Crescentrating presents its Halal Friendly Travel (CRaHFT) Ranking 2012 of the Top 10 Halal Friendly Shopping Destinations
In ancient times, Arabs sailed across large bodies of water and conducted trade between the Western world and the East. They would trade spices, gold, jewelry, trinkets, fabrics as well as news on the latest fashion trends and styles. And though it's not proven, we're sure that even then, females loved shopping!
We can't help it - shopping is what most people do when traveling, and we are excited to present the Top10 Halal-Friendly Shopping Destinations for 2012! These 10 destinations provide not just a great shopping experience, but also cater well to the needs of Muslim shoppers with Halal food availability and in most cases easy access to prayer rooms in the main shopping districts/malls.
Home to the world's largest shopping mall and the Dubai Shopping Festival, Dubai is definitely one of the top shopping destinations in the world. The Dubai Shopping Festival, which is held for an entire month out of the year, attracts millions of people from around the world with low prices on branded items, as well as with interesting cultural and musical events which also take place. If you miss the shopping festival, don't worry because tax-free shopping is available all year long at one of Dubai's many shopping malls.
The Dubai Mall is the world's largest shopping mall, spreading over 12 million square feet, and filled with a number of global retail brands as well as an aquarium, ice skating rink and over 150 Halal dining outlets. Other shopping malls in Dubai include the Mall of Emirates, Emirates Towers Boulevard, Al Ain Plaza and the Gold and Diamond Park
The fashion hub of Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur houses over a hundred shopping malls filled with the latest designer trends and modern electronic gadgets. Other than designer clothing and electronic appliances, shopping in Kuala Lumpur also offers a chance to purchase exclusive footwear and jewelry as well as some intricate cultural handicrafts.
Some of the more popular shopping malls are Pavilion Kuala Lumpur Shopping Mall, Suria KLCC, Mid Valley Megamall and Starhill Gallery. Malaysia is one of those ultimate shopping experiences where your smiles get wider as your wallets get thinner!
3. Istanbul, Turkey
Home to the Grand Bazaar as well as a chain of modern shopping malls, Istanbul has become a shopper's paradise. The Grand Bazaar is one of the largest covered markets in the world spreading over 60 streets and comprising over 5,000 vendors. It attracts around 300,000 people per day and has goods such as leather, gold, and various antiquities.
A city that started with this traditional type of market now has over 80 modern shopping malls and centers with another 20 projected to be built in the next five years. Some of the best shopping malls in Istanbul are the Kanyon Shopping Mall, the Forum Istanbul Shopping Mall, the Cevahir Shopping Mall and the Akmerkez, which won the World's Best Shopping Mall award in 1996. With so much to offer, we had to include this shopping mall haven on our list!
When you think of shopping in Singapore, you immediately think of Orchard Road, but shopping in Singapore is so much more! Don't get us wrong, Orchard Road shopping is AMAZING; the central hub of Singapore, it's filled with major department stores, boutique retailers as well as a number of entertainment venues, but there's also so much more to shopping in Singapore.
Chinatown is a prominent landmark of Singapore; the charismatic shop-houses offer all sorts of goods from household items to textiles. Arab Street is considered the best place to purchase fabrics and oriental carpets, and though the prices can vary, the quality of the products is guaranteed to be the best. Not interested in outdoor shopping venues? Not a problem! Some of Singapore's finest shopping malls include 313@Somerset, Centrepoint, Far East Plaza, Ion Orchard, Scotts Shopping Centre and Wisma Atria.
5. Bangkok, Thailand
Locals like to say that "no matter where you are in Bangkok, you're never too far from a shop" and they're spot on! Twenty four hours a day, seven days a week, the city of Bangkok buzzes with unbelievable prices, and the latest fashions and electro-gadgets.
From the trendy retail stores at Central World to the tarpaulin-covered stalls in Patpong, shoppers in Bangkok can find almost anything at a reasonable price. Browse through the eclectic collection of wares found on the streets or the fashionable boutique items found in one of the many malls; you're sure to go back home with bags of great stuff!
6. Delhi, India
Shoppers, hold on to your rickshaw as you jet from one shopping center to the other because Delhi is going to knock your socks off! The three major shopping spots in Delhi are Chandni Chowk, Khan Market and Santushti Shopping Complex - of course there are hundred more inside air-conditioned buildings or lined down busy streets.
Delhi is famous for its brightly-colored saris, leather items, ivory works, bamboo crafts, and gold and silver trinkets - and offers a variety of great souvenir. Take your time walking through the markets because you'll never know when you run across a neat knickknack!
7. Johannesburg, South Africa
From Brightwater Commons to Nelson Mandela Squares, shopping seems to be the nation's favorite pastime in Johannesburg, South Africa. Malls are filled with thousands of stores to cater to any style or budget, and visitors to South Africa are sure to pay excess luggage fees when they're leaving the country!
The flea markets of Johannesburg are filled with treasure waiting to be found - from beautiful paintings by local artists to wire sculptures, which is quite famous in Johannesburg. But if it's designer wear you're looking for, head on over to the Rosebank Mall, where anything you buy is sure to have your friends asking you "Where did you get that?"
8. Bali, Indonesia
You may have shopped in different places around the world, but shopping in Bali is unlike anything you might have experienced previously. From well known department stores to make-shift shops on the side of the road, you'll find everything under the sun for amazing prices.
Some of the more popular shopping centers in Bali are the Discovery Kartika Mall, the Matahari Department Store and the Kumbasari Traditional Market. So wear your comfy shoes, carry your big shopping bag (you know, the one with enough space to hold a snack and a water bottle to reenergize you), and brush up on your bargaining skills because it's time to shop in Bali!
9. London, UK
The birthplace of department stores, London is home to more than its fair share of them; from Harrods and Debenhams to Selfridges and Marks & Spencer, shoppers can spend hours, nay days, shopping in little old London. The latest designs in apparel, electronics, toys, home ware and everything else can be found in the many shopping malls available.
Some of the malls include The Plaza, the Victoria Place Shopping Centre, the Lakeside Shopping Centre and the Westfield Shopping Centre. While in London, be sure to pick up a couple of those cute double-decker souvenirs for your friends!
10. Hong Kong, China
The busy streets, the flashing lights - Hong Kong offers the most unique of shopping experiences. A society dominated by consumerism, Hong Kong has everything from oversized shopping malls and exclusive boutiques to charming traditional street markets. The best thing about shopping in Hong Kong is the variety available - when purchasing, shoppers will face a range of brands offering a very similar product for varied prices.
Purchase the latest fashion trends at the chic shopping malls such as Pacific Place, Times Square, or The Landmark, and then head on over to the loud, colorful street markets where you can hone your bargaining skills and take home some amazing finds!
The ranking was compiled based on months of research, surveys and voting by our community, The Reader Ranking, which was compiled according to the voting by the Crescentrating community, listed the Top 10 Halal Friendly Shopping Destinations as follows: Dubai, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, London, New York City, Tokyo, Moscow, Paris, Milan and Bangkok.
And that concludes the Top 10 Halal Friendly Shopping Destinations in 2012! If you've visited one of these locations, be sure to leave a review!