As the city welcomes yet more retail openings and Dubai Summer Surprises begins once more, we reveal 18 new Dubai-based shops and labels to check out, and what’s coming up.
In the last six months, Dubai’s shopping scene has taken something of a turn, with the launch of venues such as the pedestrian-chic Al Wasl Square as well as Citywalk Mall in Jumeirah – which is expected to open this July – both inspiring demand for one-off boutiques and labels in the city. The assertion that shopping in Dubai is confined to chain stores and supersized malls is no longer warranted – there are plenty of one-off and homegrown independent options available. Here, we round up 18 new and upcoming Dubai boutiques and labels to start saving your dirhams for.
10 one-off stores and labels
Houmou This edgy online menswear label entered the market a couple of months ago with a launch party at Movida. British-born Dubai-based designer Anoir Houmou says his pieces reflect the ‘work hard, play hard’ ethic of Dubai and combine edgy flair with slick tailoring. His personal picks are the graphic Ts and vests. From Dhs199 to Dhs1,800. www.houmou.com or search ‘Houmou’ on Facebook.
West LA Couture The founder of Dubai’s hippest store Alia Korayem launched her retro-infused couture collection this year. The Hollywood-inspired pieces were handmade in Paris by the same manufacturers as Givenchy and Chanel, and the stand-out piece is the National Anthem dress, an unforgettable hand-stitched leather and lace number. Dhs3,000 to Dhs20,900. West LA Boutique, Sunset Mall (04 394 4248).
Dina JSR Though the Lebanese designer launched her label in 2010, she has only now made her debut in Dubai. Dina’s dresses are inspired by architecture, with handmade detailing reflecting Dina’s study of gemmology. Following on from that, the 29-year-old designer will be launching a jewellery line soon. From Dhs3,000. Galleries Lafayette, The Dubai Mall (04 339 9933).
S*uce Gifts The boutique off-shoot specialises in art, design, gifts and lifestyle items from local designers including Pieces by Farah, Dina Geldeh, Ghina and Barooj Lina. Perhaps the biggest novelty is the 24-hour gift vending machine, which contains 35 items, including candles, accessories, cards, T-shirts and travel packages, which people can purchase on the spot ready-wrapped and after hours. Dhs5 to Dhs20,000. S*uce Gifts, Al Wasl Square (04 388 3488).
Javier by Y&M Founded by Dubai-based design duo Mina Jacob and Yousif Habil, this eclectic hand-made men’s accessories label has already been spotted on celebs including hip-hop mogul Nelly and footballer Kieran Gibbs. The first collection features bohemian-style pieces with lava stones and malachite (a bright green mineral). From Dhs300. Sold exclusively at The Zoo Concept, 142 Jumeirah Beach Road (050 899 7719).
Mochi Dubai-based designer Ayay Tabrari launched her travel-inspired label three months ago after falling in love with Jaipur on a trip to India. The pieces are handmade and Tabrari uses similar embroidering and stitching techniques to those seen in India. Her picks of the bunch for summer are skirts, shorts and cropped tops. From Dhs395 to Dhs1,500. Email email@example.com for a private viewing.
Cherry Ginger Couture This recently-launched online store sources retro-style fashion for women with real figures. Fed up with cookie-cutter fashion, Dubai resident Georgina Enzer was inspired to bring vintage-style fashion to our city and now runs this home-based business. She chooses the retro print comic book dress as her stand-out piece. It also sells rock T-shirts for men, quirky shower curtains and wacky hair-dye. Dhs120 to Dhs500. www.cherrygingercouture.com.
The Butik This Dubai-based online fashion retailer stocks edgy high-end pieces from international emerging designers including Patricia Chang, formerly of Marchesa, and Seoul-based duo Steve J & Yoni P. The site introduces customers to the designers behind the pieces, sharing their stories to give a personal element to the pieces and collections. It has some amazing statement pieces, such as a tinker tulle dress and the black swan. It also has a studio in Knowledge Village, where you can stop off for a private viewing. Dhs125 to Dhs4,000. www.butik.ae.
Regent & Brummell A men’s tailor in Media City offering bespoke suits, shirts, blazers, trousers and bow-ties made from fine Italian and British fabrics. Owner Niraj Makhija is also the brains behind popular Satwa tailors Hollywood Tailors and Dream Girls. It’s renowned for a quick turnaround and the head designer’s eye for perfection. Dhs300 to Dhs26,000. Concord Tower, Dubai Media City (04 362 4373).
GecoStore This newly launched Dubai site offers both sustainable products and services to the city’s eco-conscious. As well as energy-saving items for the home and garden, it sells camel milk soap, solar charging speakers and bio-ethanol outdoor lanterns. Dhs30 to Dhs15,000. www.gecostore.com.
Five new chain store openings and expansions
…and they’re All in MCC! Mirdif City Centre is undergoing an expansion over summer with the installation of 20 new retail and dining outlets to be added to its repertoire. The newbies include the slightly sensible British department store Marks and Spencer, ultra cheap on-trend fashion in the form of Mexx, sophisticated British men’s label Hackett London, feminine Italian label Max & Co and popular high-street shoe stop Nine West. Mirdif City Centre (800 6422).
Three fresh Dubai fashion blogs
Lyla Loves Fashion Based between London and Dubai, Zahra Lyla Pedrim shows how to wear the latest trends and previews soon-to-be launched products. www.lylalovesfashion.com
Style Is Necessity Dubai-based Dutch blogger Samantha Francis founded this blog in which she posts her latest outfits and documents cool events and happenings around town. www.styleisnecessity.com
Dubai Desert Twins British twins and long-time Dubai residents Jen and Kate blog outfit ideas as modelled by themselves, as well as local designer interviews. deserttwins.blogspot.ae
Upcoming sales and pop-up shops
Yummy Mummy Show Hosted by Expat Woman, this one-day family event will showcase pop-up stores and boutiques selling a wide range of products and services including fashion, jewellery, beauty and accessories, plus activities for kids, mini-treatments and fashion advice for mums. Free. June 19. 9.30am-1.30pm. Dubai International Marine Club (no number).
THE One The home accessories and furnishings store is offering discounts of up to 50 percent across all stores in Dubai, including THE One Fusion, plus an extra 30 percent off already discounted items at THE One Outlet. Until July 31. Various locations including THE One Jumeirah, Jumeirah Beach Road (04 345 6687).
Dubai Summer Surprises This month-long citywide sale kicked off on Friday June 7 and applies to more than 6,000 stores and outlets in Dubai. As well as bargains, shoppers can enter into competitions to win amazing prizes such as cars, and enjoy entertainment across the city. Until July 9. www.summerisdubai.com.
S*uce in the Hood A new concept store from the creators of S*uce and S*uce Gifts, we’re told this new boutique will open in Citywalk Mall (formerly The Avenue) in July and will stock quirky fashion and lifestyle items. Citywalk Mall, Jumeirah 1 (no number).
Michelle Belau This charming Peruvian boutique is Parisian themed with nuances including welcome drinks, a drawing table for kids and a complimentary personal shopper service. The label offers affordable fashion for women aged 25 to 40 and the threads are ultra feminine, elegant and chic. From Dhs199 to Dhs699. Citywalk Mall, Jumeirah 1 (no number).
Villa 515 The standalone boutique is set to open in July on Jumeirah Beach Road and will stock perfumes, make-up, fashion and interior accessories exclusive to Dubai. Jumeirah Beach Road, Jumeirah 3 (no number).