Shopping in United Arab Emirates



The following items can be imported into the United Arab Emirates duty-free in hand luggage (people over 18 years of age):

400 cigarettes or 50 cigars or 500 g of tobacco;

2 l of spirits or two cases of 24 cans of beer (max. 355 ml per can) (in Sharjah, however, there is a ban on alcohol) (only non-Muslims);

Gifts worth up to AED 3,000.

Import restrictions

There are very strict import regulations for certain drugs and their ingredients, for which a medical certificate is required. Even with this certificate, import is not always guaranteed. Travelers should definitely inquire at the embassy of the United Arab Emirates in individual cases, a country located in Middle East according to elaineqho.

Prohibited imports

Drugs and narcotics, unauthorized firearms and ammunition, unauthorized natural or cultured pearls, Israeli goods, goods whose manufacturers are boycotted by the Arab League, counterfeit money, pornographic products (including all kinds of western magazines) and certain prohibited books and e- Cigarettes.

Alcohol cannot be imported by land. Muslims are not allowed to import wine, alcohol or pork.

Shopping in United Arab Emirates



The duties are low, which is why many items are quite cheap. The duty-free shop in Dubai is one of the cheapest in the world.

Opening hours

Most shopping centers have extended opening hours, with some open until midnight. Friday and Saturday is the weekend in the United Arab Emirates. All state and public institutions, government institutions and private schools are bound by this regulation. Shops are closed during prayer on Friday. Many stalls in the souks are closed on mornings and Fridays.


The duties are low, which is why many items are quite cheap. The duty-free shop in Dubai is one of the cheapest in the world.


Shopping is one of the Arabs’ favorite pastimes. Shopping festivals in Dubai, huge shopping malls and numerous souks make the United Arab Emirates a true shopping paradise. The Dubai Mall (Internet: and the Mall of the Emirates (Internet: in Dubai are among the largest shopping centers in the world. The Galleria shopping center (Internet: on Al Maryah Island in Abu Dhabi’s central business district offers more than 130 luxury brands. The Yas Mall (Internet:, Abu Dhabi’s largest shopping center, is located on Yas Island. Right next to the huge shopping center with 235,000 square meters of retail space are attractions such as the Formula 1 racing track Yas Marina Circuit, Yas Ferrari World and Yas Waterworld. Often there are also other attractions in the huge shopping centers such as cinemas, huge aquariums, extravagant restaurants, ice rinks, waterfalls and even ski slopes.

In the traditional souks (bazaars), which are particularly well-attended in the evening hours, leather items, brass and silver goods, gold jewelry, silk, spices, fish and other foods as well as carpets are sold at reasonable prices. Haggling is allowed here. Often there are also special memorabilia such as Arabic chests and swords or old maps. When buying expensive branded products, however, you should ensure that they are not counterfeits.



1 (UAE) dirham = 100 fils. Currency abbreviation: Dh, AED (ISO code). There are banknotes in denominations of 1000, 500, 200, 100, 50, 20, 10 and 5 Dh. There are coins to the value of 1 Dh as well as 50, 25, 10 and 5 Fils. The 5 and 10 fils coins hardly play a role in cash transactions, because all amounts are rounded up or down to the next 25 fils level. The dirham is pegged to the US $.

Credit cards

American Express, Diners Club, Visa and MasterCard are accepted in many hotels, car rental companies, in some restaurants and in larger shops. Details from the issuer of the credit card in question.

ec / Maestro card / Sparcard
cards with the Cirrus or Maestro symbol are accepted throughout Europe and worldwide. In Dubai, cash can be withdrawn from ATMs with the EC card. ATMs are widespread and can be found in shopping malls and all over the cities. Further information from banks and credit institutes.

Attention: Travelers who pay abroad with their bank customer card and want to withdraw money should find out about the possibilities of using their card from their bank before starting their journey.

Bank opening times

Sat-Wed 8 a.m.-1 p.m., some banks are also open 4.30 p.m.-6.30 p.m. On Thursdays, banks are open from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. Different opening times during Ramadan.

Foreign exchange regulations

No restrictions

Currency Exchange

Money can be exchanged in most hotels, at the UAE Exchange Center but also at private exchange offices. Exchange offices can also be found in souks, in shopping centers, in Deira City Center and at airports. You have i. General open between 8.30 a.m. and 1 p.m. and between 4.30 p.m. and 8.30 p.m.