While Karama usually attracts shoppers for its faux designer handbags, shoes and apparel, away from the hustle and bustle of the outdoor souk is the equally pulsing Karama Centre. Mostly frequented by locals living in the area, there are some unique (and affordable) finds within its four walls. From elaborate wedding jewellery to modern gadgets, cheap T-shirts or Dhs10 neon nail polish, the options are plentiful. Just remember the centre operates under traditional hours and closes between 1pm and 4pm (it’s open daily 10am until 1pm and 4pm until 10pm).
Silver Scarf Fashion USP: This colourful store sells affordable modern Indian churidars for women in amazing fabrics, as well as long shirts that are perfect to wear over leggings. Why go? To pick up one of these unique Dubai souvenirs at affordable prices. The dresses make unusual cocktail outfits that will throw the status quo. Where? Shop 75-B, Karama Centre (04 337 4544).
Indian churidar, Dhs125
Abbas Al Faris Gift Trading USP: Manned by a thoroughly entertaining character, this jewellery store sells silver (real, we’re told) bracelets, pendants and rings for bargain prices. Why go? For the bottled-scroll-style pendants quoting verses from the Qur’an (the first we’ve seen in Dubai), as well as the classic men’s link bracelets, and your more affordable bling-bling: massive cubic zirconias. Where? No shop number, Karama Centre (04 336 8229).
Scroll pendants, Dhs45 each
Al Karama King Games USP: Selling all manner of gadgets, from Xbox games to iPad accessories, this unisex store appeals to both men and women. Why go? To nab an iPad mount for the back seat of the car – perfect for car-pooling on road trips. We also love the iPhone cover with extended wings, and gents will want to take flight with the giant toy helicopter. Where? No shop number, Karama Centre (04 336 4619).
iPad car mount, Dhs120
Shoe Lace Trading USP: Feel like taking home boxes of shoes for less than Dhs100? At this affordable store, that feat is entirely achievable. Women’s sandals start at Dhs29, with men’s styles for less than Dhs150. Why go? While the men’s shoes are less inviting, there are some gems among the women’s collection. We love the lattice-style sandals in beige (so much that we took them home in two colours) and the strappy grey and pink flats. Where? Shop B-7, Karama Centre, Karama (04 335 0209).
Men’s boat shoes, Dhs169
Paris Collection USP: This flashy accessories stall sells everything from colourful bracelets to nail polish, make-up and leather-style cuffs. Why go? The stacks of Indian bracelets will give the right outfit a cool ’80s edge (although your friends will be able to hear you coming for miles), and there’s also on-trend nail polish in hard-to-find hues such as neon yellow, baby blue and white. Where? Kiosk 6, opposite Giordano, Karama Centre (04 334 7130).