From the ginormous malls of Dubai and USA to the best duty-free shopping at some of the largest airports in the world, we give you a definitive guide to the most frenzying shopping experiences around the globe. By Ishani Singh

WHERE TO SHOP DESTINATIONS

Innumerable designer and high-street brands, huge discounts, dining options, and entertainment galore define these shoppers’ delights.

MACY’S INC, USA

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One of USA’s top-ranking retailers, Macy’s plays host to a myriad stores, events, interesting experiences, lavish restaurants, special savings opportunities and visitor services. With over 870 stores, Macy’s has outlets in 43 states and has three widely recognised retail brands—Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s, and Bluemercury—besides its online portals. Find the latest fashion trends at Bloomingdale’s, enjoy a glass of wine at The Wine Bar, or grab your favourite dessert at Boudin Sourdough Bakery & Café. Adding to its customer-friendly approach are the live music in several stores, surprise treats for customers to relish, sketches and chronicles that serve as an inspiration.

MALL OF AMERICA, USA

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Located in the suburbs of Minnesota, this 25-year-old destination is a hotspot for shopping, adventure, entertainment and dining. The largest mall in USA, it is home to over 520 stores and 60 restaurants and accommodates a seven-acre indoor theme park along with a 300-foot-long aquarium. Nickelodeon Universe features roller coasters, a tower-drop-ride in the centre of the park and numerous other rides and attractions. Visitors can catch sight of exotic marine life at Sea Life Minnesota Aquarium, which has over 4,500 sea creatures and offers scuba diving and snorkelling. Family attractions also include the Crayola Experience and FlyOver America. From tax-free high-end brands to well-known stores like Macy’s, Nordstrom, Swarovski, Vera Bradly and Michael Kors, food options like Cedar + Stone and Cantina Laredo and Rick Bronson’s House of Comedy for guaranteed laughs, the mall is an absolute treat for a weekend outing.

HARRODS, UK

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Offering a wide range that includes luxury apparel, stuffed toys, homeware, shoes, souvenirs, beauty products, gourmet grocery and gifts, Harrods is a booming shopping destination in Knightsbridge, London. For over 160 years, the brand has been committed to presenting premium food, fashion and technology. Here, the luxury womenswear department, Superbrands, has 17 boutiques featuring brands like Valentino, Prada and Dior; Salon du Parfums houses some of the best designer fragrances; the fine jewellery department has popular labels such as Tiffany and Cartier; and there are 27 restaurants, including Chai Wu, The Brompton Deli and The Georgian. There’s also a Gift Concierge for gifting options and the Urban Retreat Spa, which offers rejuvenating hair and body treatments.

THE DUBAI MALL, UAE

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Home to the Dubai Shopping Festival, this mall redefines grandeur with more than 200 luxury brands and an array of lavish entertainment and dining options. It is rightfully the world’s second largest mall with its 250-room luxury hotel, 22 cinema screens and over 120 restaurants and cafes. Apart from being the most visited shopping and leisure destination, it is also home to the world’s largest aquarium and OLED screen. It is the perfect romping ground for shopaholics with over 1,300 retail outlets, including Galeries Lafayette and Bloomingdale’s and over 200 food and beverage outlets!

ICONSIAM BANGKOK, THAILAND

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This high-end shopping mall is an all-in-one retail destination that offers an abundance of shopping, leisure and dining options at impressive prices. With 500 shops and 100 restaurants from more than 30 countries, it is a shopper’s paradise in the Thai capital. The mall features an indoor floating market, an art gallery, and an exhibition space, all in a beautiful riverside location with beautiful views of Bangkok. Brands such as H&M and Uniqlo and luxe labels like Dior and Louis Vuitton dominate the first three levels of the mall. Visitors can enjoy a quick snack or a gourmet meal at the wide range of restaurants that serve everything from Thai favourites to appetising desserts.

DE BIJENKORF, AMSTERDAM

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With its flagship store in Dam Square, de Bijenkorf is a chain of deluxe department stores in the Netherlands. In 1870, it opened its doors as a small shop in one of Amsterdam’s oldest streets and has now expanded to seven stores nationwide. The brand presents a variety of options, including designer labels such as Marc Jacobs, Missoni and Diane von Furstenberg, luxury accessories, cosmetics, dinnerware, souvenirs, beverages, desserts and gifts. Plus, the online segment offers great discounts through the year.

LA VALLÉE VILLAGE, PARIS

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Since its grand opening in 2000, La Vallée Village has been catering to the fashion needs of the high-end shopper. The retail destination, located five minutes from Disneyland, evokes the rural splendour of the Ile-de-France region with its wayfared streets and overlapping buildings. It is a hub of over 110 boutiques and a gallery of international labels such as Gucci, Valentino, Prada, Jimmy Choo, Givenchy and many more. It also features a gallery that exhibits fashion-related art. The village operates a regular shuttle service to and from the Disney hotels and its direct Shopping Express Coach runs daily from central Paris, only 40 minutes away.

ISETAN THE JAPAN STORE

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A chronicler of authentic Japanese culture, ISETAN is based in Tokyo and has branches spread across Japan and Southeast Asia. The department store has garnered the attention of fashionistas all over the world with its wide range of Japanese brands such as Tela, Anna Quan and alice McCALL, along with dining options like Nayuta Chocolatasia and Yakitori Robata-Yaki Touan. You can also shop for exquisite handmade watches here at Hanamokko and experience head-to-toe beauty treatments at the salon, UKA x 76STYLE—everything with a blend of Japanese refinement.

TAX FREE TEXAS, USA

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The city’s largest sales tax refund service, Tax Free Texas offers Texas’s sales tax refund on over 6,000 world-class partner brands such as Gucci, Harry Winston, Jimmy Choo, Louis Vuitton, Macy’s, Michael Kors and many more. It has 17 refund stores at which customers can receive instant cash refunds in lieu of their purchases by presenting their passports and purchase receipts, along with the unused item purchased within 30 days of departure from Texas. Customers can also register online for a quick and easy processing of their items.

THE MALL FIRENZE, ITALY

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A luxury outlet, The Mall Firenze offers products from the world’s best designers at discounted prices. Situated in the paradisal Tuscan countryside, it has luxury labels such as Armani, Fendi, Gucci, Jimmy Choo, Tod’s and Versace at incredible prices, housed in an elegant architectural space. Shoppers can find bags, clothes and accessories at Prada, which has a separate store near the shopping centre. To reach The Mall, visitors can take the shuttle service that departs every 30 minutes from the Santa Maria Novella railway station in Florence.

OUTLETCITY METZINGEN

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Award-winning architecture and a wide range of brands, restaurants and leisure activities come together at OUTLETCITY METZINGEN, Europe‘s best ranked outlet, to provide an unmatched shopping experience. Located in southwest Germany in the small town of Metzingen, hometown of Hugo Boss, the shopping destination offers a large number of luxury designer and lifestyle brands in flagship outlet stores at attractive prices. In fact, here, international brands such as Prada, Bottega Veneta, Dolce & Gabbana, Gucci, Tory Burch, Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger offer a great product selection with up to 70 per cent off throughout the year!

In addition to premium brands, there are numerous tempting leisure activities for the family. It is not only lower-priced designer fashion that makes OUTLETCITY METZINGEN appealing. With fun and games at the Kids Camp, OUTLETCITY METZINGEN’s childcare makes sure even the little ones find everything their hearts desire.

New in: The expansion of OUTLETCITY METZINGEN is in full swing. The first phase of the extensive project was finalised in April. Thirteen renowned brands including Versace, Philipp Plein, Karl Lagerfeld, Breitling, Patricia Pepe and many more, opened flagship outlet stores.

The second phase will be finalised in the beginning of October with another 13 stores, including the world’s largest Hugo Boss flagship outlet store, opening. In total, OUTLETCITY METZINGEN will welcome and pamper their guests on 650,000 square feet with a one of a kind shopping and service experience.

WHERE TO SHOP DUTY FREE

Getting stuck at airports between flights is no longer a pain, thanks to these tax-free shopping paradises.

DUBAI DUTY FREE

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The Dubai Duty Free company offers duty-free operations at the Dubai International Airport and Al Maktoum International Airport. The retail giant has grown to become one of the largest travel retail operators in the world since it opened

in December 1983. It offers goods such as cigarettes, cosmetics, handbags, leather goods, and liquor, that are free of import duties and sales taxes. The shopping experience has bagged over 650 awards including the Frontier Award for ‘Airport Retailer of the Year’. Travellers can also buy unlimited ‘Win this Luxury Car’ tickets for the Dubai duty-free Finest Surprise Car raffle at the cost of Dh500 each to stand a chance to win a Porsche or Bentley.

ISTANBUL AIRPORT DUTY FREE

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Opened in 2000, the Atü Duty Free at Istanbul Atatürk Airport provides a diversity of products from international brands and luxurious labels. Travellers can purchase perfumes, cosmetics, eatables, alcohol, cigarettes and confectionary products at this duty-free location. It also features Turkish speciality concept stores, the Old Bazaar, where passengers shop for local products such as lokum, baklava, dried nuts, textiles and souvenirs. The second phase of the development of the duty free will see brands such as Bottega Veneta, Bulgari, Celine, Emporio Armani and Fendi.

DELHI DUTY FREE

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Terminal 3 of the Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport houses Delhi Duty Free. Launched in 2010, it is India’s largest retail space with over 1,000 brands offering 43,000 products at tax-free rates. Travellers can shop for an array of items like apparel, liquor, travel accessories, electronics, beauty and wellness products, fashion and luxury accessories, souvenirs and other convenience items. It also offers special pack sizes that are not available in the regular marketplace for certain brands. You can also purchase gift cards and avail attractive discounts later while you’re shopping at the stores. Besides, customer feedback and refund management are provided by retailers to enhance service standards.

MUMBAI DUTY FREE

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Designed for international travellers and committed to their preferences, this retailer at Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport is the one-stop-shop to take advantage of tax-free shopping. It caters to varying customer profiles and economic criteria with outlets of international labels offering a wide assortment of imported cigarettes, cigars, confectionary items available in various packaging options, traditional and classic gift products, cosmetics and fragrance brands like Bulgari, Chanel, Dior and Hugo Boss, along with duty-free savings on a selection of over a 100 liquor brands. Travellers can also visit Akashi or MyEast, which present exquisite Indian fabrics, handcrafted pashmina scarves and traditional jewellery.

CHANGI AIRPORT DUTY FREE, SINGAPORE

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Present your ticket and purchase a wide range of items from the duty free section at Changi Airport. Travellers can choose from international brands from over 350 retail stores offering a diverse mix of duty-free items. There is a wide selection of the world’s most premium liquor available at DFS Wines and Spirits, with popular names like Johnny Walker Red Label Scotch, Hennessy XO Grande Champagne and Camus L’Elegant on the list. THE SHILLA Duty Free is famous for Asia Pacific’s largest range of cosmetics, perfumes and skincare products with over 140 international brands like Chanel, Dior and La Praire to choose from and their in-house spa treatments to give a refreshing touch to your journey ahead. You can also shop online for duty free items.

DFS

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The world’s leading luxury retailer, Duty Free Shopping is the source of the finest fashion accessories, watches and jewellery, food, gift items, wine, spirits and more. It offers tax-free shopping at leading international airports and downtown shopping destinations with over 700 designer brands like Givenchy, Fendi, Rado, and Burberry through 420 boutiques spread across four continents. DFS also has 20 downtown T Galleria locations, as well as affiliate and resort locations and caters to over 160 million travellers annually. Visitors can avail loyalty points, exclusive promotions and return or exchange their products even via email. They can also order products online and collect them from the store before they board their flight.

KUALA LUMPUR DUTY FREE

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Located at Kuala Lumpur International Airport, this duty-free retailer offers loads of goodies that are exempt from import, sales or excise duties by Malaysia’s customs department, making shopping here the cheapest in Southeast Asia. While waiting for their flights, travellers can shop from a wide selection of tobacco products, chocolates, alcohol, cosmetics, cameras, watches, beauty products, luggage, wine and confectionary at attractive prices from brands like Kiehl’s, M.A.C., Bobbi Brown, Shu Uemura, Benefit and La Prairie.

ABU DHABI DUTY FREE

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Set up in 1984, Abu Dhabi Duty Free manages the retail, food and beverage and service operations within Abu Dhabi Airports, serving millions of travellers who arrive, depart or transit through the airport annually. It offers a selection of best-selling cosmetics, skincare products, confectionary goods, perfumes, gold jewellery and items from the middle eastern markets at incredibly low prices. Travellers can find an array of luxury boutiques and top-rated brands and enjoy a fulfilling shopping experience. They can also participate in the ‘Spin and Win’ promotion that offers prizes such as Duty Free vouchers or airline tickets to international destinations.

HEATHROW DUTY FREE, UK

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World Duty Free at London’s Heathrow Airport offers the ultimate airport shopping experience. It features over 17,000 products ranging from a premium collection of cosmetics, confectionery, fragrances, fashion accessories, souvenirs, skincare products, food, toys, spirits and sunglasses to quality cigars and cigarettes. Featured brands include world-class brands like Tiffany and Co., Cartier, Swarovski and Gucci, among others. Travellers can also avail the reserve and collect option at stores and pick up their preferred products before boarding their flight.

Related: The T+L India International Shopping Guide 2018. Click to Download