As well as high-end boutiques, Dubai has a raft of markets, websites and charity shops selling low-priced pre-loved items. Don’t pay full price again –it’s time to bag a few bargains!
This newly launched market stocks pre-loved children’s clothes, baby equipment and even furniture. You can pick up anything, from oodles of maternity togs and toys to baby chairs, changing tables, slings and carriers to books, grow bags and baby blankets. And it’s all at bargain prices. In short, you could stock your nursery for a snip of the price you’d pay elsewhere. Baby Bazaar is also a very sociable market, manned by mums who can all make good recommendations on products. Plus, there’s a handy coffee shop nearby too. Open from 10am to 2pm on the last Saturday of every month. Vendors can book a table from Dhs200 (medium) to Dhs295 (large).
Times Square Mall. www.babybazaar.org (050 553 2048).
The flea market
A popular event with the city’s hardcore bargain hunters, this market probably isn’t the place to take the nippers for a friendly browse. That said, it’s not Dubai’s favourite and longest standing market for nothing. Not only can you pick up all manner of pre-loved treasures, but you can also make a tidy profit selling them too. Take our advice and leave the kids at home for this one. Go with hubby and be prepared to battle through the throng of bargain hunters. Make sure you get there early too. It’s amazing how quickly everything sells. Open from 8am-3pm on the first Saturday of every month at Safa Park, gate five. 3pm-8pm, the second Friday of every month at Uptown Mirdif. Vendors can book a table for Dhs250. www.dubai-fleamarket.com (055 452 6030).
This newly-launched community website is best known for its well-run classifieds section, specifically targeting mums who want to bag baby bargains – or sell them. User-friendly, most of the entries have large photos so you can view the products well – and you’ll find all manner of bargains on here from maternity clothes to baby Ugg boots, changing tables, cots and more. The website is updated all the time too, but get in there quickly as products sell fast. For those wanting to sell, posting your ad is free. Simply fill in the online form, upload your picture and wait for your email box to start buzzing.
It’s not only for house clearing, buying that nearly new car, or even finding a new villa to rent. Dubizzle also has a very successful section on ‘baby items’, with over 2,000 entries to trawl through. You can get hold of pretty much anything – from barely-used buggies to entire nursery sets of furniture. There are loads of ‘never been used’ items at knockdown prices. The only downside is that items go really quickly, and adverts aren’t always removed as soon as they should be, so you can end up making lots of enquiries that come to nothing. However, the bargain-buying potential – especially when you strike it lucky –more than makes up for it.
Another good go-to if you’re looking for nursery equipment, Expat Woman has a regularly updated section with a small but good selection of children and baby items. You can pick up anything from second hand car seats and breast pumps to almost-new Bugaboos. However, be aware that items on this site are also likely to have been posted on other online sites too, and they will go faster than hotcakes. www.expatwoman.com
Holy Trinity Thrift shop
The very first charity shop to open its doors in Dubai is at the Holy Trinity Church compound. All items are donated, and mainly you’ll find clothes, books and toys rather than larger baby and children’s items. Everything on sale is clean and in a reasonable state of wear, even the shoes, so it’s worth having a rummage to see what you can find. All the proceeds go to various good causes too, so you’re doing your bit for the community as well.
Open Wednesday 10am-1pm, and Thursday to Saturday, 10am-1pm and 5pm-7.30pm. Closed Mon and Tue. Holy Trinity Church compound, Oud Metha Road. www.holytrinitychurchdubai.org (04 337 8192).
Dubai Centre for Special Needs charity shop
Tucked away in deepest Karama behind Choithrams, this small shop is stuffed to bursting with donated items from generous members of the public. One hundred per cent of the proceeds raised go towards providing equipment for the Dubai Centre for Special Needs, as well as paying fees for families who can’t afford them. Owners of goods wanting to make a bit of cash can open accounts and receive back 20 per cent of any money raised from their items. But most customers just donate things for free. There’s also a Friday Market Day once a month.
Open Saturday to Thursday, 9.30am-1pm and 4pm-8pm. Market Day is the first Friday of every month, from 9.30am-12.30pm. www.dcsn.ae (04 337 8246).
Book World stocks a huge range of kids’ books, from Dr Suess and Spot the Dog, to the latest paperback adventures for tweens and teens. Bring your own secondhand reads to sell, and buy new books with the cash. You can also re-sell those books back to the shop at 20 per cent of the price you paid for them.
Al Hudaiba Street (Plant Street), Satwa (04 349 1914).
House of Prose have three outlets in Dubai – one in Ace Hardware where you can grab a coffee and glean the second hand book shelves, one in Ibn Battuta, and another on the Beach Road. Sell your old books and also get 20 per cent back on any ‘new’ reads you purchase there.
Jumeirah Plaza, the Beach Road. (04 344 9021).
Time Out Dubai,