It seems everyone in Dubai is feeling the pinch at the moment, whether it’s rising rent, rocketing DEWA bills to keep homes cool or finding that the weekly shop is creeping up in price, little by little. Fortunately, there are still a number of stores in Dubai where you can cut costs on everything from feeding your family to tiling the bathroom. Our area guide to Dragon Mart (now the largest trading centre for Chinese products outside of mainland China) reveals some top hidden gems, while over the page, you’ll find more dirham-stretching spots to help you save all over town. Happy saving!
Andaly Clothing Co Ltd
Quirky fashion with a vintage touch awaits shoppers here. The store gets new stock weekly and has an eclectic selection of funky Manga-style printed trouser suits alongside pretty pastel maxi and tea dresses and lacy tops. Printed trouser suits from Dhs150.
Zone GB, Unit GBD05.
Sells Arabia-inspired jewellery including delicate personalised bracelets with names in Arabic, statement necklaces with decorated Hamsa symbols and bold neon bags with Arabic calligraphy.
From Dhs100 for personalised bracelet
Zone FA, FAK04.
Nanyang Pearl Decoration and Accessories Co.
Create your own pearl jewellery in this brightly lit store full of real Chinese saltwater pearls. Choose from round and irregular- shaped pearls in various iridescent shades and sizes. Jewellery junkies can nab a small pearl bracelet for around Dhs65.
Zone FA, Unit FA105-106.
Sun Tour Chinese Restaurant
For an authentic taste of China, stop here for a quick bowl of noodles and Chinese tea, or try delicacies such as steamed eggs. The décor is simple and unfussy, and don’t expect outstanding service, but the food arrives quickly and fresh off the wok. Ask for the off-menu combo meal options to get the best lunch deal.
Dhs28 for four chicken dumplings, Dhs28 for steamed eggs. Zone B.
A huge corner unit offering a variety of stylish, contemporary garden furniture. You’ll find everything from tidy two-piece balcony sets to design led swinging pod chairs and waterproof sofas.
Zone A, unit ST10.
Zhongdi Trade FZCO
Just behind the main fashion row you’ll find Zhongdi Trade selling an array of abayas. Peruse modest attire in a range of vibrant colours with pretty decorative details, plus laser cut gold belts and long elegant formal dresses.
From Dhs200 for an abaya. Zone GB, GBJ04.
Handbag hoarders will swoon at the arm candy on offer here. Clutches, totes and even suitcases with a designer look can be picked up at seriously attractive prices. There’s room to haggle, too, especially if you’re buying multiple items. There are two Modern Sally units, adjacent to each other – the second shop will lure you in with sparkly diamanté slippers and blinged-out heels.
From Dhs65 for sandals, from Dhs130 for a handbag. Zone B.
Xinsiya Co Ltd (Sincere)
Adorn your bed with silks, brocade and beautifully designed covers from this store. You can also pick up duvets and quilt sets in sizes up to super king.
From Dhs380 for a quilt set. Zone GB, GBK02.
Head here for high-street style, casual and party clothing, lingerie and pyjamas, baby clothes, menswear, shoes and bags all at knock-down prices. Expect to pick up pretty bejewelled plastic sandals for Dhs19 and jeans from as little as Dhs55.
Sells shoes for all occasions, plus clothes for men, women and kids. It’s packed with on-trend pieces and sportswear but still easy to navigate.
Zhong Dong Sanitary Ware
Thinking of doing up the bathroom? Head upstairs at this store for everything from sparkling mosaic tiles to stunning (and very inviting-looking) tubs. There’s heaps of inspiration to be found here – and great prices if you’re redecorating on a shoestring.
Golden Line Spa FZCO
Next to RAK Bank, this spa welcomes clients with calming pan pipe music. Relax with massages, Moroccan bath treatments (from Dhs280), mani-pedis, hot stone sessions and waxing for men and women.