Al Seef Historic Neighborhood – CLICK HERE FOR AL SEEF HISTORIC NEIGHBORHOOD GUIDE
- Global Village (Seasonal) – CLICK HERE TO READ COMPLETE GUIDE ON GLOBAL VILLAGE
- JBR The Walk Market – CLICK HERE FOR JBR THE WALK & BEACH MARKET
- Madinat Jumeirah Souk
- Kiosks at Malls
- Supermarkets like Carrefour, Lulu, Spinneys.
- Gift shops like Day to Day, Dirham Plaza, Green House, and many small gift shops in Bur Dubai.
Shopping In Dubai – Souvenirs From Dubai
BAKHOOR & OUD
Oud a mesmerizing scent that has a peculiar fragrance very well-known among Emirati people. The fragrance of Oudh is associated with Emirates and therefore a very traditional type of fragrant oil.
Oud is a very expensive natural resource of the world that costs more than gold and is derived from resinous heartwood also know as Agarwood.
Not only do Emirati people love to have fragrances but their homes and shops are also enriched with an amazing fragrance. Bakhoor is also derived from the Agarwood tree and comes in form of wooden chips. These wood chips are burnt in a bigger incense burner and the smoke which comes out of it spreads in the whole house which has a distinctly soft and earthy smell. Nowadays these Agarwood wooden chips are fused with other smells by dipping wooden chips in other fragrant oils like jasmine, citrus, amber essential oils.
Price Range – Oud 1000 AED onwards and Bakhoor AED 100 onwards
How to Carry – Easy to carry
Best Place to Buy – Perfume Souk in Deira, Al Fahidi Souk, Many traditional kiosks in Malls.
Suitable for – People who love natural and earthy fragrances.
Souvenir type – Home Décor, Positive Vibes type.
ARABIC Attar – PERFUME
An oil-based perfume that is extracted organically from flowers and herbs. These attar/ Ittar are made from ancient techniques to extract great smell from flowers and then preserving it by a special technique and were very popular during ancient trade times. The Middle East is known popularly for the Attar trade and so you will find various fragrances with different unique combinations here in Dubai enclosed in carved glass bottles. Not only perfumes are organic and unique but their carved glass bottles are also a masterpiece.
Price Range – Depending on quantity, a small 5 ml bottle costs approx. 40 AED.
How to Carry – Easy to carry if purchased in limited quantity
Best Place to Buy – Perfume shops in Deira Souk, Al Fahidi Souk, Meena Bazaar, or perfume stores at malls.
Suitable for – Spouses, friends, and those who love natural organic fragrances.
Souvenir type – Beauty, Grooming & Styling
Emirati culture and traditions are incomplete without dates. If you talk about Emirates, then traditional local farm dates are very popular here. This fruit is popular for generations and has become an integral part of the UAE’s heritage and identity. Some of the most popular varieties produced in the country are Dabbas, Khunaizi, Bu Ma’an, Khalas, Farth, and Al Nekhba.
There are currently over 44 million date palms in the UAE that can be grouped under 199 different varieties and together produce 76,000 tonnes of fruit every year. Not only it has cultural significance but a very healthy option too as they are the source of fiber, potassium, iron, calcium, and magnesium, among others. Dates are believed to have many health benefits like energy-boosting.
Price Range – AED 30 / kg onwards. Specific high-quality dates or customized dates with the fusion of nuts and gold flakes can cost 200 AED / kg (approx.). Bateel Dates are famous for many innovations and they have high range quality with many fusions too.
How to Carry – Easy to carry if not purchased in bulk.
Best Place to Buy – Deira Food Market, Al Fahidi Souk, Global Village – seasonal, Hypermarkets like Lulu, Carrefour, Al Maya, and many traditional kiosks at various malls.
Suitable for – Food lovers and all ages as dates are considered to be very nutritious fruit.
Souvenir type – EDIBLE.
You can say Dubai and Gold are synonyms as Dubai is well-known for gold trading all over the world. Not only you will find multiple shopping options in gold jewelry or bullions here but Dubai’s gold purity is too trusted well. Purity standards of gold are well-maintained with strict governance, so you will always get what you pay with the most unique designs too.
Price Range – Depending on Current Gold price. Jewelry has extra making charges.
How to Carry – Can be worn or in hand baggage
Best Place to Buy – Gold Souk, Many jewelers at Meena Bazaar & Deira, Malls having designer gold shops.
Suitable for – Newly married couples, expensive gifting options on house-warming, the birth of children, Women, girls, and those who love gold.
Souvenir type – Beauty & Styling and also Investment type.
DRIED FRUITS & NUTS
Though Dubai does not have local cultivation of dried fruits or fruits, since it was a major trade port in ancient times, Dubai is having an amazing collection of dried fruits. From nearby eastern Eurasian countries and other Middle Eastern parts, traders used to bring high quality of dried fruits to Dubai and then from here sent to eastern countries. That is why Dubai has an amazing variety and superior quality of dried fruits since ancient times. Apart from purchasing in loose, you can also purchase assorted variety in beautifully packed gift boxes.
Price Range – Depends on the quality and type of dried fruit. Starts from AED 40 / kg onwards
How to Carry – Easy to carry if purchased in normal quantity
Best Place to Buy – Hypermarkets like Lulu, Carrefour, Coop, Al Maya, Maplebery (Meena Bazaar), Mulberry(Meena Bazaar)
Suitable for – Food lovers and all ages
Souvenir type – EDIBLE
SPICES & SAFFRON
Dubai being a major trade port since ancient times, nearby neighboring countries used to ship their agricultural products like spices and saffron enrooting Dubai. Dubai was a major trade hub to sell exotic spices and superior quality of Iran’s saffron. Not only this form of practice existed in ancient times, but today Dubai has major wholesaler shops to sell this stuff. So if you are in Dubai have a look at exotic spices and saffron and can buy some of them for your home back.
Price Range – Saffron is expensive and depends on quality, so better to check with the shop-keeper. Spices also depend on the type of spices. But the price range is very reasonable as compared to other places. AED 10 onwards
How to Carry – Easy to carry if purchased in reasonable quality
Best Place to Buy – Al Fahidi Souk, Deira Spice Souk, Hypermarkets
Suitable for – Foodies and those who love flavorful Cooking
Souvenir type – EDIBLE
ARABIC DRESS – KAFTANS
Arabic dresses for females are comprising colorful gowns with Arabic motifs in vibrant colors. Some of them are embroidered too with traditional motifs and traditional embroidery style. You can find sequin work too for party wear type of gowns. These gowns come in a universal size and can be made to your size by tightening the belt stitched inside. So the problem of finding the correct size is not there when you purchase gowns for your loved ones. These gowns are known as Kaftans. You will find full-length and half-length Kaftans. Full length is having a very soft and flowy fabric with vibrant motifs all over the fabric. Half-length ones can be worn on pants or leggings. Also, these Kaftans are great for beaches, outdoor rustic parties, home dress as they are very comfortable and have a light fabric with vibrant colors. You can also find Jilabiyah style gowns too with intricate Moroccan embroidery and vibrant colors.
Price Range – 50 AED onwards. Designer gowns can cost more expensive.
How to Carry – Can be worn or can be packed very easily as it is too light and wrinkle-free too.
Best Place to Buy – Textile Souk – Deira, Al Fahidi Souk, Al Seef Historic Market, JBR The Walk market, and clothes section of some hypermarkets like Carrefour.
Suitable for – All females
Souvenir type – Beauty & Styling
SHISHA & HOOKAH PIPE
Hookah and shisha are two different parts of the Middle east smoking language. Hookah means the pipe itself that is used to smoke shisha. Shisha is the flavored substance that you smoke through a pipe – hookah. So Shisha means smoking flavorful substance through a pipe.
Shisha is a popular pastime in the Middle East, and here in Dubai, you might catch a whiff of the luscious scents of strawberry, apple, honey, cinnamon, or mint across Shisha bars all over. Many people who do not smoke but still buy this beautifully-designed pipe to keep it as a keepsake or home décor.
Price Range – AED 40 onwards
How to Carry – Small can be manageable but large-sized pipe needs extra packing layer and bigger luggage.
Best Place to Buy – Souks, Smoker’s zone, and many gift shops selling Arabic souvenirs like Day to Day, Dirham for Less, etc.
Suitable for – Smokers or traditional home décor lovers.
Souvenir type – Edible & Home Décor
Sand Art is the unique art of Middle Eastern countries as there is a lot of sand here. Artisans here make beautiful patterns from colorful sand in glass bottles. The sand is arranged in unique patterns and in between they make all features of Dubai like Burj Khalifa or camels or your names through sand patterns only. So you can customize your sand art bottle or purchase ready-made bottles with Dubai’s main features.
Price Range – AED 40-50 for a small bottle with one or two names with camels and date palms. Depending on the design intricacy and size of the bottle, the price can increase.
How to Carry – Easy to carry but pack the glass bottle with bubble paper or towel. Check the lid or seal of the bottle and it should be properly locked from the top as if not then all sand will come out in your luggage.
Best Place to Buy – JBR Walk Market, Madinat Jumeirah Souk, Traditional kiosks at Malls, Al Fahidi, and Al Seef historic area.
Suitable for – Art lovers & loved ones as you can engrave their names
Souvenir type – Artistic Home Decor.
MINIATURE CAMELS OR CAMEL PAINTINGS
Camel is known as the ship of the desert and therefore UAE being a desert country, camels are an integral part of Emirati culture and tradition. You will find a superior breed of camels here and have gone through camel rides at many places here in UAE. So to bring revive those glorious moments, you can bring back the mementos of camels. These camels come in various forms like soft toys, metallic carved camels with precious stones, camel paintings, and many artistic forms of camels
Price Range – AED 50 onwards but it also depends on size and material.
How to Carry – Easy to carry if small size
Best Place to Buy – Souks, Traditional kiosks in malls, JBR The walk market.
Suitable for – Children and home décor lovers
Souvenir type – Décor (home, office or restaurant)
ARABIC STYLED FABRICS
Arabic patterns and motifs are well-known in the whole world for their fine intricacy, unique color combination, fine embroidery, and vibrant colors. Dubai being an important trade center has many fabric shops in old historic neighborhoods. From these fabrics you can buy beautiful unstitched fabrics which are sold per meter and then going back home, you can customize them to your favorite dress from designer tailors. It is known that many designers pay a visit to these markets to buy some unique fabrics to meet their clientele’s requirements.
Price Range –Printed fabrics like fine cotton starts at AED 30 onwards. But silks, chiffons, nets, and embroidered fabrics can cost you more.
How to Carry – Easy to carry
Best Place to Buy – Meena Bazaar, Al Fahidi historic area, and Deira Textile souk.
Suitable for – Women, girls, and Fashion / Dress designers
Souvenir type – Beauty & Styling
SCARVES / HIJAB
There is a tradition to cover the head in Middle eastern countries so you will get beautiful scarves in Dubai. You will find amazing scarves with beautiful motifs, patterns, fine clothing in Dubai.
Price Range – AED 10 onwards. Depends on design and fabric.
How to Carry – Can be carried in hand baggage too.
Best Place to Buy – All souks and kiosks at Malls.
Suitable for – Girls, Women, and fashion stylists.
Souvenir type – Beauty & Styling
BAKLAVA OR ARABIC SWEETS
Arabic sweets are famous all over the world for their unique flavors that are packed in flaky, crunchy pastry sheets with lots of nuts. There are numerous varieties of Arabic sweets made up of milk, cheese, flaky pastry sheets, sugary syrups, honey, and dry fruits.
Price Range – AED 30 / box onwards
How to Carry – Easy to carry either in hand baggage or check-in luggage
Best Place to Buy – Souks, Hypermarkets, JBR The Walk market
Suitable for – Foodies
Souvenir type – Edible
CAMEL MILK CHOCOLATES
Camel milk chocolate is very unique stuff to take back home as it is a locally-made sweetened delicacy in Dubai, UAE. It is manufactured by Al Nassma which is known to be the sole manufacturer of these unique chocolates. These camel milk chocolates are only available in Dubai and are now exported to Europe and other Asian countries.
Al Nassma camel milk chocolate bars come in five varieties: whole milk, 70% cocoa, dates, macadamia, and spiced (Arabia). Some of them are camel-shaped or chocolates having camel engraving that is perfect as quirky souvenirs. Camel milk has many beneficial properties too and so it is a great way to introduce ourselves to camel milk.
Price Range – 50 AED onwards
How to Carry – Easy to carry in hand baggage or check-in baggage
Best Place to Buy – Al Nassma exclusive premium outlet in Dubai Mall or many of its kiosks in other malls, Duty-free shopping at Airport, Camelicious Camel farms. Some 5-star hotels have kiosks selling these chocolates.
Suitable for – Foodies, Dessert lovers, children of all ages.
Souvenir type – Edible
The most ancient stuff of UAE as initially Emirati people’s main business was pearl trading. These pearls are found here by diving deep into seas and in olden times pearl-diving and then trading them was an integral part of earning money. Pearl-diving is the first stepping stone to the success of the UAE. You will find amazing pearls here and even many designer brands like Cartier uses UAE’s sourced pearls in their designs. Not only pearls shopping but you can go with a group of fishermen to see divers taking out the pearl from the ocean and then rearing of pearl process. You have to book a separate guided tour for this experience.
Price Range – Depends on the type of pearls
How to Carry – Hand baggage or can be worn too.
Best Place to Buy – Souks, and exclusive shops in Dubai Mall or other malls.
Suitable for – Ladies & jewelers
Souvenir type – Beauty & Styling
Lanterns have a religious significance in UAE’s culture and it is traditionally lit up at the start of the month of Ramadan. Not only religiously it is associated, but often, people decorate their homes and driveways with the ornament. Buy traditional lanterns with intricate net style patterns on them which giving amazing reflections of light. You will also find Moroccan and Turkish-style lanterns too.
Price Range – AED 20 onwards
How to Carry – if small then can be carried easily. But it needs proper packing as there are glass surfaces on all sides. Better to ask the vendor to pack in bubble wrap or wrap in fine cloth/towel in your check-in luggage
Best Place to Buy – Souks, Global Village, Madinat Jumeirah, Home Décor shops in Malls.
Suitable for – Interior Decorators, home décor lovers
Souvenir type – Home Décor
Arab-styled shoes are known for their uniqueness and you must have seen them in Arabic fairy tales and also on the fictional character Aladdin. They are slip-in types with a slim fit and taper at the toes. For men, the shoe has a curly tip. You can choose from many color options with many motifs and embroideries like thread work, sequins or precious stones work. Women’s shoes are fancier compared to men’s.
Price Range – AED 50 onwards
How to Carry – Very easy to carry or can be worn in.
Best Place to Buy – Souks, Global Village, Madinat Jumeirah.
Suitable for – For all ages & and Accessories Designer
Souvenir type – Beauty & Styling.
TIPS FOR NEW-COMERS OR TOURISTS TO BUY SOUVENIRS IN DUBAI
- As nowadays Dubai has introduced VAT for local people, so for expensive stuff like gold, exclusive pieces of jewelry, electronics tourist visa holders get a VAT refund at the airport when returning to a specially designated counter. But you need to keep invoices and the stuff with you.
- In souks, you can test your bargaining
- Souks are very safe for women and children. They can go alone too.
- Souks are located in historic neighborhoods of the town, so as Friday is the weekend in UAE, you can expect some shops opening after 4:00 P.M.
- Always check your country’s rules & regulations before purchasing as some of the items may have regulations at your place.
- Shop-keepers are generally very courteous here. For delicate items, you can ask them to pack properly.
- The global village is open during winter and not all year round.
- Some of the stuff you get at very reasonable prices at hypermarkets like Lulu, Carrefour, Al Maya, etc.
- There are many gift shops like Dollar shops of western countries where you can get souvenirs within the range of AED 1 to AED 100, with a little compromise on quality. These shops are Day to Day, Greenhouse, Dirhams For Less, etc, and you will find them mostly in the Bur Dubai neighborhood.
Apart from traditional souvenir shopping, you can also buy Branded stuff, Cosmetics and Purses and Handmade soaps, scrubs as Dubai is now a modern shopping region too in the Middle East. Not only it is well-known in the Middle East but a global hub to trade modern goods too with exclusive designs, patterns, the latest technology, and fashion. So people who have the flair to purchase the latest technology will also be lured by the wide array of choices available here.
I hope you loved this post with so many souvenir shopping ideas in Dubai and not only these souvenirs are great for gifting purposes but for self-use to they are very good. Do let me know your experiences on Shopping In Dubai – Souvenirs From Dubai and what are your favorite ones.
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