The Best Gift from Dubai

The Best Gift from Dubai

No trip is complete without gifts and souvenirs to take home to family and friends. That’s especially true when you travel to Dubai, the United Arab Emirates city known for its rich history and culture, ultra-modern architecture, and luxury shopping. So, what’s the best gift from Dubai?

What are the best gifts from Dubai?  No one gift is perfect for everyone.  Instead, you need to consider who is going to be receiving the present.  Here is our list for the people in your life:

  • For anyone: Camel’s milk chocolate
  • For friends: Arabica coffee and coffee pot
  • For parents and grandparents: Dubai dates
  • For a spouse or significant other: Arabic Attar
  • For coworkers and bosses: Dubai spices
  • For others: Gold jewelry, pashmina shawls, and lanterns

If you’ve traveled to Dubai and you’re ready to bring home a gift for someone special in your life, look no further. We’ve researched and broken down the best gift from Dubai for every type of person – from your grandparents to your bosses.  We will fill you in with information about what it is, why it’s the best, and where to find it.

The Best Gift from Dubai for All Your Family and Friends

If we were to choose one best gift from Dubai across the board, it would be nearly impossible. Dubai’s rich history and culture along with its top of the line modern amenities make it a place that has great gifts.

Don’t believe us yet? Just keep reading.

So, to make sure no one is left behind, and to make sure all your souvenir and gift-giving needs are met, let’s take a look at the best gift from Dubai for every type of person in your life.

The Best Gift from Dubai for Anyone: Camel Milk Chocolate

You can rarely go wrong with giving chocolate as a gift, and when it comes to Dubai’s very own camel milk chocolate, that’s especially true.

Camel milk chocolate is a homegrown delicacy from Dubai, and is only produced by one organization, called Al Nassma. It’s just what it sounds like: chocolate made with camel milk. Try getting that anywhere else!

Since Arab cuisine traditionally includes camel milk in various forms, it was only fitting that there should be camel milk chocolate.

Why It’s the Best Gift for Anyone

Not only is camel milk chocolate delicious and high quality, but Al Nassma is the only company in the world to make chocolate with camel milk. That’s right – camel milk chocolate is truly a one of a kind gift.

While camel milk chocolate used to be only exclusively found in Dubai, with the rise of the internet and the ease of exporting, it is now available in a few other countries in Europe and Asia. However, few people can say they got camel milk chocolate right from where it originated and where it’s made – in Dubai.

Al Nassma’s camel milk chocolate comes in five varieties and “flavors”: 70% cocoa, dates, whole milk, macadamia, and spiced. It gets even better: all the ingredients of every variety have no artificial colors or additives.

Camel milk chocolate even comes in the form of camel shaped chocolates, making for a fun and memorable gift for really anyone of any age, especially children.

Al Nassma’s camel milk chocolates cost anywhere from $12 USD to $45 USD, depending on the variety, quantity, and packaging.

Where to Find It

Thankfully for Dubai travelers and locals, camel milk chocolate can be found in quite a few different locations.

Camel milk chocolate can be found at any Al Nassma kiosk. Al Nassma kiosks can be found at:

  • The Dubai Mall
  • Burj Khalifa
  • Burj Al Arab
  • The Palm
  • Emirates Tower Hotel
  • Anantara Hotels & Resorts
  • Kempinski
  • Grand Hyatt
  • Bab al Shams Hotel
  • Duty-Free Shops

Camel milk chocolate can also be found at the Camelicious Farm, where visitors can learn about and see the process of camel milk chocolate being made from real camels! You may just choose to go through the full camel milk chocolate experience to bring home this chocolate as a souvenir.

The Best Gift from Dubai for Friends: Arabica Coffee and Coffee Pot

Even friends that aren’t huge coffee drinkers will enjoy the gift of Arabica coffee and an Arabic coffee pot. After all, it’s not every day that we get to drink coffee from Dubai made in a coffee pot from Dubai – while we’re at home!

Why It’s the Best Gift for Friends

The Arabic coffee drinking experience wouldn’t be entirely complete without a traditional Arabic coffee pot. These coffee pots are typically made of copper but may be painted to be different colors.

Arabic coffee pots, called “dallah,” can be for daily use (to drink that Arabica coffee, of course!), but some Arabic coffee pots are used just for decorative purposes.

So, if you’ve got friends that are coffee lovers, coffee appreciators, decor appreciators, all of the above, or even somewhere in between – Arabica coffee and an Arabic coffee pot are the perfect gift set.

Where to Find It

Arabica coffee and Arabic coffee pots can be found in quite a few places in Dubai, but one of the most fun places to find these gifts is the Dubai Coffee Museum.

Not only can patrons buy coffee and coffee-related gifts, but they can also learn about where coffee originated from, how coffee is cultivated and made, and participate in coffee taste testing!

Arabica coffee and Arabic coffee pots can also be found in many Dubai souks. Souks are a type of Arabic market that are traditionally open-air, and souks may be more traditional (selling gold, spices, and textiles) or on the contemporary side (selling crafts and experiences).

You may also be able to find Arabica coffee and Arabic coffee pots in major supermarkets throughout Dubai.

The Best Gift from Dubai for Parents and Grandparents: Dubai Dates

When you think of the best gifts out there, your mind might not immediately turn to dates. In fact, you may be thinking something along the lines of “how is dried fruit a great gift?”

We’ll explain, and we have a hunch that afterward, you might just be leaving Dubai with some in your suitcase.

Why It’s the Best Gift for Parents and Grandparents

Parents and grandparents are will likely appreciate any gift you get them from your travels. However, they’ll probably not just welcome, but covet dates from Dubai. Here’s why.

In the United Arab Emirates, there are more than 100 varieties of dates – a more extensive variety than anywhere else in the world. Furthermore, more than a fifth of the world’s dates are grown in the United Arab Emirates.

Unbeknownst to a lot of us, dates are also a big part of history. There’s evidence of date cultivation going back as far as 4,000 BC!

Dates are an integral part of Middle Eastern and Dubai culture. During Ramadan, dates are given as gifts and eaten at the end of a fast. Not only that, but food is the foundation of many celebrations in the Middle East, and culinary traditions are very revered. Dates are a big part of that.

When you give the gift of Dubai dates, you’re giving the gift of thousands of years of Middle Eastern history, tradition, and culture. You’re also offering a gift that’s not only tasty, but provides fiber, calcium, iron, and magnesium and other health benefits.

To learn more about Dubai dates and the history, tradition, and health benefits that come with them, you can visit Emirates Dates fact page here.

Where to Find It

If you’re looking for Dubai dates, one of the first places you want to turn to is a Bateel outlet. Bateel is known as the world’s foremost gourmet date grower, producer, and seller, and has been providing its expertise in the date industry since 1936.

Bateel sells seven different varieties of Dubai dates–Ajwa, Khidri, Kholas, Medjool, Segai, Sokari, and Wanan. Each variety of dates provides its own distinct history, texture, and taste.

When you’ve decided what dates you’d like to give as a gift, you can choose from one of Bateel’s many gift options; you can choose from several different box and tin options, as well as the number and assortment of dates.

Bateel outlets can be found at the following locations, among others:

  • Burjuman Centre
  • Dubai City Centre
  • Dubai Marina Mall
  • Old Town
  • Town Centre Jumeirah
  • Al Naeem Mall

Dubai dates can also be found at any food market or date souk, and many spice souks. For example, there’s a date market in Dubai Creek near Port Rashid near the gold souk.

Additionally, Dubai’s fruit and vegetable market can be found in Deira, next to the fish souk. For more information about that particular market, named the Waterfront Market, you can visit their website here.

The Best Gift from Dubai for a Spouse or Significant Other: Arabic Attars

Attar is the Arabic word for essential oils that are made from plant sources. While Arabic Attars are typically alcohol-free perfumes that are widely used by both men and women in Dubai, Attar scents can also be in the form of a powder, stick, or crystal, and even a rock or wood element.

Why It’s the Best Gift for a Spouse or Significant Other

Fragrance is a huge part of Arabic life, and Dubai is no exception. If you travel to Dubai without at least testing out some Arabic Attars, you’re missing out.

Arabic Attars are an excellent gift for spouses or significant others for a few reasons. One of those reasons is that you can make your own custom Attar. So, you can get your spouse or significant other a gift that not only smells amazing, but you have madeespecially for them.

Attars can be fully personalized and created for scent lovers based on their skin and personality, but if the person you’re buying the Attar for isn’t with you, you can still create a scent for them that’s unique.

The amazing aromas of Dubai don’t have to be purchased in only the form of perfume, either; you can buy a unique and evocative scent in the form of essential oils, incense sticks, powders, crystals, woods, and the traditional oud.

Another awesome thing about Arabic Attars, especially the traditional perfume oil, is that they don’t contain any alcohol, and they’re known to last much longer than synthetic perfumes and scents.

Curious about what scents to buy before you’re able to smell them yourself? VisitDubai has a guide to Arabian-style perfumes here.

Where to Find It

The best place to find Arabic Attars and all things scented is at the Perfume Souk. One of the most popular is located in Deira, on Sikkat al Khali Street.

In the Perfume Souk, you can find everything from bulk oils to incense sticks to (of course) perfume oils in just about every scent imaginable.

Arabic Attars can also be found in perfume shops in Dubai malls and at the airport.

The Best Gift from Dubai for Coworkers and Bosses: Dubai Spices

It can be tough to decide what souvenirs and gifts to bring back for your coworkers and bosses, but you can’t go wrong with bringing them the authentic flavor of Dubai with some traditional Dubai spices.

Why It’s the Best Gift for Coworkers and Bosses

Dubai spices are a fantastic gift for coworkers and bosses, and the process of getting them could be considered a gift to yourself.

The best place to find Dubai spices is the world-famous Spice Souk, a market with a wide variety of popular spices, as well as rare spices that can’t even be found anywhere else in the city or the United Arab Emirates.

Dubai’s Spice Souk is historic, with alleyways full of spice vendors that will pique anyone’s sense of adventure.

Not only will you get to find gifts for your coworkers and bosses at the Spice Souk, but you’ll get to wander through and discover a piece of history and tradition you won’t find anywhere else. You’ll undoubtedly learn a lot, too!

The gift of Dubai spices will allow your coworkers and bosses to make their meals flavorful and experience some of the many tastes of Dubai while enjoying part of a culture in which food is so integral.

Dubai spices are relatively inexpensive, too; you can get just about any kind of spice for $3 USD to $7 USD a pack, and sometimes even less.

Where to Find It

Dubai spices can be found in abundance throughout Dubai, but undoubtedly the best place to find them is at the Dubai Spice Souk, where you’ll get to browse various stalls and chat with vendors.

It’s essential to keep in mind that a lot of spices bear their unique smells, and some of those may be pungent. Make sure to be aware of and buy spices that can easily be transported in your luggage back home, and that won’t make your luggage smell too much.

The Best Gift from Dubai for Others: Honorable Mentions

Dubai has many more gifts than just the ones we’ve discussed; it has something to offer for everyone. If you’ve browsed through this list and haven’t yet seen a gift that particularly calls to you, you’re in luck: we’ve got some honorable mentions to discuss.

Gold Jewelry

In most places, gold jewelry is an expensive gift that a lot of people can’t afford to buy for all their friends and family. In Dubai, that might not be the case.

Dubai is one of the largest markets for gold trading in the world and has some of the best prices for gold anywhere.

Because of that, you’ll find beautiful gold jewelry in a wide array of varieties you likely won’t find anywhere else – at prices you likely won’t find anywhere else.

Much of Dubai’s gold jewelry can be found at the Gold Souk, which is one of the oldest traditional markets in the United Arab Emirates.

The Dubai government also regulates merchandise found at the Gold Souk, so you know any piece you find will be assuredly authentic and of good quality.

Pashmina Shawls

If you’ve got some special women in your life, they’ll likely really enjoy wrapping up in their very own authentic pashmina shawls. These traditional shawls are made of cashmere, which is produced from goats in South Asia.  The shawls have a very soft and smooth texture.

Pashmina shawls are a special and unique gift for women, as they come in a vast variety of different colors and prints. Pashmina shawls are just as unique as each woman that wears them.

While real pashmina shawls can be expensive, at usually about $70 USD per shawl, you can also buy silk or viscose versions of pashmina shawls that cost around $8 USD per shawl.

Pashmina shawls can be found at Dubai’s Textile Souk, where you’ll see fabrics, patterns, and silks from all around the world. They can also be found at The Pashmina House in Dubai.

Lanterns and Lamps

The beautiful lanterns and lamps of Dubai will have you feeling like you just stepped into the Disney film Aladdin.

Featuring intricately carved designs and colorful patterns, lanterns, and lamps from Dubai are a great gift for any decor or light lover in your life.

Lanterns and lamps can be found in great abundance at the Karama Market in Dubai, where you also find a lively atmosphere, great deals, and a lot of clothing, handbags, and other accessories (you may be able to find some of your other gifts there, too).

Since lanterns and lamps can be large and delicate, they may be a little more difficult to transport home safely and without damage.

However, if you try your best to pack and transport lanterns and lamps from Dubai safely, it’ll be well worth it when they make it home!

Tips for Bringing Gifts Back from Dubai

When traveling back home from another country, you’ll typically always be handed a Customs declaration form on the airplane.

Customs declaration forms list all the details of any goods that are being imported or exported upon entering a customs territory, or a country’s borders. Travelers have to declare items they’re bringing back from their destination, and they may also have to pay customs duty taxes on those items.

So, what do you need to know about bringing back gifts from Dubai? What should you declare on your Customs declaration form? Here are some tips.

Keep Receipts or a Ledger of Everything You Purchased

When traveling back home, you’ll have to declare every item you didn’t originally have with you when you left on your Customs declaration form. That means you’ll have to declare all those amazing gifts you bought for friends and family.

On your Customs declaration form, you’ll be asked how much you paid for each item, and sometimes you’ll even need to include how much tax you spent on each item. 

What’s a simple tip to fill your Customs declaration form quickly, easily, and accurately? Keep receipts of everything you purchased, or if receipts aren’t available, keep a ledger of everything you bought.

That way, when you’re ready to fill out your Customs declaration form, you know exactly what you purchased, how much you paid for it, and if you paid any taxes – without any guesswork.

Duty-Free Isn’t Always Duty-Free Everywhere

Throughout your travels, you’ve likely seen “Duty-Free” Shops, or “DuFry” shops. Duty-free shops are shops in which you don’t have to pay duties or taxes on any of the items you purchase.

However, it’s important to note that duty-free isn’t duty-free everywhere. In fact, items sold in duty-free shops are only duty-free in the country you bought them.

So, when it comes to your Customs declaration form, you will also need to write down and claim any duty-free items you purchased, even though they are regarded as “duty-free.”

Although those items are duty-free in the country you bought them, that doesn’t mean you’re completely exempt from paying duties and taxes on them wherever you’re going home to. 

Duty-Free Exemptions

There are some exemptions to duty-free items, and cases where duty-free items don’t need to have duties or taxes paid on them.

For example, in the United States, travelers are (in most cases) permitted to bring up to $800 USD worth of merchandise into the states without having to pay duties or taxes on top.

In Dubai, travelers are (in most cases) permitted to bring up to 3,000 AED worth of gift items into Dubai without having to pay duties or taxes on top.

It’s essential to be aware of your country’s duty-free laws and exemptions whenever you travel – you know you’ll end up wanting to bring back some souvenirs and gifts!

Some Items May be Restricted

Some items may be restricted from being brought back into a country with travelers, especially when it comes to the United States.

In the U.S., a lot of items are restricted and are only permitted to be brought back into the country under special circumstances.

Some of these items include:

  • Absinthe (Alcohol)
  • Specific amounts of alcoholic beverages
  • Pets
  • Certain plants
  • Certain seeds
  • Meat products
  • Ceramic tableware containing lead
  • Rice

For a full list of prohibited and restricted items for the United States, you can view this page from U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

Knowing about prohibited and restricted items can help you avoid purchasing gifts that are prohibited or restricted; you wouldn’t want to have to forfeit them.

Keep All Purchased Items Together and Easily Accessible

Another tip for getting your gifts and souvenirs through Customs easily and quickly is to keep all your purchased items together and in an easily accessible place.

That way, if you are chosen for inspection for whatever reason, you can find your items quickly and easily.

It can be nerve-wracking to sift through your luggage to try and find your individual purchased items when you’re chosen for inspection. Keep all your purchased items together for quick access and to save time.

Final Thoughts

Dubai is a city built upon rich history and culture, and when it comes to gifts, Dubai truly has something to offer for anyone.

If you’re planning on traveling to Dubai and need gift ideas for all the special people in your life, remember to consider the best gifts for each type of person:

  • For anyone: Camel’s milk chocolate
  • For friends: Arabica coffee and coffee pot
  • For parents and grandparents: Dubai dates
  • For a spouse or significant other: Arabic Attar
  • For coworkers and bosses: Dubai spices
  • For others: Gold jewelry, pashminas, and lanterns

Finding gifts for your friends and family in Dubai is a gift in itself: you’ll get to experience Dubai culture, tradition, and history first hand in places like the Camelicious Farm, the Dubai Coffee Museum, food markets, spice souks, textile souks, perfume souks, and even more.

No matter what gifts you choose for your loved ones, you’ll know that the gifts you bring back from Dubai will be appreciated.

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