Dubai is known as a go-to destination for travellers who love a bit of luxury and adventure. It’s got hotels and shopping malls that are just begging you to spend lots of your money. However, you don’t always have to do that. Despite being known as a luxurious city, travellers on a budget can still enjoy what the place has to offer, and that comes in the form of haggling.

Dubai holiday shopping

Where can you haggle?

Of course, you couldn’t haggle in every single place in Dubai. It would be impossible to buy your way out of a meal at an upmarket restaurant. That would just be crazy.That being said, haggling is very helpful skill to have when you head over to souks (markets). In fact, there are lots of them around the city, each with varying items being sold. Here are some of them:

Gold Souk – Features lots of shops selling jewellery in 22 and 24 carat gold.

Khan Murjan – Sells traditional and specialised arts and crafts.

Spice Souk – Sells a lot of herbs and spices.

Meena Bazaar – Features lots of fashion shops for both men and women.

Perfume Souk – Has a lot of local and international perfumes.

See, everything you buy in Dubai doesn’t have to be from designer brands. Based on the list presented above, you can purchase great finds by just taking the time out to visit the markets. The items found in these places make great souvenir presents as well.

Shopping in Dubai's souks

The art of haggling

Now that you know several locations where you can get good finds for your money, it’s time to learn how to haggle.

Here are some tips to keep in mind:

Be prepared. In other words, research ahead of time. More specifically, know the price of things. For example, simply knowing the difference between the prices of 22 and 24 carat gold can save you lots of money because you can insert the things you know into your haggle to show knowledge.

Set a budget limit. You can scour the markets a day before to think of things you want to buy for yourself or your friends and family back home. Make a list of these along with the prices. When you get to your hotel, set a limit for how much you’re willing to pay for each item. When you haggle, make sure to not go over the figure you have set.

Bring the right amount of change. Remember that you’re asking for a lower price, so it would be insane to hand over a huge bill when you’re basically saying you’re short on cash. So, before you head out to the markets, make sure you’ve got a good breakdown of cash and coins.

Always start low. Sure, vendors may laugh at you, but you can always say that you don’t have that much money with you. This is where your extra research comes in as well because you can say that you found a much cheaper option in another stall.

Keep talking and always be polite. Get conversation going because suddenly becoming silent might make a vendor think you’ve lost interest. Keeping the conversation going puts a seller at ease because it shows that you’re really interested in buying the item. Give them reasons to want to sell you the item so that they’ll be more likely to agree on your price.

Learn to walk away. If things aren’t going as planned, be prepared to walk away. After all, there are several more shops you can look at. In fact, walking away might just change a vendors mind. It’s not surprising to find one catching up to you to say they’ll take up your offer.

Haggling for something you want can really make a difference in savings. So, keep these tips in mind when visiting any of the souks in Dubai and you’re sure to have an enjoyable stay with all these haggling adventures.


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