(This guest post was written by my friend Sarah, who is on a shopping expedition to the UAE capital)
If for some extraordinary reason you enjoy spending your hard-earned cash in a matter of minutes then Abu Dhabi is the place for you. As a budding materialist and capitalist I have become accustomed to frequenting the delights of designer shopping… yes, I am a label junkie and I love it. So far my shopping experience in AD has been financially crippling but I don’t mind. I think I have proved myself at least a middleweight shopaholic with the potential to become a heavyweight (if only I had the financial backing to do so). The rich Emirati women may have to wear abayas but they certainly know how to shop! Shopping here is a cultural phenomenon I never thought I would observe outside the States. I’ve been to many of the world’s finest shopping destinations and left my mark on them. So, what does Abu Dhabi have to offer the serial shopper?
We Irish have become desensitised to being ripped off. Abu Dhabi offers tax-free shopping but that’s only the beginning. Whatever your shopping pleasures, you will be able to indulge them here. If, like me, you love designer goods at a steal then welcome to my version of heaven. The malls offer the finest shopping experience. Everything you could possibly need and more importantly want can be found in the comfort of gigantic malls that put places like Dundrum in Ireland to shame. It is quite fitting that Abu Dhabi holds a shopping festival in the spring, no doubt my fellow shopaholics descend on the city hunting for that necessary adrenaline rush that comes from buying things you don’t need!
Shoppers can expect to find bargains in just about everything, be it sunglasses, handbags, clothes, food, make-up, toys, electronics and furniture. I shall leave Abu Dhabi the proud parent of six designer handbags. These precious commodities cost a fraction of what I would have paid for them back in Ireland. If you are familiar with designer handbag prices in Ireland you will know that a small Guess bag costs about 99 euro… not here. Expect to find fabulous medium to large Guess bags for those prices. The prices in AD are not the only thing to attract international shoppers; the sheer volume and variety of shops is enough to tempt any die hard shopper. Even the smallest of malls have a lot to offer but once you have whet your appetite head for Abu Dhabi Mall and Marina Mall.
Marina Mall is the second biggest mall in the UAE, but if you do come to this part of the world to test your strengths as a shopper then I would suggest you plunge into the deep end with a visit there. You will know your shopping capabilities after a short time; if you last the day, my hat off to you! If you break under the strain of Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Armani and my personal favourite, Guess, then you are not worthy of my praise 😛
Abu Dhabi is this shopper’s delight and I will be leaving it with a heavy heart and suitcase.