select - shopping

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Those who claim the world’s shopping scene is becoming increasingly similar wherever you go obviously haven’t been anywhere. From air-conditioned malls to stalls in lively souks, from piled-high Chinese emporiums to elegant antique stores, the world of shopping is still an amazing and extraordinarily diverse place.



Singapore

Singapore and shopping go together like, well, impulse buying and credit card bills. Orchard Road is the broad, tree-lined epicentre of big-name fashion brands and mega-malls. Only recently opened is ION Orchard, with 355 shops over eight floors covering the spectrum of fashion, food, and lifestyle. But if you want good prices and are willing 
to sacrifice ambience and the near-essential air-conditioning, head to the thriving department stores such as People’s Park, Chinatown Point, and Chinatown Plaza in Chinatown: a great source of Chinese products, as well as electrical goods, textiles, clothes, cosmetics, and luggage. In Chinatown Point’s Singapore Handicrafts Centre you’ll find a colourful array of pottery, jewellery, Chinese lacquerware, wooden masks, and other handicrafts from southeast Asia.

WHY
The Singapore dollar is at record lows, making for better bargains than ever.

WHERE
Orchard Road runs for miles; malls are concentrated between its intersections with Killiney and Scotts Roads.

HOW TO GET THERE
Qatar Airways has daily flights to Singapore.
 

 



Casablanca

Upmarket boutique shopping can be found at Centre 2000 near the port or around Place des Nations-Unies. But a visit to a local souk is much more the Moroccan experience: here you can find handicrafts, copper- and metal-work, leather goods, and superb carpets. And for window-shopping with a difference, the Central Market has a kaleidoscope of spices, fresh produce, and cut flowers.

WHY
Shopping the traditional way, where you can see the goods being made in front of you.

WHERE
The old medina is crammed with souks, especially around Bab el Jedid, Tahar el-Alaoui, and the Great Mosque.

HOW TO GET THERE
Qatar Airways has daily flights to Casablanca.
 

 



London

Go to Oxford Street if you want to wear out your shopping shoes. Britain’s big-name department stores such as Marks & Spencer, Selfridges, and BHS are all here. But London is also the European centre for antiques and contemporary art. Elegant Burlington Arcade off Piccadilly Circus (an antique itself, with wrought-iron fittings and a glass roof), Regent Street, and Old Bond Street yield quality pieces. If you prefer the unpredictable, head early to Friday’s Bermondsey Market, one of London’s best and biggest antique markets, frequented by New York dealers and local grannies alike. At Portobello Market you’ll find more antiques and paintings. When you tire of old things, plunder the flea market and vegetable stalls, or collapse in a cafй for refreshment, which you’ll need after negotiating more than a mile of street stalls.

WHY
London is Europe’s prime source of contemporary art, and there’s nowhere better in the world for antiques.

WHERE
Chelsea and Kensington are two areas crammed with antique and fashion boutiques.

HOW TO GET THERE
Qatar Airways has four flights a day to London Heathrow and daily flights to London Gatwick.

 
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