We did two quick polls on our Facebook page this week. The first one was on what travelers do most on their Holidays and "shopping" was the top pick along with "visiting friends and relatives". The second poll was on what is the best (Halal Friendly) shopping destination. Here Dubai by far was the No 1 followed by Kuala Lumpur.
Here is a brief guide to these two great Shopping destinations where you can while enjoying shopping, taste some delicious Halal food and find comfortable places for both males and females do their salaath (prayers).
1. Dubai (UAE)
Dubai is fast becoming the most visited shopping destination where people from all around the world flock for the Dubai Shopping Festival held every year. Right from traditional souks to lavish shopping malls, travellers can shop for gold, silverware, carpets, modern clothing, electronics and impressive souvenirs.
There are a number of souks in Deira and Bur Dubai and many of them can be found on the Al Fahidi Street in Bur Dubai. The Gold Souk in Deira is the largest in the city. There are also quite a few modern souks in the city such as Souk Madinat Jumeirah, Souk Al Bahar, Khan Murjan and the Meena Bazaar. As for shopping Malls, Dubai has plenty.
Dubai Mall of course is the biggest of them all. Considered to be one of the largest in the world having more than 1200 outlets. It is part of the Burj Khlaifa complex. Aaprt from shopping it offers a whole range of activities for families. The Mall of Emirates on Sheikh Zayed Road is onother large mall also with several entertainment venues. The Emirates Towers Boulevard is also on the same road and has exclusive designer shops. The Ibn Battuta Mall is a themed mall based on the places visited by Ibn Battuta and is one of the most impressive ones. The Gold & Diamond Park has 30 retailers where visitors can bargain for some good deals.
The Mercato Mall in Jumeirah is one of its kinds, a Renaissance-themed shopping center. The Bur Juman Center has some luxury shopping to offer. The Dubai Festival City is another enormous shopping area.
In Deira visitors can find the Deira City Center and the Al-Ghurair City shopping centers. The Karama Shopping Center in Bur Dubai has a souk like look and visitors can expect to get some good bargains. The Wafi Shopping Center, The Village and Al Ain Shopping Center are the other two popular destinations.
2. Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia)
Kuala Lumpur is truly a wonderful destination to shop. The city offers a plethora of shopping malls and districts and to top it, it also hosts a number of shopping festivals and carnivals. Starting with the Malaysia GP Sale in the first quarter, then the Malaysia Mega Sale Carnival from 15th June to 31st August 2011 and the Malaysia Year End Sale from 15th November to 1st January 2011, Kuala Lumpur has year around sales.
Bukit Bintang is undoubtedly one of the best shopping districts in the city. Most of the prominent shopping malls like Bukit Bintang Plaza, Sungei Wang Plaza, Imbi Plaza, Starhill Plaza, Lot 10 and Kuala Lumpur Plaza are located in this district. The upscale Pavilion is the new addition to this shopping district.There is a masjid right in Bukit Bintang next to the monorail station.
Jalan Conlay close to the KL Tower is popular for upscale boutiques, perfumeries, retail outlets and optical shops. The Central Market on Jalan Hang Kasturi sells souvenirs and handicrafts. Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman also has some major shopping centers like Sogo, Pertama Complex and also hosts night markets. Parallel to this road is the Jalan Masjid India where travellers can find silverware, sarees, jewelry and bangles.
For high-end shopping head for the Jalan Ampang and Jalan Tun Razak area where you can find KLCC, City Square, Ampang Plaza and the Ampang Park Shopping Complex.
The Mid Valley Mall is another excellent place to shop with over 300 outlets and a huge food court. Chinatown is a colorful market with open air bazaars and night markets. The Flea Market at Amcorp Mall is a major draw for visitors. Enjoy a Middle Eastern shopping experience at the Ain Arabia/Arab Street.