While it may be overshadowed by its glitzy neighbor of Dubai, Abu Dhabi offers its own impressive shopping scene. From traditional products sold at local markets around the dhow area and in the Iranian and carpet souks, to modern fashions displayed in the capital's sophisticated malls, this wealthy emirate offers a compelling mix of goods from the East and West. You can find antiques, gold, carpets, and an array of Arabian souvenirs alongside mainstream items and top international brands. Bargaining is the expected way of doing business in the souks and traditional stores. For gold and jewelry, head to the Madinat Zayed Gold Centre (tel. 02-631-8555), located near the main post office on East Road. It houses some of the largest jewelry shops in the Gulf, featuring all colors of gold, diamonds, pearls, and other treasures. On Hamdan Street, the closest Abu Dhabi comes to having a "main street," you will find the Liwa Centre (tel. 02-632-0344), which sells, among other things, discount jewelry and perfumes. Nearby, the Hamdan Centre (tel. 02-632-8555) is a practical stop for discount clothing, shoes, handbags, and Arabian souvenirs. Bargaining is possible here, too. You will find beautiful carpets from Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Turkey, and China at the Carpet Souk (also known as the Afghan Souk) located off Al Meena Road near the Dhow Harbor. The traditional fish, vegetable, and fruit souks are also in the Al Meena area. The souks are typically open Saturday to Thursday from 8am to 1pm and 4 to 9pm, and Friday from 4 to 9pm. The top malls in the city are the Marina Mall (tel. 02-681-8300; www.marinamall.ae) in the Breakwater Area, and the larger Abu Dhabi Mall (tel. 02-645-4858; www.abudhabimall.com) in the so-called Tourist Club Area. Both offer high-tech amusement centers for kids. The malls are generally open Saturday to Thursday from 10am to 10pm, and Friday from 3:30 to 11pm.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.