Shopping in the desert – what a novel concept. Yet it’s been a tradition in Arabian nations, where a ring of caravans assemble outside the city proper, offering up spices, silks, jewellery, household wares and foodstuffs. Nowadays, “souqs” as these market places are known, resemble the modern-day mall, with A/C, Starbucks outlets and quality designer shopping for the discerning fashionista. After a day of refreshing retail therapy, check into any one of superb Abu Dhabi hotels offering a five-star hospitality experience. Of the luxury hotels Abu Dhabi offers, the Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort by Anantara is an excellent choice with stylish interiors and luxury amenities designed to cater to business and leisure travellers alike. Check out the Souq Al Quaryat Al Beri, for retails offerings from souvenirs and chocolates to a pair of designer sunglasses or some chic new earrings. This modern Souq mall also features a fine range of al fresco dining for a bite between browsing. The Souq Al Bawadi and Souq Al Qaws are attached to the impressive Bawadi Mall in the city of Al Ain that opened in 2009. Souq Al Bawadi emphasises the fine desert heritage of Abu Dhabi, and features more than 50 shops selling a range of fascinating traditional items. Souq Al Qawa features your more modern retail fare, with clothing, accessory items and a fine array of restaurants to tide you over in between flashing the plastic. Abu Dhabi is indeed a premium location for quality shopping, so make sure your bank balances can handle the temptation to splurge!

Angela Fernando is an impassioned travel writer who composes pieces under the pen name Sumaira Narayan. She loves writing about new and exciting places around the world and intends to visit them all someday.