Shopping can be entertaining, cultural, educational or serious business, depending on what’s on the shopping list. In Abu Dhabi, intense competition and insignificant import duties lead to some of the lowest prices in the world. Visitors first experience the retail barrage at Abu Dhabi Airport’s superb duty free area on arrival. Brilliantly designed, the area contains about thirty different stores, their open layouts making it easy for customers to browse. Transit passengers who are short of time will find Abu Dhabi Duty Free very convenient. The range is vast and exciting, gold and electronic items amongst the biggest sellers, local antiques and souvenirs are also popular, sharing the space with international branded goods, including watches, fashion items, cameras, toys, perfumes and leather goods.
What to Buy
bedouin jewellery, typically chunky silver designs, sometimes combined with precious stones, makes a handsome gift. Traditionally, jewellery was made by travelling foreign craftsmen who melted down Maria Theresa dollars, which were accepted currency at one time in the Gulf. Bedouin women traditionally received their first set of jewellery when they were married. The bedouin bride also received a wooden chest as a wedding gift from her husband and used it for storing clothing and personal possessions. The chest is still often the most prominent piece of furniture in an Arab home in Abu Dhabi. Antique chests are highly prized and quite expensive, however handsome modern versions are readily available at a range of prices. Department stores, fashion and giftware boutiques, antique shops and other specialized stores, including some familiar international names, are concentrated in Abu Dhabi’s malls.
Abu Dhabi Mall
The Abu Dhabi Mall, covering 200,000 square meters, houses more than 200 shops, including a variety of children’s, women’s and men’s fashion stores, make-up and perfume, music, soft-furnishings, household furniture, electrical goods, gifts, health-food, pharmacies, confectionery, dates, sportswear, books and stationery. A food-court serves a large assortment of delightful cuisines with 40 international food outlets and restaurants spread throughout the mall. There is entertainment for the whole family with a Cineplex, plus two action-packed kid’s entertainment centers and aspiring artists regularly entertain shoppers. Vast underground parking facilities ensure a stress free visit.
Marina Mall represents one of the largest and most important retail developments in Abu Dhabi. Situated on the Abu Dhabi breakwater and surrounded by the azure water of the Arabian Gulf, it is a wonderful location for the entire family to visit and enjoy. Marina Mall covers an area of 125,000 square metres and has a large retail area of 70,000 square meters spread over four levels. With 3,500 parking bays, 400 of which are in the underground basement, there is more than sufficient parking space for all visitors. Marina Mall’s unique location on the breakwater places it within a five minute drive from downtown Abu Dhabi and the stylish residential areas of Khalidiyah and Al bateen. From the mall you can see stunning views of the Arabian Gulf to one side and the Abu Dhabi skyline to the other, all adding value to complete the shopping experience in a manner that only a few shopping centers in the world are able to offer. With 165 retail outlets, Marina Mall offers a wide variety of merchandise from jewellery and watches to designer clothing and electronics, children’s wear, sports goods, perfumes and cosmetics, shoes and accessories, gift and household items. Marina Mall is host to an impressive list of international brands such as Tiffany & Co, bvlgari, Mont blanc, levi’s, Gap, old navy, banana republic, Elle, Zara, Timberland, Carrefour, iKEA, Woolworth and many more. In addition there are excellent home-grown brands such as paris Gallery, Areej, Damas, CanCan, sun and sand sports, rivoli, Axiom, Crystal Gallery, all of whom consider Marina Mall their home.
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