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Shopping in Abu Dhabi is concentrated in the malls where one can find all major big fashion names. The biggest malls are Abu Dhabi Mall (which is linked to Beach Rotana Hotel and Towers), Marina Mall, Al Wahda Mall, Khalidya Mall, Mushrif Mall and Lulu Hypermarket near Madinat Zayed Shopping Center.
All sales people are pretty good at speaking English. As far as prices are concerned, they are a bit more expensive that continental Europe but cheaper as compared to London or Moscow. Of course, Malls are used mainly by foreigners of all nationalities as well as by the emiratis (UAE nationals).
There are other shopping centres which contain a lot of shops, where it is possible to buy clothing, perfumes, watches and fabrics. These include the Hamdan Centre (on Hamdan Street next to the Novotel Hotel) and Madinat Zayed shopping centre (on Muroor Road near the Central Post Office).
The many gold shops in the Gold Centre (next to Madinat Zayed Shopping Centre) are worth a look even if you don't think you are interested in buying gold.
The once-famous tourist attraction - the Central Abu Dhabi Market - no longer exists. It is currently a building site destined to be more sky scrapers. So if you want to go shopping at a market, rather than a modern mall, you may be disappointed. To get close to recreating the old Market feel, visit a) the shops in the high-rise buildings opposite Abu Dhabi Mall which also have 2) the small shops behind Foutouh Al Khair (the small mall containing Marks and Spencer) or 3) the area opposite the Millenium Hotel (between Hamdan and Khalifa Street).
You may enjoy the "Date Souk", a shop beside the fruit and vegetable wholesale market. It is full of the most delectable dates and sweets, packaged in gift boxes and perfect for souvenirs. They give many free samples with pleasure. The shop is just adjacent to the port, but not well signed, otherwise cruise passengers would have been lining up to get in!
Also visit the women's craft display in the Cultural Foundation. Here it is possible to meet and speak with the women and take their pictures. You can also purchase crafts at reasonable prices. Admission to the Cultural Foundation is free.
As you are shopping, you will find that Abu Dhabi is a lovely city to walk about in the winter, especially along the Corniche, which is a waterfront promenade with parks.