Top 10 Shopping Destinations in Abu Dhabi

Fancy a little retail therapy? You’re in luck! As a shopping capital of the Middle East, there’s a diverse range of retail destinations in Abu Dhabi to suit all budgets. From the emirate’s modern and sophisticated malls, packed with the latest international designer and high-street brands, to the traditional Arabian souks, where you can haggle for local handicrafts, perfumes and carpets. With so many options, choosing where to start can be a challenge. To make your decision easier, Etihad Airways has listed our top ten recommendations on some of the UAE capital’s essential shopping attractions.

Remember, you can search for the best prices on flights to Abu Dhabi using the booking engine on this page, while fantastic car hire rates are available through our partner Hertz. For customised holiday packages in Abu Dhabi, including city tours, tickets to leading attractions and hotel bookings, contact the travel specialists at Hala Abu Dhabi.

Sougha – Handmade Handicraft

Sougha – Handmade Handicraft

In partnership with Etihad Airways, Sougha has been launched by the Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development to preserve the ancient and much-cherished tradition of Emirati handicraft. Each of the unique products available through Sougha has been skilfully handmade by dedicated craftswomen in Abu Dhabi, the Western Region and Northern Emirates using techniques perfected over the generations.

With the word ‘sougha’ actually translating to ‘souvenir’ in English, why not treat yourself or a loved one to something special, from exquisite handbags, purses and pouches to eye-catching bracelets, key chains and pillows? Sougha products are available on Etihad Airways flights or the Etihad shops at Marina Mall and Madinat Zayed Mall in Abu Dhabi.

In addition, they can be purchased at the Sougha kiosk in Abu Dhabi’s Central Market Souk, MORE cafés in Dubai, and Sougha booths at selected exhibitions. View this video, filmed at the Etihad Airways headquarters in Abu Dhabi, to learn more about Sougha.

Madinat Zayed Shopping Centre & Gold Souk

Madinat Zayed Shopping Centre & Gold Souk

One of Abu Dhabi’s most established shopping malls, the iconic Madinat Zayed Shopping Centre & Gold Souk was re-launched after a major expansion in 2012.

Although it’s unique ambience – reminiscent of a traditional Arabian souk – remains intact, over 70 retail and food outlets were introduced as part of its ambitious revamp, including the budget-friendly anchor store Lulu Hypermarket.

As a result, visitors are now spoilt for choice at the mall, which boasts around 460 outlets and 1,600 parking spaces in total from its central location, off Sheikh Zayed the First Road.

If you’re searching for jewellery, Madinat Zayed Gold Souk, next to the main mall, has one of the region’s biggest collections of gold, diamond and pearl goods, from delicate little earrings to large extravagant necklaces. You might just walk away with a bargain!

Abu Dhabi Mall

Abu Dhabi Mall

Abu Dhabi Mall, located in the Tourist Club Area (TCA), has been welcoming shopaholics in the UAE capital for over ten years now.

Whatever you’re looking to purchase, from the latest designer clothing, make-up and perfume to high-tech gadgets, household goods and pharmaceuticals, the mall is packed with 220 different outlets from around the world.

Don’t miss the Etihad Holidays shop on the third floor! Also within its built-up area of 220,000 square metres, you will find 40 restaurants and dining outlets, together with an extensive food court, offering tantalising cuisine to re-energise after all that retail therapy.

Entertainment is provided in abundance too, either in the form of guest artist performances, or through the multiplex cinema, kids’ edutainment centre and bowling centre.

If you’ve shopped until you dropped, the Beach Rotana Abu Dhabi hotel is directly linked to Abu Dhabi Mall, with rooms overlooking the Arabian Gulf.

Marina Mall

Marina Mall

Marina Mall has been expanded three times since its official launch in 2001 to keep pace with growing demand, making it one of the biggest shopping centres in Abu Dhabi.

If you fancy a visit, head over to Abu Dhabi Marina Breakwater, where you will find a building that is shaped like a traditional Bedouin tent, covering a total area of 235,000 square metres – it’s hard to miss! Once inside, you will be able to splash the cash at over 400 different retail outlets, including the big-brand anchor stores Marks & Spencer, Zara, Paris Gallery, Carrefour, and even a Mercedes-Benz showroom.

Plus, don’t miss the Etihad Holidays kiosk at the main entrance and shop on the second floor! Marina Mall also features a bowling centre, multiplex cinema, ice rink, fun city, and 48 food and beverage outlets, including a revolving restaurant.

The average footfall, according to the mall’s owner National Investment Corporation, is 330,000 people a week.

Souk Qaryat Al Beri

Souk Qaryat Al Beri

Opened back in 2008, Souk Qaryat Al Beri is the perfect showcase of Arabian architecture, culture and hospitality, covering a total area of 6,222 square metres.

Situated next to the lavish Shangri-La hotel, near Abu Dhabi’s Mangrove Village, the traditionally-designed souk includes two floors of retail outlets, crammed with everything from antiques, perfume and jewellery to handicraft, garments and souvenirs.

It is part of the wider Qaryat Al Beri waterfront complex, which has a unique Venetian theme with water taxis (or ‘abras’ as they are known locally) strolling through the manmade canals and offering stunning views of the souk, in addition to the onsite collection of alfresco restaurants and cafes, serving tantalising cuisine from the Arab world, in addition to Italy, Japan, India and other countries.

Various special events also take place at the souk, such as a recent celebration for world music day.

Khalidiyah Mall

Opened in January 2008, Khalidiyah Mall has emerged as one of the UAE capital’s most popular shopping attractions, managed by EMKE Group (Line Investment and Property).

The mall, which features an Arabian style of architecture, is located a few minutes away from Corniche Road and has a gross leasable area of 50,000 square metres, together with 1,500 car parking spaces. Once inside, shoppers have a generous retail mix to explore, including household brands such as Debenhams, Paris Gallery, BHS, Nine West, Aldo and Lulu Hypermarket.

Plus, don’t miss the Etihad Holidays shop on the second floor, where you can book flights, holiday packages and more! In addition to retail outlets, there’s a Sparky’s Family Fun Centre to keep children entertained, a nine-screen Cine Royal multiplex that screens the latest 2D and 3D movies from Hollywood, Bollywood and the Arab world, and a large-scale food court with the likes of Papa Johns, Chilis,Thai Expressand The Pizza Company.

Bawadi Mall

Bawadi Mall

Bawadi Mall is the largest shopping centre in Al Ain, covering a built-up area of 145,000 square metres (not including the 3,500 car parking spaces) and a gross leasable area of 100,000 square metres. Located on Mazyad Road, there are more than 400 shops for visitors to browse around, including household names Marks & Spencer, The Body Shop, H&M, and British Home Stores (BHS).

Plus, don’t miss the Etihad Holidays shop on the ground floor! Shoppers can also visit the mall’s dedicated heritage village, with its beautiful Islamic architecture, to purchase handicraft, carpets, pottery and gold.

In addition, a couple of outdoor markets are located onsite; Al Qaws Souk (which hosts more than 40 service outlets, such as banks and money exchanges) and Bawadi Souk (which has 55 operators that showcase the best in traditional Arabian culture). Finally, Bawadi Mall is famous for its ‘Family Entertainment Centre’, featuring a ski village, rollercoaster, multiplex cinema, and bowling centre.

Al Wahda Mall

Al Wahda Mall

Al Wahda Mall had reason to celebrate at the ‘Best in Abu Dhabi 2012’ awards, after being named the UAE capital’s favourite shopping centre. The popular hangout, which is located on Sheikh Hazza Bin Zayed Street, offers a light and spacious environment with its distinct wind tunnel architecture.

Following a recent expansion, which doubled the mall’s size, there are now hundreds of different shops and smaller-scale kiosks on offer, covering fashion, electronics, jewellery, cosmetics, home furnishing, confectionary, and more. New additions as a result of the expansion include Dorothy Perkins, Miss Selfridge, H&M, Sephora and Virgin Megastore.

Plus, don’t miss the Etihad Holidays shop on the second floor! With a weekly footfall of 185,000 people, Al Wahda Mall also features an impressive food court and various restaurants, while the Wanasa Land entertainment centre offers a bowling alley, billiards hall, internet café and party halls. 

Etihad Airways

Etihad Airways

Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, offers a range of exciting shopping opportunities for passengers. Various duty free products are available onboard your flight, for example, such as electronics, sunglasses, toys, watches, jewellery, souvenirs, and cosmetics.

Not only are the prices attractive, but you can also earn Etihad Guest miles with each purchase. Read through our latest onboard shopping magazine online for more information.

Alternatively, why wait until you’re onboard to start shopping? Items can now be purchased in advance and delivered directly to your seat onboard.

Email your duty free requests to dutyfree@etihad.ae together with your name, flight number and date of travel at least 72 hours before you fly, and we’ll ensure the products are delivered to you during the flight… it’s really that simple.

Central Market

World Trade Centre Central Market

For over 30 years, Central Market was the heart of Abu Dhabi’s retail industry, with around 1,000 traders offering their products on a 12-acre plot of land.

Although the market was demolished in 2002 after a massive fire, the site is being redeveloped as part of the ambitious World Trade Centre project, which will include office space, residential units, leisure facilities and hotel accommodation.

Another component, World Trade Centre Central Market, is already open and features 5,000 square metres of leasable space over three floors. The contemporary design has been fused with Arabic architecture, with 250 outlets selling everything from traditional artifacts, watches and jewelry to Arabic perfume, artwork and clothing.

The market also boasts a central atrium with retractable roof, overlooking a range of casual dining outlets, while a direct connection is offered to World Trade Centre Mall via Khalifa Street Bridge, lined with 8,500 square metres of landscaped gardens and world-renowned F&B brands.