A round-up of some of the city's coolest stores and markets
Al Fahidi Historical District
Why not give your home a design-savvy Emirati makeover? You’re living in the country, after all, so best make the most of the beautiful merchandise and designs it has to offer. The best place to look for it all is at the Al Fahidi Historical District, a labyrinth of shops and art cafés filled with quirky paintings and Emirati-inspired designs. A highlight is the Alserkal Cultural Foundation Store, which boasts paintings from artists around the UAE that are up for sale. Grab a cup of coffee from the Arabian Tea House, admire your favourite piece and give your place that unique, historical feel. Better yet, if you can haggle your way to purchasing a fancy fabric at the Old Souk.
When: Open 24/7
Where: Al Fahidi Historical District, Bur Dubai
Contact: +971 600 560000
Greenheart Organic Farm Shop
We could all use a bit more goodness in our diets, but with the amount of fresh fruit and vegetables at this market, you may just go full green. The Greenheart Organic Farm Shop began life in 2012 as a weekly delivery service, distributing mixed vegetable boxes to Arabian Ranches residents before setting up a website with an online shopping facility. Needless to say, it was wildly popular, leading to a charming shop opening in Barsha South with more groceries, a bakery, deli and more.
When: Open Saturday-Thursday, 10am-6pm
Where: Barsha South 2
When an all-in-one boutique Dubai spot changes up the coffee game with its own speciality drink known as the Nanacino, you know it has ‘cultural fix’ written all over it. Along with its easy breezy café, where all the movers and shakers of the city come to mingle, it’s a place to browse through brands such as Sunboo, Hana Hani and Forever Young.
When: Open Sat-Thu 9.30am-11pm; Fri 11am-11pm
Where: Jumeirah 1
Contact: +971 4 345 5557
Don’t be surprised to find an antique tennis racket or 19th-century typewriter at this Californian vintage store. It may have been born in America in the ‘60s, but it’s very much become a Dubai institution thanks to its ever-changing collection. A refreshing alternative to the country’s chic norm.
When: Open Saturday-Thursday 9am-9pm, Friday 2pm-9pm
Where: Opposite Dubai Zoo, Jumeirah 1
Contact: +971 4 343 2002
For the wackiest accessories to litter your home with, including the very retro lava lamps, a billiards wall clock and even a mini disco party siren (AED35), Tarsam Image is the place to go to spice up your home with some amusement. It also has more stylish items such as the 3D LED canvases of scenic spots, including the Maldives, for around AED119 to light up your rooms with cool effects. If you can’t make it to Mall of the Emirates, Tarsam Image has a home delivery service so you can get your quirky accessory delivered straight to your door.
When: Open Sunday-Wednesday 10am-10pm; Thursday-Saturday 10am-midnight.
Where: Mall of the Emirates
Contact: +971 4 341 4145
Arte, The Maker’s Market
This is one of Dubai’s longest standing markets for a reason, and is somewhat a home for all the artisans of the Emirate. While you’ll find paintings, arts and crafts, dreamcatchers and all kinds of handmade pieces, shoppers can also expect a new theme every week.
Just another reason to head back to its various locations every Friday. Also, if you’re an artist with some impressive creations, you can book a table and start selling your product.
When: Every Friday, noon-7pm
Where: Various locations including Times Square, Sheikh Zayed Road
Ripe is already a bit of an institution among foodies and craft hunters in the UAE. It aims to support local businesses, from farmers to jewellery designers, with markets in Dubai that also offer hours of mooching opportunities. Where else do organic fruit, raw honey, kimonos and clutch bags sit side by side so effortlessly? We’ll wait for the answer.
Where: Various locations including Zabeel Park and Dubai Police Academy
Contact: +971 4 315 7000