We've tracked down the top spots to shop with your little darlings
Armani Junior: Gorgio Armani made the power suit an essential part of every successful American wardrobe in the 1980s. His jeans and T-shirts were staples during the 1990s, and now, in the noughties, his fashions are all encompassing. Armani Jumior boasts a colourful range that caters to boys and girls from the age of two up to 14. Its mini-chic wear strikes the perfect balance between smart-casual and street inspired daywear. As well as T-shirts, hats and jeans, there are denim separates for girls with trousers and jackets for those cold Dubai winters also available. For the label conscious young man, a range of trousers, hoodies and T-shirts completes the collection. Mercato Mall (04 342 0111) Open Sat-Thu 10am-10pm; Fri 2-10pm Credit Amex, MC, V.
Bambu Beach: Let’s face it, most kids hate dressing up and with the weather as hot as it is all year round. Bambu Beach is a new fashion range for the whole family created in Dubai to suit the UAE lifestyle. Children from three to 12 are catered for with linen, cotton and silk separates, swimwear and accessories all available. Think butterfly prints and polka dots for girls and brightly patterned boardies for boys. Ibn Battuta Mall (04 368 5214). Open Sun-Wed 10am-10pm, Thu-Sat 10am-12 midnight Credit Amex, MC, V.
Guess Kids: It doesn’t take much insight to deduce that Guess Kids caters towards particularly precocious children – you only have to look at their website with posing, pouting, pre-schoolers and you know this is about catwalk fashion as opposed to scaredy-cat fashion. Actually the website is not a good thing to go by since if you type in www.guesskids.com you’ll only be able to log into their homepage of said mini-Mosses and it doesn’t tell you anything about their range at all. If your tot is a budding trendsetter, however, and is a fan of the Sienna’s and the Scarlett’s of this world, they’ll love the too cool for school jeans, funky scarves and motifed T’s available from Guess. Ibn Battuta Mall (04 366 9903) Open 10am-10pm daily Credit Amex, MC, V. Other locations: BurJuman Centre (04 351 8393). Opening Soon: Dubai Festival City.
Pumpkin Patch: An adorable shop for munchkins of all shapes and sizes, from newly born to age 14. You’ll love the fresh and funky child-friendly gear on sale here. Clothes manage to be youthful and modern without being precocious. Baby grows are as soft as cotton puffs, knee length skirts for young girls are colourful and comfortable and boys get a great choice of baggy trousers. There’s also a vibrant range of accessories like sunglasses, hairclips and jewellery for girls and caps and belts for boys. The only disadvantage of shopping in this store is that you are guaranteed to have the song from the same-titled kiddie’s programme stuck on your brain for hours on end. All together now: ‘Let’s all go to…’ Mall of the Emirates (341 4747). Open 10am-12 midnight daily Credit Amex, MC, V. Other locations: BurJuman (04 351 0445), Lamcy Plaza (04 337 1006), Al Ghurair (04 234 0931).
La Senza Girl: Unlike its older sister, La Senza Girl sells more than just underwear and pyjamas. In fact, this shop is heaven for any girl aged between six and 14. Whether you need an outfit for a special birthday party or a trip to the beach, you will find exactly what you want here and have loads of fun while you search for it. Our particular favourites are the funky accessories and matching T-shirt and skirt combos. Ibn Battuta Mall (04 368 5240) Open Sat-Thu 9.30am-10pm; Fri 12noon-10.30pm. Credit Amex, MC, V.
Limited Too: These days, the female of the species is more fashion-savvy than ever and catered for here within this fun, young store that is just sophisticated enough to appeal to budding fashionistas and their little sisters alike. Displayed alongside the girly garments and shoes are a range of glittery hair and beauty accessories, as well as frivolously essential flower-shaped cushions that would not look amiss in the most pampered princess’ boudoir. Perfect for a one-stop birthday shop to treat the younger lady. Ibn Battuta Mall (04 368 5936) Open 10am-12 midnight daily Credit Amex, MC, V.
Little Bunnies: Little Bunnies is home to pretty pinafore dresses, cute romper suits, practical hooded tops, tracksuits and jeans for girls and boys from the newly born to 14 years. Its range includes international fashion brands, such as Miss Blumarine, Cakewalk, Oilily, Nutello and Make Brooms. With a stunning display of pleated skirts and twin sets sprinkled with rhinestones, the collection is divided into casual and formal attire. For casual wear, check out Cakewalk and Oilily; their funky three quarter length trousers are perfect for layering with bright T-shirts, while there is a range of party frocks for more formal occasions. BurJuman Centre (04 351 7955) Open Sat-Thu 10am-10pm; Fri 2pm-10pm Credit Amex, MC, V.
Little Castle: Cute designer dresses, trendy T-shirts and smart suits for boys can all be found here. Little Castle stocks a range of Italian labels, including Young Versace, Diesel, Moschino and Mona Lisa, all aimed at whippersnappers aged from three months to eight years. Naturally, such exclusivity is reflected in some of the price tags, but the attention to detail makes them a superior, if costly, alternative to children’s collections in retail stores. They also have a line of accessories to complete any look such as dinky rucksacks, party footwear, trainers and casual shoes. Wafi City (04 324 6525) Open Sat-Thu 10am-10pm; Fri 5pm-10pm Credit Amex, MC, V.
Lollipop: Cute name, cute clothes: deck your gaggle of tots out with the most up-to-date fashions at this newcomer to Dubai’s shopping arena. Choose from Pink Sushi beach getups, Mona Lisa dresses, Moschino jeans and T-shirts – but it’s not all about labels. Practical items from pushchairs, car seats, nappy bags and blankets are also aplenty. The Village, Jumeirah Beach Road (04 349 4946) Open Sat-Thu 10am-10pm; Fri 4.30pm-10pm Credit Amex, MC, V.
Pablosky: Youngsters on the march are well catered for here with a collection of sensible back to school loafers, brightly coloured sandals and sturdy little sneakers at prices that aren’t too extortionate considering they’ll be outgrown in the blink of an eye. Soon-to-be ex-crawlers are amply catered for with both leather bootees and softer, cotton shoes. A glaring omission is the shoe designed to keep your tottering toddler in the same place for more than a nano-second. Ibn Battuta Mall (04 368 5085) Open 10am-12 midnight daily Credit Amex, MC, V. Other locations: BurJuman Centre (04 644 3007) Mercato Mall (04 344 7816) Lamcy Plaza (04 337 9811).