Bargaining is common practice in the souks and certain shopping areas of the UAE; you’ll need to give it a go to get the best prices. Here's some advice to help you:

  1. Before you take the plunge, try to get an idea of prices from a few shops, as there can often be a significant difference.
  2. Once you’ve decided how much to spend, offer an initial bid that is roughly around half that price. Stay laidback and vaguely uninterested.
  3. When your initial offer is rejected (and it will be), keep going until you reach an agreement or until you have reached your limit.
  4. If the price isn’t right, say so and walk out – the vendor will often follow and suggest a compromise price.
  5. The more you buy, the better the discount. When the price is agreed, it is considered bad form to back out of the sale.
Bargaining isn’t commonly accepted in malls and independent shops. However, some shops such as jewellery stores and smaller electronics stores do operate a set discount system so you never know: ask whether there is a discount on the marked price and you may bag a bargain.

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