Hello, my name is Audra and I'm a shopaholic.
I know I'm not alone. I know that you also wake up at 5am on
Boxing Day and wait in line for those
beautiful black patent pointed toe pumps that you have been
eyeing all season. You know who you are. And if you are
worried that the Middle East will not offer the same
shopping experiences as your North American home, think
In Riyadh, you can't miss the Failsalyiah centre, especially
as it is over 267 meters (876 feet) high. Inside, the ground
floor is reserved for shopping and offers 150 stores
carrying both international and local branded products.
Here, you can even find Harvey Nicols, UK's famous luxury
lifestyle store. Personally, I had my eye on the Chloe blue
Paddington bag. Or there is the Kingdom Centre mall, with one of its floors reserved for women only.
If malls aren't your style (or even if they are) the souks
offer a form of shopping that you can't find walking down
the streets of Toronto or New York. Try your hand at
bartering while you shop for Pashmina scarves, abayas,
fabrics, and carpets. As you browse the shops, you will be
surrounded by the intoxicating smell of spices and coffee,
while truly immersing yourself in the Middle Eastern
culture. Souks are easily accessible in every city and are
often specific to one product such as gold, spices or
fabrics. Some are so large that hired men with wheelbarrows follow the local
women to collect and carry their purchases. I wonder if
Macy's would ever offer a similar service for their fall
Spend your day at Abu Dhabi's Dalma Mall,
Abu Dhabi Mall, or Marina Mall. Or head down the road to Dubai to visit the Mall of the Emirates or
Dubai Mall, and spend a day or two. (You may even wish to purchase some skis and try out "Ski Dubai" the desert's only indoor ski hill.)
Whatever your addiction, be it handbags, chandeliers,
jewelry or food, you will find it at your new Middle Eastern
location. Warning: withdrawal symptoms may result upon your
return to North America.