Buying a carpet can be a fascinating experience; most carpets found in Abu Dhabi originate from Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Turkey, China and Central Asia, and come in an exquisite array of designs and colours.
To ensure you are buying the genuine article at a good price, it is advisable to learn a bit about carpets before making your final decision. Visit a number of shops to get a feel for price, quality and traditional designs. As a very rough guide, the higher the number of knots per square inch, the higher the price and the better the quality. Silk is more expensive than wool, and rugs from Iran are generally more valuable than the equivalent from Turkey or Kashmir. Check also whether the carpet was made by machine or by hand; handmade carpets are never quite perfect and the pile is uneven, yet they are more valuable than their machine made counterparts.
Carpet salesmen will happily offer plenty of advice and can usually be trusted; just don't feel pressured into buying simply because he has unrolled over 30 carpets for you. Most importantly, don't forget to bargain - it's all part of the game and is expected. A good starting point is the Carpet Souk at the port end of Mina Road. Mina Souk is similarly well stocked. Most malls also have well-stocked carpet shops.
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