Shopping is something of a national pastime in Abu Dhabi, perhaps because it’s so diverse: everything from ultra-modern malls with the latest brands, to small, souk-like outlets where you can buy traditional perfumes, handicrafts, spices and carpets.
You can spend thousands of dollars on a bejewelled designer watch, or pick up a basic timepiece in a supermarket. You can splash out on an ‘haute-couture’ designer outfit, or buy fabric and have a local tailor make up your very own creation for a bargain price. You can buy a treasured Arabian antique, or a technology busting super modern home entertainment system.
Prices are often excellent in comparison to those abroad, especially for carpets, textiles and gold. If you are a good bargainer, you can get even better deals.
Most shops open from around 10am to 10pm, and later on weekends. Although most malls work straight through, some independent shops close for an extended lunch break, usually from 1pm to 4pm. Hours usually change during Ramadan, with many shops closing for the afternoon and reopening from 7pm until midnight or even later.