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Shopping in Abu Dhabi

From splashing out on designer labels to rummaging for jewellery or edible goodies in souks, visitors to Abu Dhabi encounter plenty of opportunities to spend their cash at the city's well-stocked shopping complexes and markets.

Key areas

Most of the main malls and souks are in central Abu Dhabi. Some, such as Dalma Mall and Bawabat Al Sharq Mall, are further out in the Mussafah Industrial Area and Al Mafraq area.

Markets

The snazzy Foster-designed Central Market replaced Abu Dhabi's old central souk, after it was destroyed by fire. The modern complex, with the same labyrinth-style corridors you would expect from an Arabic market, offers high-end gifts, trinkets and cafés. 

You can watch fishermen unloading the day's catch at the Fish Souk at Mina Zayed, or pick up armfuls of dates at the Al Mina Fruit and Vegetable Souk over the road. The carpet souk on Mina street is the place to head to buy colourful, handmade rugs or Arabic cushions.

Shopping centres

The Marina Mall is set on Corniche Street and offers a mixture of low end and high-end shops, including Carrefour, home and décor stores, and fashion outlets like Armani and Fendi. At the Khalidiyah Mall, you can browse fashion outlets including British stores such as Debenhams and BHS. There's a bowling alley and cinema if you're feeling shopped out.

The Al Wahda Mall is a great family mall with the Early Learning Centre, Sanrio, H&M and Gap, among other high-street stores. The Mushrif Mall is another alternative for stores such as Matalan and Monsoon and also offers a decent food court.

The gigantic Yas Mall is home to a massive range of shops, from Calvin Klein to a Lego store, along with multiple restaurants and a cinema.

Opening hours

Most malls are open Saturday to Thursday 1000-2300 and Friday 1200-2300. Opening hours are restricted during the month of Ramadan (the ninth month of the Islamic calendar).

Souvenirs

Traditional souvenirs include gold jewellery (try the gold souk in Madinat Sayed Shopping Centre), frankincense or ghutra headscarves, traditionally worn by men in Arab countries.

Most malls have souvenir stands in the corridors, where you can buy Abu Dhabi T-shirts, mini camel soft toys and key rings.