What Gifts to Bring Back for Friends from Dubai?

What Gifts to Bring Back for Friends from Dubai?

Dubai is a city famous for its big buildings, fancy shopping places, and deep cultural history. It has many special and memorable things you can buy for your friends. Whether you want something fancy or traditional, Dubai has a lot to choose from. Dubai is a great place for people who love to shop and want to find the perfect gifts. In this guide, we're going to look at some of the best things you can buy that your friends will love and that will show them the special charm of Dubai.

1. Lanterns

Traditional Emirati houses often have lanterns decorated with glass and mirrors. These lanterns look beautiful and make rooms lively. A lot of skilled work goes into making these lanterns, making them good gifts. A special gift would be a lantern made from copper and tin, with detailed designs. It's good to choose one with little pieces of glass in the design. You can also pick a lantern that is shaped like an octagon and made of brass. These lanterns are decorated with many detailed designs and have metal and glass that create interesting shadows. You can either place the lanterns on a table or hang them up. Make sure they are packed well for safe transport. You can buy beautiful lanterns at F-Zone in Dragon Mart, Homes R Us, and Karama. The price of simple aluminum and glass lanterns starts at 30 Dirhams. Those made with expensive metals and detailed handwork can cost up to 500 Dirhams.

2. Aladdin Lamps

The story of Aladdin is linked to these metal lamps decorated with stones or designs. You can easily pack the smaller ones in your luggage as special gifts for friends or family. Karama Souk isn't a typical market, but if you take your time walking around, you'll find some of these decorated lamps. Another good place to look is the Al-karama market near the fish market in Bur Dubai. Here, you can practice bargaining. Expect to pay a few hundred Dirhams for a lamp that's either beautifully made or decorated with many stones or designs.

3. Kava Pots and Coffee Sets

Kava is a type of coffee that doesn't have acid and tastes amazing. In Dubai, people like to drink it strong and without milk. This coffee is very important in Arab culture, so it's often served in very special pots and cups. The pots for kava coffee are sometimes decorated with gold or silver, and the really fancy ones might have special carvings and precious stones. The cups are made of copper or silver and might also have some gold or silver on them. They are all served on trays that are made of thin silver or gold. In traditional Arab families, these coffee sets are very valued and can be passed down through generations. The cost of these sets can start from 100 Dirhams for a basic one, and go up to thousands for more detailed sets. You can find them in the souvenir shops in Dubai Mall or Mall of the Emirates.

4. Attar

A long time ago, there wasn't enough water, so women used strong-smelling oils to smell good. Even now, when you walk by Arab women, you can smell these strong and exotic scents. Attars are made by boiling flower petals in water with a little heat and pressure. They also add oils and spices, then mix this with mild sandalwood oil. They let it sit until the sandalwood oil soaks up the smell of the boiled flowers. These strong smelling oils come in sets with nice smells like white musk and rose. A place you should go is the Perfume Souk on Sikkat al-khail street. There, you'll see lots of bottles in different sizes and shapes, all full of the strong smell of pure attars. You can also find them in big stores like Al Falah Plazas, Geant hypermarket – The Gardens Mall Dubai, and Burjuman Center, Dubai. The price starts at about 50 Dirhams for a small bottle of 10ml of Attar.

5. Lucky Stones

Birthstones are usually set in simple gold, silver, or platinum rings or pendants to bring luck to the person wearing them. These gifts are great because they work well for both men and women. There are so many designs to choose from, so everyone can find something they like. If you want to give something special to an important woman in your life, consider getting a matching set that includes a ring, bracelet, necklace, and earrings. You can pick from different precious metals. Choose designs that are either very detailed or go for something more traditional. For men, rings with just one stone and straightforward designs are best. You can find a great selection at Pearlicious in Covent Garden or at the Gold & Diamond Park. Damas stores also have many options. The price depends on how big and what quality the stones are and what metal they are set in. Prices start at 120 Dirhams for a single stone and can go up to thousands for putting it into a metal setting.

6.Traditional Arab Shoes

Arab style shoes look like the ones Aladdin wears in stories. They are skinny and pointy at the toes. Men's shoes curl up at the tip. You can find these shoes in many colors. Men's shoes have special thread designs on them. Women's shoes are decorated with beads and small fabric balls. They can also have heels of different heights, so everyone can find a pair they like.

There are two types of traditional shoes: ones you can slip on and ones that cover your whole foot. Some have straps at the back for extra support. If you're in Dubai and can handle the daytime heat, check out the Cloth Souk for these shoes. Al-Karama and the Old Souk in Dubai also have great selections. Expect to pay between 50 to 100 Dirhams for a pair.

7. Hookahs

In Dubai and the Arab world, almost every home has a hookah. Some are just for show, while others are used for smoking in groups. The fancy ones, often very decorated and expensive, are usually displayed prominently in homes. A really special gift would be a hookah with a long flexible tube, a glass base decorated with 12 karat gold, and about 3 feet tall. For something easier to carry, there's a smaller version that's 20 inches tall. Some hookahs have two pipes for smoking. You can find beautiful hookahs for sale in Deira's covered markets, as well as at Dubai Duty Free, Carrefour, Karama, and Geant stores. Prices start at around 40 Dirhams and can go up to 200 Dirhams.

8. Jewel Chests

Beautiful carved and inlaid jewel chests made of sandalwood and enhanced with silver, brass and precious stones are very good gifts for people who like small, valuable items. In Dubai, the Gold Souks are a great place to shop for such special gifts. You can find jewelry boxes there made from different materials. Some are made from precious metals, and others from animal bone. These boxes often have detailed carvings showing desert scenes or the sea. You might see designs with the Burj al Arab on them. There are many types of jewelry boxes to choose from in Dubai. You can find them at the Dubai Gold Souq, BurJuman Shopping Center, Deere Shopping store, and other jewelry shops. The price depends on the size, the materials used, and the quality of the work. Small boxes usually cost between 250-700 Dirhams.

9. Khanjar

The Khanjar is a special knife that's part of the traditional dress for older men in the UAE. It's a curved knife, mostly made of wood now, but used to be made from rhino horns. It's worn over a long robe called a dishdasha and can be very fancy, with handles made of marble, silver, or sandalwood. The knife cover is often woven with silver thread, making it look very pretty. The more detailed the weave and the better the craftsmanship, the more the Khanjar is worth.

When shopping for a Khanjar, look for one with two rings to attach it to a belt. A real Khanjar should be heavy and have five rings, covered in silver, and be around 30 or 40 years old. You might not want to buy one, but you can enjoy looking at them for hours at the Mutrah Souq or the Yemen Pavilion at Global Village. Prices start at 100 Dirhams and can go up to a few thousand, depending on how much work is put into them.

10. Abayas

These are long, loose, black dresses that Muslim women wear over their normal clothes. They can also wear a niqab or veil that covers the face and hair, leaving only the eyes visible. In some Arab countries, abayas have become more fashionable, with some color and decorations, but they still keep a woman covered modestly. You can find fancy stitching on the veils, the main part of the dress, around the wrists, and at the bottom. Some even have fake stones to make them look nicer. If you want to buy an abaya, don't go to mall shops. Instead, go to Souk Naif in Deira and the streets around it. The shops selling Islamic wear in Dubai and Sharjah are also good places to look. You can find good quality abayas for about 100 to 300 Dirhams.


Visiting the markets and souks in the Middle East is like entering a place full of history, culture, and handmade crafts. If you're looking for the famous curved dagger (Khanjar) or the traditional cloak (Abaya), buying something is more than just shopping. It's about feeling a connection with the history and traditions behind these items. Remember, anything you buy isn't just a keepsake; it's a piece of cultural history, a story of careful craftsmanship handed down for generations.

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