What to shop in Dubai which looks more like the local lifestyle? Let’s check out some shopping in Dubai – souvenirs from Dubai with many options suiting all tastes, budgets, and age groups.
No holiday trip is complete without shopping for 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.
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Let’s pick some best collections with insider tips on where to buy, how to carry, and price range, and select some sweet surprises, exotic stuff, and 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.
- Dubai Souvenirs shop 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 that is very well-known among Emirati people. The aroma of Oudh is associated with Emirates and, therefore, a very traditional type of fragrant oil.
Oud is a costly natural resource of the world that costs more than gold and is derived from resinous heartwood, also known as Agarwood.
Not only do Emirati people love to have fragrances, but their homes and shops are also enriched with fantastic fragrances. Bakhoor is also derived from the Agarwood tree and comes in form of wooden chips. These wood chips are burnt in a giant 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 aromas by dipping wooden chips in other fragrant oils like jasmine, citrus, and 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, and Many traditional kiosks in Malls.
Suitable for – People who love natural and earthy fragrances.
Souvenir type – Home Décor, Positive Vibes type.
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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 preserve it by a unique technique and were very popular during ancient trade times.
The Middle East is known for the Attar trade, so you will find various fragrances with unique combinations here in Dubai enclosed in carved glass bottles. Not only are perfumes organic and outstanding but their carved glass bottles are also a masterpiece. Perfumes also tops the list of Shopping In Dubai – Souvenirs From Dubai
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 does it have cultural significance but a very healthy option too, as they are a source of fiber, potassium, iron, calcium, and magnesium, among others. Dates are believed to have many health benefits like energy-boosting. Dates are the perfect gifts as Shopping In Dubai – Souvenirs From Dubai
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 a fantastic collection of dried fruits. From nearby eastern Eurasian countries and other Middle Eastern parts, traders used to bring high-quality dried fruits to Dubai and then from here sent them to eastern countries.
That is why Dubai has had a fantastic variety and superior quality of dried fruits since ancient times. Apart from purchasing in loose, you can also buy 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 is a major trade port since ancient times, and nearby neighboring countries used to ship their agricultural products like spices and saffron enrooting Dubai. Dubai was a central trade hub for selling exotic spices and superior quality Iran saffron. Not only did this form of practice exist 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 are universal 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. The total length has a very soft and flowy fabric with vibrant motifs all over the material. Half-length ones can be worn on pants or leggings. Also, these Kaftans are great for beaches, outdoor rustic parties, and home dresses as they are very comfortable and have a light fabric with vibrant colors.
You can also find Jilabiyah style gowns 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 a 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 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 an extra packing layer and more oversized 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. The price can increase depending on the design intricacy and size of the bottle.
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 appropriately locked from the top 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 – Dubai Souvenirs
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 the Airport, and Camelicious Camel farms. Some 5-star hotels have kiosks selling these chocolates.
Suitable for – Foodies, Dessert lovers, and 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 – Shopping in Dubai
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 give 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 SHOES – Shopping in Dubai
Arab-styled shoes are known for their uniqueness and you must have seen them in Arabic fairy tales and also in 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 stone 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, and electronics tourist visa holders get a VAT refund at the airport when returning to a specially designated counter. But you need to keep stamped 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 to open 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.
- Shopkeepers 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 in 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, Handmade soaps, and scrubs as Dubai is now a modern shopping region in the Middle East. Not only is it well-known in the Middle East, but a global hub of trading everyday goods too with exclusive designs, patterns, the latest technology, and fashion. So people who have the flair for purchasing the latest technology will also be lured by the vast array of choices available here.
I hope you loved this post with so many souvenir shopping ideas in Dubai not only are these souvenirs great for gifting purposes but for self-use to they are perfect. Do let me know your experiences with Shopping In Dubai – Souvenirs From Dubai and what are your favorite ones.
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There are some great ideas here for Souvenirs. My friend brought an attar back for me when she last went to Dubai and it was just lovely.
I love shopping in Dubai! Having lived in Dubai for a number of years, my favorites are the Medinat Jumeirah and Global Village. The sand art is probably the best souvenir to carry back to friends. 🙂
I love looking around the shops when I visit a country but don’t buy souvenirs very often. If I do, it’s usually food or cheap jewellery or an ornament for the house which is something I would choose to spend more money on. I have to say I was fascinated by the gold souk when I visited Dubai, it kind if blew my mind. And I always love exploring the spice markets – the smells are so evocative!
I’m actually not so fond of the whole concept of Dubai, however, if there is a reason to visit, it would be the shopping opportunities. And by far not only the luxury brands – it’s rather the alf leyla wa leyla-spirit of the markets with sundries and spices – just fantastic 🙂
Wonderful souk pictures – I can really smell the spices by looking at them. And a great list of suggestions too! Usually I don not buy very expensive souvenirs, but I absolutely love edible souvenirs. So I am in for the dates and the spices and I actually bought the camel chocolate when I was in Dubai.
I cant wait for the world to open up again and go back to the new normal where it feels safe enough to travel again. I would love to visit that colorful marketplace 🙂
I always enjoy reading your posts as I always learn a lot. Dubai sounds like the place to go for all your shopping needs and a good bargain. Spice shopping would be heaven for me as I love to cook and experiment with spices from around the world. Great post as always.
Been thinking about visiting Dubai for some time now…and was always concerned about the prices….when you say reasonable, what’s the cost for something that is available everywhere. Like what is a can of coke cost? Or something else that’s a commodity and fairly standard?
Mike if you buy these regular stuff from hypermarkets or supermarket then they are reasonably priced. Many commodities are fairly priced unless and untill you are having sip of gold flakes tea or coffee. Here you can find richest stuff too and normal stuff too, It depends on which shop you choose – luxury branded ones or normal regular ones. So both options are having huge varieties. It is all upto your choice.
I love spice shopping in Dubai as well as we make sure to buy Dates since it’s not available here in the Philippines. Thank you for sharing these tips. I would love to get those sand art. They’re beautiful.
Yes dates here are very delicious and spices too are very aromatic.
I wish I had known this list. There are so many beautiful things to buy, especially the spices and the clothes. That’s so pretty. When I visited Dubai with my family, the only place we visited for shopping were the gold souks. I would have loved to have explored beyond gold. Maybe for the next time.
I have been to Sharjah and love the perfumes from that part of the world. I like the dates and nuts too. The sand art I skipped, but the kaftans have now gone on my list. I hope I get to Dubai soon!
We sure did love the variety of things we found on our visit to Dubai. But so much was very expensive. But hubby did buy several packages of dates and baklava that never made it home! I was tempted by the gold but never found a unique piece that tempted me. Good suggestion to try shopping at a hypermarket.
I love all the colors at these markets, it reminds me a lot of the bright & colorful markets in Thailand. Would love to bring back some spices to the US if that is allowed, it would be so great to cook authentic international food at home.
The only shopping that I do when traveling outside India is that of souvenirs. Mostly. And Dubai being famous as a shopping destination, I should have a greatime time there. Thanks for a wonderful guide.
Wow, Dubai surely is a shopping paradise! Their merchandise is very similar to what I’ve seen in Turkey or in Jordan. Dose dried fruit are my weakness, I would buy kilograms of they if I could bring them home. Unfortunately the ones we have here in the USA are never so fresh and tasty (probably because they are imported and spend a lot of time on the road). I wonder if you can trust buying gold from these open markets. How can you tell it’s real gold?
Dubai is famous for trading read gold and there is special area dedicated to trade gold known as historic gold souk or even in malls u can find actual gold. Here laws are very strict for shopkeepers if found with any adulteration. They sell Hallmarked gold with International standards stamp on it from which it is authenticated and also with receipt. If you found any foul play, any time you can claim it and local authorities will take very strict action against that seller. So here in Dubai safety and purity is the first thing they pay attention to.
Dubai seems like a great shopping destination. I had no idea that the choice of souvenirs is so wide. I love Eastern spices, so I would definitely like to bring them from my visit to Dubai. They perfectly enrich the taste and aroma of dishes. I would also like to buy a scarf and Camel milk chocolate.
OMG this is awesome, and I wouldn’t say no for a shopping trip! Those spices and textiles are too colorful and good. They are quite rare to find in other places, and the experience of visiting local shops is a great help to learn the place and culture.
You are right, no holiday is complete without shopping for souvenirs! Dubai truly feels like the perfect setting for that. Our families would love the sand art, lanterns and fabric. And we’d probably want one for ourselves too hehe
I’m loving the spices and dried fruit markets. Love the vibrant colors in those places although I’m not sure if I can bring it back to the US, unless if they can put it in a sealed container. But I would like to bring home that cute miniature camel. The sand art reminded me of the souvenir I bought from Israel.
I guess they must be having solution for US travelers. You can ask shopkeeper for sealing of spices.
So many great ideas in here. I love that you included some edible souvenirs as well, I love trying little treats from all different countries. The sand art looks great too, must take a bit of skill to be able to create those amazing works. I’ll have to have you list handy next time in I’m Dubai.
This is cool. I would do all my shopping in Textile souk & spice souk. I might just walk through the Gold souk, coz practically I wouldn’t be able to afford a thing there! Haha. I’ve always been fascinated by attar. There was a shop that sold Attar in my hometown in India, when I was young. I luuuuurved those, esp. Sandal & Jasmine. I really wouldn’t miss buying atleast a small bottle of it. When I visit Dubai, I’d eat a Baklava multiple times everyday, that’s for sure!
Dubai is one of my all time favorite cities and the shopping here is second to none. Thanks for the suggestions next time I’m back!
I remember perusing the stalls of the Old Souk market. You really need to know how to negotiate or you will be ripped off. With that being said, we did walk away with some delicious tea and a beautiful scarf!
I very rarely go to gift shops now however I do buy the odd thing now and again. As I havent been to Dubai or the UAE yet, I would defo get some sand art, that would look lovely in my travel office, and my wife love the Kaftans, they don’t look heavy and beautifully designed. Really ideal to wear in warm weather. Now, gold….hmmmm…if I brought loads would I get it through customs here in the UK? 😀
You need to check custom laws of UK for this. Even for India it is strict and always better to carry permissible limits. But buying gold here is advisable due to purity gurantee and lots of designs
I haven’t been to Dubai yet but I do like to shop! So thank you for the helpful tips!
So many great options! Thanks so much for sharing this and all the details about each item to buy.
Thanks for reading through and find this blog post useful
Wow, all of these Dubai souvenirs are beautiful! The attar bottles are absolutely stunning! They look so beautiful! The lanterns are also beautiful and I’d definitely pick up some of the chocolate camels! Thanks for the great suggestions!
Thanks for loving and yes all these stuff are worth buying.