Monday, Oct. 13, 2008

Shawls and Shisha Pipes from Al Karama

For cut-price trinkets head to Al Karama market (not to be confused with the less atmospheric Karama Centre shopping mall), a covered shopping arcade next to the fish market on the corner of Sheikh Rashid and Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed roads in Bur Dubai. Here you'll find quality pashmina shawls, Arabic instruments and shisha pipes alongside knock-off watches and "Christion Dior" replica handbags. You'll have to haggle (figure, on average, that vendors start out asking for twice as much as they'll take) but that's part of the experience.

For a more sanitized shopping spree head to Gallery One in the Madinat Souk. This small art shop and exhibition space has great framed photos of the city, before and after the crane invasion. For posterity, take home one of the "old" photos that show the desolate sandpit that was Dubai in the early '90s.