Dubai is known as the “Shopping Capital of the Middle East.” Shoppers come from all over the world. The shopping districts in Dubai are known as Souks, which is the Arabic word for market or a place where goods are bought or exchanged. Bargaining is the accepted method of doing business in the souks that are adjacent to the docks or located on either side of the creek. Goods from China, Sir Lanka and other areas of the Far East fill the tables and stands. Friendly merchants pedal their wares in traditional fashion. Shopping malls and boutiques can also be a shopper’s paradise; even the Duty Free at the Dubai Airport offers merchandise that caters to all cultures. All merchants consider negotiating the accepted way of doing business. A shopping festival is held during the month of January every year. The entire city becomes one big shopping mall that’s filled with music, folk dances and art exhibitions.
Sightseeing is a distant second in Dubai, but there are a few points of interest. The old culture of the city is still present around the creek area which splits Dubai into two sections: Bur Dubai and Deira. The Bur Dubai side still has the flavor of old Dubai. There is a diving village which offers exhibits on diving and fishing and the plans are to turn that area into a cultural city that recreates how life was lived in past centuries. Other attractions include, Al Fahidi Fort, Sheikh Saeed Al Maktoum House and the Dubai Museum, which is in the restored 1799 Al Fahidi Fort. Heritage Village is located 115 kilometers southeast of the city in the Hatta Mountains. The village, which consists of 30 different size buildings is 3000 years old, but has been renovated in order to preserve its beauty. The 200 year old Sharia Mosque is another place of interest. It has a large prayer hall, a courtyard and other utility rooms.