With so many sprawling malls and lavish touches – it’s no surprise that shopping is one of Dubai’s main tourist attractions. Luckily, living here, we have all of that on our doorstep year-round. And one thing Dubai certainly knows is luxury. Here are some of the best places to save up and splurge all those hard-earned wages on something truly special.
Boutique 1 has steadily risen through the commercial landscape of Dubai into a shopping force to be reckoned with. They now boast branches in JBR The Walk, Mall of the Emirates and Abu Dhabi (for those who fancy a weekend trip) for savvy designer hounds to take advantage of. With their light, white interiors, clever window displays, cool contemporary brands – think Alexander Wang, Victoria Beckham and Proenza Schouler – this is the place to send the girl who has everything yet wants something more.
Harvey Nichols-Dubai is not only one of the slickest department stores in town, they have a killer seasonal buy, to boot. With names such as Erdem, Peter Pilotto and Moschino all sharing the floor, their contemporary designer offer is one of the best in the Emirate. If that wasn’t enough to persuade you to become a loyal customer, they also regularly host incredible in-store events, such as the relatively recent Swarovski pop-up exhibition which featured Michael Jackson’s actual glove. It is the ideal place to lose yourself (and your friends) on any given weekend.
Etoile La Boutique
Founded in 2005 by Ingie Chaloub – one of the Emirate’s premiere taste-makers – Etoile La Boutique plays host to some of the most bold and beautiful creations we’ve ever come across. Both surprising and inventive – their stock is definitely on the more glamorous end of the spectrum – but when you live in such a red carpet-ready city as Dubai, that’s a welcome concept. With brands such as Alaia, Christian Dior and Christopher Kane – every type of luxury taste is superbly catered for. Just make sure you bring the right credit card with you.
Another home-grown luxury concept, By Symphony was launched by the ever-elegant Salama Alabba in 2010. With a prime location on The Dubai Mall’s Fashion Avenue, the boutique offers an extensive, but expertly curated, selection of designers such as Alexander McQueen, Stella McCartney, Valentino and Simone Rocha as well as regionally revered (and internationally successful) brands such as Noon by Noor. With its custom interiors, knowledgable staff and beautiful displays, By Symphony is the kind of shop that makes you feel more elegant just by being in it.
Level Shoe District
Shoe addicts, rejoice! The Dubai Mall plays host to the largest ever (of course) department store dedicated just to footwear. That’s right, Level Shoe District is just that, a suburb-sized haven of stilettos, designer sneakers and sparking sandals. With almost every desirable brand under the sun, they regularly sell out of names like Saint Laurent, Aquazzura and Gucci – so make sure you hot-foot it down there in good time if there’s something special you have your eye on. Alternatively, you could easily spend five hours just gazing as the beautiful displays they construct each season to showcase their fancy wares.
Forget trekking to New York for your shopping fix – let it come to you! As one of the most iconic designer department stores of all time, Bloomingdale’s have easily made The Dubai Mall their second home with this sprawling display of covetable products to buy, taste and touch. From an extensive beauty hall, to rows upon rows of designer shoes and bags – hello Celine, Mulberry, Saint Laurent and Givenchy – they also have additional floors of both contemporary and classic designer names to fall in love with. It’s magic, it’s unique, and it’s also got one of the coolest carrier bags in the world.