Dubai Shopping Guide

20.11.14


I was is Dubai this May and I've put off writing this post for the longest time ever, but of course the destinations don't change. There are hundreds of places to get your fashion fix from Dubai, because the city is brimming with malls and well dressed folks and designer labels. But since this is a personal blog and not a magazine, I decided to share my top 5 places to shop. During my stay there, I visited all these places (and more) but these are the ones that I decided had to be on this list, and of course I made sure they would cater to a designer label junkie as well as a bargain hunter.


DRAGON MART

This rainbow 'shoeporn' edition image (as I like to call it) was a favourite on Instagram and sparked a lot of conversations that I even shamelessly posted it twice. But it was while I was knee deep in an aisle full of shoes, trying to get the perfect angle to upload an amazing picture I thought to myself, I need to make my own shopping guide for this city! So of course I had to include Dragon Mart in my list. And if you think that's being partial, I'll have to tell you that Sheehan and I got lost in this place and kept wandering for hours.
What to expect: A lot of Asian/Made in China exports from clothes to accessories and electronics. One Indian guy (after learning I was Indian) wanted to sell an "iPhone 5S first copy" to me for 280 dirhams (75 USD) and I politely took his card and told him I'll look for him when I was visiting again the next week.
What I bought: None of the shoes (sorry to burst your bubble) but I did buy a few clothing separates. Sheehan bought bluetooth speakers and I got colouful cable chargers and earphones for my phone and a few fun USB pen drives. The trick at Dragon Mart is to bargain as much as you can.


DUBAI MALL

Of course without a popular mall, this list would be redundant. Among all the other lovely malls, I warmed up to Dubai Mall thanks to the lovely in betweens (and by that I mean the places to eat at!). Alternating between The Cheesecake Factory and Shake Shack I got my dose of red velvet which fueled me up while shopping. This mall has a great mix of high street and designer labels and if you have the money to spend, this is one place you will not want to miss. The mall also has enough activities to keep kids and husbands/boyfriends occupied, should the need arise.
What to expect: Getting overwhelmed and anxious because you'll see three of your favourite stores lined up side by side and will want to self-mutilate into three different versions of you to visit all three at the same time!
What I bought: Just the normal stuff, shoes and clothes from Forever 21, H&M, Topshop, etc. I'm more of a high street shopper because I don't have the funds nor a generous backer to support my penchant for designer shoes, just yet.


KARAMA SHOPPING CENTRE

My relatives used to live in Karama so this place was just a tiny walk away. However this time after their shift, I still wanted to have a look because I remember freaking out here when I was much younger. However this time it really wasn't my scene. Karama Shopping Centre is filled with more boutique style stores that are two years too late. (To the Mumbai folks) think all the boutiques on Waterfield road where you sometimes find that one rare gem, the boutiques here are run by different nationalities and are flooded with bandage dresses and platform shoes and "first copy" designer bags. Now I'm not the type of person who looks down on someone who flaunts and tries to pass of a Kors copy as the real deal, but if you are into that type of flaunting, they have Mulberry and other various branded handbags for you to indulge in.
What to expect: Turkish men who own some of these boutiques telling you how hot the Ledger bandage dresses are and trying to convince you to get a pair or three.
What I bought: Nothing. I went there too late, an hour before closing and could only visit a few stores and mainly window shop, and I meant to go back and shop a bit some other time, unfortunately that didn't happen.


BRANDS FOR LESS

This is one store I've been dying to visit, after having received a lot of goodies from my aunts. Brands for less or Tchibo as it's know is also present in a couple of malls, but if you want what I got, skip the malls and visit the stand alone store (there are two of them) to get more options and racks and racks of clothing and shoes. Brands for less as the name suggests is exactly that. I freaked out over their clothes, bags and most particularly shoes! I wish Sheehan had the sense to take a picture of me wearing two different shoes and holding two others in my hand while staring in the mirror to decide on a single pair - because that might have been quite a sight!
What to expect: Steve Maddens, Nine West, Campbells, Kleins (among many other names) all for 90-145 dirhams (25-40 USD) and an array of Betsey Johnson bags (at least when I visited) for real cheap.
What I bought: My current favourite Guess heels for about 119 dirhams, a dress also from Guess (coincidence) and a few other pieces of clothing. I wanted to get more shoes, but I sadly refrained.


OUTLET MALL

This was one of the last places I visited, just a couple of days before flying back to Mumbai and I regretted not going sooner. Also I was done with most of my shopping and couldn't possibly buy any more things! With scores of outlet stores all offering various discounts, this mall has to be on your visit list. Mondays are conveniently "half price Mondays" where most stores have a 50% or more mark down on already discounted prices.
What to expect: Lots of discounts (a bit obvious) many options of brands to chose from. Some stores had a "below 99" section while another had a "Buy 4 pcs of anything and get 65% off" and other such deals.
What I bought: Two bags from Aldo from their "buy 1 get 1 free section" and a few random pieces of clothing that I knew I would manage to stuff into my already loaded suitcases.

Apologies for the shitty cellphone images but I definitely was not going to carry a camera while shopping because I planned on carrying heavy bags. Also, not to mislead, but the image used for Outlet Mall is actually Payless (from a regular mall) but this is exactly how the shoes at Aldo were kept! 
Please feel free to comment if you know of any other great places to shop in Dubai!

8 Comments so far

  1. Nice website. Great saving option. thanks!!!
    http://www.fashionbuzzer.com

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  2. Your post is a month too late for me :( . I was in Dubai last month and could have really used these tips.


    I didn't like Dubai mall too much though. Apart from the book store, there wasn't anything much. Loved Mall of the Emirates and did really a lot of shopping there.

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  3. Sorry about that!


    I was tied up between adding Mall of the Emirates and Dubai Mall here, and I assure you Dubai Mall won only because of the food joints I mentioned above *hides face*

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  4. It really is. I think that place was the highlight of my 4 weeks there! Soo many lovely shoes!
    xox

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  5. India is really growing in terms of fashion as well. I recently bought this dress from www.meiro.co.in - an Indian website wherein the styles are actually designed here in New York City.

    Very good styling. And the prices are very good. But one thing I didnt exactly like was that they asked me to pay for shipping as this was international order for them, however they are giving free shipping in India, cash on delivery and what not. I didn't mind paying the extra cost the design and quality is so much better than other KNOWN brands !

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  6. Roxanne, your post could not have come at a better time. I am visiting Dubai end of December and have incorporated your suggestions in!
    Dubai mall was already on the list, brands for less and outlet mall have been added :) Thanks

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  7. I used to live in Dubai 3 years back... 10 minutes from Dragon Mart..Dubai Mall used to be my fav place to shop or just hang-out. Sad but I never went to Outlet Mall:(((

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