Courtesy Peter Gronemann

The Middle East has a huge market for luxury goods, and Dubai is the center of the region’s conspicuous consumption. For Dubai’s residents, there’s no need to travel to Europe or the U.S. to shop for anything, from Louis Vuitton to H&M –they’re all here, in Dubai’s many megamalls. Plus, merchandise is tax-free in the UAE. Although there are deals to be found, visitors coming specifically to shop should consider traveling here during two specific times per year: the “Dubai Shopping Festival,” a month-long event starting in January, and “Dubai Summer Surprises,” held every summer. During these periods, stores have big sales and malls stage giveaways and promotions to attract crowds. Whereas Americans tend to think of malls as hangouts for teenagers, in Dubai they are major sources of entertainment for all ages.

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