Abu Dhabi Shopping and Districts

(Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, UAE)

Aerial image of the CornicheIf you like shopping, then arriving in Abu Dhabi during the end of January will ensure that you will be able to catch the beginning of the very popular sales, and have a good chance of picking up some bargains. There are a surprisingly large number of familiar chain department stores spread around Abu Dhabi, including Marks and Spencer, Virgin and even Ikea.

This busy emirate is also home to a number of traditional markets, which are known as 'souks' (souqs) and sell everything from quality handicrafts and clothing, to hand-woven rugs and even gold. There are also around 20 different shopping malls within Abu Dhabi, which vary in size and often also feature a number of entertainment options.

Corniche photo

Where to Shop

One of the most notable shopping centres in the city is the Abu Dhabi Mall, which is particularly close to the Beach Rotana Hotel and contains over 200 individual stores, as well as a supermarket, various eateries and a six-screen cinema.

Standing on the Corniche Breakwater and just a short stroll from the Emirates Palace is the Marina Shopping Mall, where you will find some 160 outlets, including designer names such as Gucci, Versace and Yves Saint Laurent, together with a further multi-screen cinema.

Further Corniche pictureIf you prefer to experience something a bit more intimate and traditional, that the souks are well worth exploring and consist of a labyrinth of alleyways, small shops and street vendors. The Iranian Souk is amongst the very best on offer in Abu Dhabi and is a good place to head if you are shopping for gifts and souvenirs, although you should always be prepared to bargain over the price.

The majority of shopping malls within the city of Abu Dhabi open between 10:00 and 22:00 from Saturday to Wednesday, staying open slightly later on Thursdays and often not opening until lunchtime on Fridays. Many now also open on Sunday, with reduced hours.