The famous Mall of the Emirates, considered the world’s first shopping resort, features a wealth of stores to suit every budget. From the ultra-luxurious to popular high street brands there is something at every price point. Open until 10pm every day, shoppers can shop until they drop, before enjoying one of the many restaurants or entertainment options to finish off the day. Shoppers with kids can keep the entire family entertained at Magic Planet, the entertainment district of the mall which features several international award-winning rides and games.
Stay at Hilton Garden Inn Dubai Mall of The Emirates. Prices start from Dh305
When visiting Milan head to the Bohemian quarter, Navigli for vintage fashion with small, independent boutiques such as Pourquoi Moi, which sells pieces from the 1960s and 70s. If visiting Milan on the last Sunday of the month, there is a market in Navigli where hundreds of vintage stalls, antique dealers and artists line the banks of the river and the surrounding streets.
Stay at Hilton Milan - centrally located. Prices start from Dh474
Galeries Lafayette stands at the centre of Paris, holding 3,500 brands from affordable to luxury. Not only does the plaza ensure a spectacular shopping experience, Galeries Lafayette also serves as a channel for up-and-coming fashion and design. As an alternative to the big brand names, head south of the river to independent bookstore Shakespeare and Company to browse and read in the same location as Hemingway, Fitzgerald and countless other prolific authors of the 1920’s.
Stay at Hilton Paris Opera. Located moments from Galeries Lafayette. Prices start from Dh989 when booked direct at
The UK capital is a shopper’s paradise and my personal favourite city to shop in. The world-renowned Harrods department store is the most notable in London, known for its outstanding window displays. In the heart of the city you’ll also find Oxford Street, famous for its excess of high street shops. Scattered around other parts of the city are various retail havens including Hatton Garden, Westfield shopping centres in Shepherd’s Bush and Stratford and multiple markets such as Spitalfields and Borough Market, which specialise in everything from vintage clothing and flowers to antiques and world cuisine.
Stay at DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel London – West End . Just moments from Oxford Street. Prices start from Dh685
When it comes to shopping, Manchester has it all, with the famous Arndale centre housing more than 240 shops and department stores. However, for those who prefer a unique or vintage look, head to the Northern Quarter and the world famous Afflecks Palace, which provides affordable outlets for independent designers and traders across four floors. Just outside the city centre is Cheshire Oaks, an outlet village famed for its discounted designer wares, to which people travel from all over the country to snap up the best bargains.
Stay at Beetham Tower, Hilton Manchester Deansgate Prices start from Dh547
Top tips for making the best of a shopping weekend
-If shopping at a market, where possible try out your haggling skills and never pay the first price stated. In Dubai’s famous markets for example, it is normal to barter on the price of goods and knock them down by up to 50 per cent - so make sure the haggling skills are sharpened before travelling.
-Don’t just stick to the main shopping areas - explore the areas surrounding these large shopping districts for quirky cafes, independent shops and hidden gems off the beaten track. Berwick Street in Soho, for example, is just a stone’s throw from London’s Oxford Street and houses a street food market, vintage clothing shops and is close to popular neon art gallery, Lights of Soho.
-If in doubt about where is best to go, speak to the hotel concierge who will often have some local treasures up their sleeve to share and they can also help with directions and reservations.
-If shopping at a market, where possible try out your haggling skills and never pay the first price stated. In Dubai’s famous markets for example, it is normal to barter on the price of goods and knock them down by up to 50% - so make sure the haggling skills are sharpened before travelling.
-For a sneaky sale discount, try visiting your favourite store at the end of the day on Tuesday. While the "official" sales usually start on Wednesday mornings, most shops will mark down prices on Tuesday evening, meaning eager shoppers can get a head start on finding the best deals with a better selection.
-Some hotels offer personal services meaning that shopping can be done from the comfort of a hotel room. London Hilton on Park Lane will this summer partner with Lucy Choi, niece of legendary designer Jimmy Choo, to offer hotel guests exclusive VIP shopping experiences.