Dubai is also one of the best places, outside of Iran, to buy Persian carpets. Shopping carpets in Dubai a wide variety of carpets are available year round and the quality is judged by the type of dyes used, the number of knots, size as well as the family name of the makers of the carpet.
The worth of each carpet is judged by the amount of knots that it has per square inch but silk carpets are considered valuable than the rest. The carpets from Iran are generally prices higher than those from Kashmir and Turkey. Another point of differentiation is that carpets on which natural dyes were used are more desirable hence expensive as compared to the ones on which artificial dyes were used.
No visit to Arabia is complete without a trip to a carpet store. There are carpet outlets in most shopping centres but, for the essential flavour of the region, a trip to the carpet souq is a must. The best in the country is the Blue Souq in Sharjah, offering the widest range of carpets at the keenest prices, but most carpet souqs will carry an assortment of ancient and modern carpets. The finest carpets come from Iran – the traditional Persian carpets. Handmade from silk, an authentic carpet will bear the signature of its creator woven into the design. The designs are many, each individual and many specific to particular families or tribes.
Persian carpets are at the top of the price scale and many are so exquisite that putting them on the floor is practically unthinkable. There are many cheaper options, most just as hard wearing. India, Kashmir, Pakistan and to a lesser degree Afghanistan all produce high quality carpets. Many are copies of Persian designs but some are original. Most carpet traders are knowledgeable about their wares and will be happy to explain the difference between a machine made or handwoven carpet and describe in detail how carpets are made and from which villages they originate.
Check the knots per square inch, the higher the number the greater the quality; whether it is hand or machine made and whether natural or artificial dyes have been used. Do shop around, take your time, and remember to bargain.
If you are unable to choose the perfect carpet first time there is no need to worry. Most traders will buy carpets back or swap them for similar products. Traditionally carpets are intended to last a lifetime, indeed many on sale are far older.