It’s that time of year throughout the emirate. The sun is blazing, Ramadan is approaching and expats are headed to their home countries for summer vacation. Of course we can’t return empty-handed. This is our first time returning home to the U.S.A. since moving abroad so we wanted to return with a little piece of the UAE for all of our most important people. This can be a huge undertaking depending on how many you have to buy for. This weekend, we visited both Souks and found them to have nice things at rather high prices. On a mission to Hamdan Center for something unrelated, we found it to be the headquarters for affordable souvenirs. Now, Hamdan Center certainly does not have the allure of the mainstream malls but what it lacks in sophistication it more than makes up for on price and variety. Check out five of my favorite UAE souvenirs below…

Commemorative Bell. This little trinket is a silver bell with”Dubai” engraved on it. The hook at the top doubles as a bottle opener. There you have it; a common gift option with two functions for only 15 AED.

Shot Glass. Yes! Shot glasses are sold in the Emirate. There were several options to choose from. We chose the classic, blue-tinted glass with “Abu Dhabi” written on it, pictured below. It makes a nice addition to anyone’s collection and it’s nicely priced at 7 AED.

Compact Mirror. This item is ideal for any teen girl. It’s silver with a colorful native scene and “Dubai” displayed on the top. We scored this little gem for just 12 AED.

Persian Rug Mousepad. This is a personal favorite! It’s a mousepad that looks, and more importantly, feels as silky smooth as a genuine Persian rug. It’s a pretty and quite purposeful item for anyone who appreciates good quality. This was one of our more expensive purchases at 35 AED.

Traditional Ghutra an Iqal. Another personal favorite! This package includes a replica checkered Headcloth and ghutra for young boys. This is a great piece of local culture to help teach any youngster about Arabian wardrobe; even sweeter is its price. The package only costs 10 AED.

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