1 Call Dubai Municipality and book the Bulky Waste Collection Service
If the stuff you want to get rid of is more of the big and bulky kind – a three-piece suite that’s seen better days, washing machine or fridge-freezer you no longer have use for – Dubai Municipality’s Bulky Waste Collection Service could be your best bet. But it doesn’t pick up from all areas of Dubai. It mostly serves the communities of Deira, Bur Dubai and other older parts of town, so call on 800 900 in advance to check.
2 Donate to charity
This is probably going to be your first step. There are plenty of charities in Dubai that accept donations of clothes, shoes, children’s toys and small household goods, and some make it ultra-simple to donate – Dar Al Ber Society (www.daralber.ae), for example, has donation drop boxes in various communities, including throughout Jumeirah Village Circle. You can also head to any Beit Al Khair Society (www.beitalkhair.org/en) with your unwanted goods, and Maria Christina Foundation (www.mariacristinafoundation.org) has a drop-off office in its Sky Tower office on Sheikh Zayed Road. Al Noor Training Centre for Persons with Disabilities (www.alnoorspneeds.ae) also accepts donations of clothes and toys at its Al Barsha branch, which it then sells on to raise money for the centre.
3 Flog it at the Dubai Flea Market
Practise your best market salesperson lilt, channel your inner Del Boy and get flogging your unwanted goods down at the Dubai Flea Market (www.dubai-fleamarket.com). This is the biggest second-hand sales extravaganza in the emirate and it attracts quite the crowd. You’re likely to sell whatever you take down there – one man’s trash really is another man’s treasure here – so take any and everything you want to get rid of, whether it be small household appliances, clothes, children’s toys, games, books, DVDs, antiques or jewellery. You can even take handicrafts you’ve made yourself and have a go at selling those. Pitches can be booked online – it costs Dhs290 for a table and two chairs for two sellers, and you can purchase an additional two wristbands for Dhs5 each for a maximum of two more sellers per pitch. Markets are held in Zabeel Park, Dubai Silicon Oasis, Green Community, JLT, Motor City, Al Nahda Pond Park, Al Barsha Pond Park and Al Satwa Park. Keep a beady eye on the website for dates.
4 Get your bedclothes turned into children’s outfits
Rags to Riches (www.facebook.com/ragstorichesdubai) is one of the coolest, most original independent textile recycling ideas we’ve come across in Dubai. Run by British expat Barbara Evans, it’s essentially a group of ladies with time on their hands whose hobby is sewing. They collect unwanted dress fabrics and bed linens, use their skills and creativity to transform them into new clothes for children and then pass them on to charities to be distributed to the needy. And what they create is truly impressive. Donate your unwanted sheets, pillow cases, fleece blankets and all those airline blankets you keep forgetting to leave on your seat, and this group of passionate and talented ladies will transform your rags into pretty little riches. Absolutely nothing goes to waste with these ladies. Visit the Facebook page for a list of drop-off points.
5 Give it all away to be recycled or sold
TakeMyJunk (www.takemyjunkuae.com) is your one-stop-shop to get rid of it all. Got an ugly bedside table you want to see the last of? An old wardrobe you no longer need because your new flat has them built in? Give these guys a call. They’ll take all kinds of home furniture – don’t dismantle it, though, as they’ll only take goods fully built – electronics and home appliances such as mobile phones, laptops, washing machines and microwaves (whether they’re working or not). They’ll collect office furniture including desks and filing cabinets, and they’ll even take your half-finished bottles of shampoo, should you desperately need to get rid. Just send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org stating your name, address, telephone number, preferred date and time of collection and the list of items you want them to take, et voilà. Goodbye junk, forever. Yes.
6 Hand over your unwanted books to The Old Library
E-readers are great when it comes to storage issues, but sometimes you just need to turn some actual pages made of paper. If you’re of that ilk and have therefore amassed a large collection of books you’ve now read three times and probably won’t ever again, this one is for you. Donate all your no-longer-wanted reading materials that are in good condition – fiction, non-fiction, children’s books, cookbooks and the like – to The Old Library (www.theoldlibrary.ae), situated in DUCTAC, Mall of the Emirates. This cosy space is run entirely by volunteers and relies on donations of all your page-turners. And while you’re there, sign up to become a member for Dhs200 a year to keep flicking through those paper pages you so love, without worrying about where you’re going to store them all.
7 Have your battered, ripped-up old clothes transformed into something new
H&M’s clothes recycling initiative is now available in Dubai. Got ripped jeans where the rips really have just gone too far? And office cardigan that you’ve worn so much it now has holes in the elbows? Take them all to H&M and they’ll turn those scruffy, no-longer-fit-for-wearing-even-at-home-on-your-own-let-alone-in-public old threads into fresh, new textiles that will be used to make brand-new garments. They ensure none of it ends up in landfill, so rifle through your wardrobe for all those tatty old items and hand them over. Stores in The Dubai Mall, Mall of the Emirates, BurJuman, City Centre Deira and City Centre Mirdif are taking part.
8 Recycle your old pet items
Cat out-grown its carrier? Twice? Need a bigger bed for your dog? Have a diva pet that refuses to eat from its bowl at regular intervals throughout the year, making you constantly have to buy new ones? If you’ve answered yes to one of more those questions, now is the time to round up all those unused pet items and get donating. There are plenty of animal shelters and organisations that need them, K9 Friends (www.k9friends.com), 38 Smiles (www.facebook.com/38smiles), SNIFF (www.facebook.com/SNIFF.middleeast), The Bin Kitty Collective (www.binkittycollective.wordpress.com), Animal Action (www.facebook.com/animalactionuae) to name just a few. Don’t let those good products go to waste, languishing and collecting dust on your balcony.
9 Sell absolutely everything on Dubizzle
If you’re packing up completely and moving on, you could always turn to the trusty Dubizzle (www.dubizzle.com). You can put pretty much any and everything up for sale on this site, whether it be bulky home furniture and appliances, books, clothes, electricals, DVDs, jewellery or even your car. The classifieds site is a one-stop shop for a massive clear-out, but there are thousands upon thousands of products for sale here so competition to get rid of all your stuff could be stiff. That said, people are always on the look-out for goods, so if you give yourself time and set your products apart from the rest (good pictures help), you could be in with a decent chance of flogging absolutely everything.
10 Transferring a unique number plate to somebody else
Splurged on a personalised number plate in one of those exciting RTA auctions? People love a unique license plate. If you bought one, but actually no longer have use for it, autodeal.ae is good place to flog it. Prices vary enormously, with multiple digit plates being sold from as little as Dhs11 and those with fewer to single digits priced in the hundreds of thousands. Once you sell your plate, you’ll also be responsible for transferring that number into the name of your buyer, but this is a simple process that can be done easily enough through the RTA. Send your buyer’s driver’s license and Emirates ID details over to the RTA and just wait for confirmation that the process has been successfully completed.