A welcome escape from Dubai's crowded inner-city malls
The general misconception that Mirdif City Centre is miles out of town, situated far away on Dubai’s outer edge, may be the reason it’s viewed as an underdog in this city’s ever-growing portfolio of mega malls. But the shopping hub holds one very big secret: it’s spacious, rarely overcrowded and stocks several shops you’d drive more than out of your way for. Having recently added a number of new stores to its line-up, including local boutique United Designers, we headed down there to take a sneak peek. We loved it so much, we had to forcibly remove ourselves from the premises before we did some serious credit-card damage (and we still didn’t leave empty-handed).
United Designers USP: This locally-based boutique opened in October 2011, offering fans of home-grown fashion the chance to shop for regional designers in one location. Why go? The surprisingly tasteful collection of pieces includes Maison Rana’s retro-style skirts and shift dresses, quirky abayas from Neon Edge and sheer maxi-skirts from Anaya. Thankfully, the items are reasonably priced compared with similar boutiques in the city. Where? First floor, Mirdif City Centre (04 251 4541).
Lakeland USP: This niche British cookery and homewares store offers everything you could ever want to fill your dream kitchen (besides Heston Blumenthal himself), from giant jelly moulds and cupcake tins to salt and pepper pots in the shape of toy soldiers. Why go? Aside from a collection of cookery and cheap Tupperware, it also stocks storage solution items, such as Brit-kitsch storage containers, see-through shoe boxes (as recommended by celeb stylists) and compost holders that err on either side of cute and kitsch. Where? First floor, Mirdif City Centre (04 284 3460).
1 Shoe view boxes, Dhs60 for a pack 2 Compost crock, Dhs149 3 Ceramic measuring cups, Dhs109 4 Union Jack storage box, Dhs79
Freedom Furniture USP: Mirdif City Centre houses the sole Dubai outlet of this Aussie homewares chain, known for its stylish, edgy pieces at affordable prices. Why go? For quirky accessories such as hessian-style cushions, vintage-style desk globes and watering cans like grandma used to use. Where? First floor, Mirdif City Centre (04 284 5518).
1 Bird cage, Dhs335 2 Small desk globe, Dhs149 3 Watering can, Dhs59 4 Numeral cushions, Dhs99 each
Uterque USP: Another novel offering from those style-savvy Spaniards, this boutique achieves what most aspire to – it looks expensive, but is actually reasonably cheap. Why go? For the sensible-height heels, statement jewellery (think chunky art deco-style bracelets) and the quirky sunglasses in shades such as hot pink and leopard print. Where? Ground floor, Mirdif City Centre (04 284 3738).