Want to save money as a family in Dubai? We’ve found the companies that will help you to do it…
The pre-loved sale
Buying everything you need for your baby can be expensive, so mark the last Saturday of every month in your diary for the monthly Baby Bazaar Market at Times Square Mall. The market is packed with Dubai-based parents selling tables full of good quality pre-loved baby and toddler items, with prices less than half the price of what you would usually pay in the shops – and when you have finished with the items, you can take out a table and make some money youself. Last Saturday of every month - check website for dates.
Times Square Mall, Sheikh Zayed Road, www.babybazaar.org (05 0553 2048).
The free baby clinic
Love Parenting UAE’s Baby Café
Regular weigh-ins are important for babies, but heading to a clinic every few weeks can get very expensive. That is where Love Parenting UAE’s Baby Café steps in, offering new parents the chance to have their baby weighed at the twice-monthly sessions. There are also midwives on hand to ask any burning questions about you or your baby. And the best bit? It’s completely free.
Every first and second Sundays of each month, 10.30-12pm. Horizon Kids Nursery, Safa. www.facebook.com/loveparentinguae.
The free soft play area
We have our pick of indoor play areas here in Dubai – but Mini Monsters stands out for its completely free session every Tuesday morning between 9am and 2pm. What are you waiting for? The vast play area has a fun-packed jungle gym, large ball pit and slides, and a separate area for babies and young toddlers to play safely.
Every Tuesday, 9am to 2pm. Mini Monster, Exit 42 Sheikh Zayed Road. www.minimonsters.ae (04 341 4459).
The free kid's meal
Head to cool American-style eatery Mo’s at Citywalk in Jumeirah on a Sunday and kids under the age of 11 can eat for free. For every adult ordering a main meal, one kids meal will be free of charge – and with a great kids menu offering the likes of spaghetti and meatballs, mini kobe burgers, and creamy mac & cheese, nobody will be leaving hungry.
All day, every Sunday. Mo’s, Citywalk, Jumeirah 1 (04.344.3305) www.caramelgroup.com.
The cheap 'mum's night out
Dinner for a Dirham
Want to let your hair down, Mums? It doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Gather up your friends and head to SoHo Bar & Grill for their ‘Dinner for a Dirham’ promotion every Tuesday evening, which includes three delicious courses for one shiny dirham coin. It doesn’t get much cheaper than that.
DHS1. Every Tuesday, 6-10pm. Century Village, Al Garhoud (next to Dubai Tennis Stadium). www.sohobarandgrill.ae (04 286 8520)
The free toddler class
The Change Initiative
Want to attend a class with your little one, but put off by the term fees? The Change Initiative runs a free 45-minute class of songs and stories every Wednesday morning between 10.15 and 11am. Suitable for children up to five years old, it’s something you can start when they are little and continue as they grow up.
Every Wednesday morning 10.15 to 11am (confirm time before you set off) The Change Initiative, Al Barsha 1, Sheikh Zayed Road www.thechangeinitiative.com (800 824).
The free day out
Posh Paws Animal Sanctuary and Petting Farm
Forget expensive waterparks, brunches, entertainment centres and get back to nature on your next family day out. Visit Posh Paws Animal Sanctuary and Petting Farm to meet animals including ponies, deer, llamas, rabbits, goats, cows, baboon, ducks and much more. There’s no entry charge but donations are welcome.
Every day 9am-6pm. Posh Paws, The Desert Equestrian Club, near Municipality Vet Clinic, Al Khawaneej (050 2730973) www.poshpawsdubai.com
The cheap online grocery store
Doing your grocery shopping online saves you money and time, allowing you to closely study prices and minimize wastage by buying exactly what you need for the week ahead. LeBazaar.ae is the newest website to launch in Dubai. The site is easy to navigate, the service is very reliable, and the prices for fresh meat, fruit and vegetables are extremely competitive.
www.lebazaar.ae (04 430 9894)
Mums save money
How do they do it? We’ve asked a panel of Dubai mums how they stretch their dirhams with these top money-saving tips
Amanda Wardrop, Mum to Marcie (7) and Amalie (7 months).
“I always make sure I buy local products when I do the weekly shop at the supermarket, rather than important brands. They taste just as good and it saves me a fortune at the checkout. It’s easy to pick up the first thing you see, but make sure you take note of prices. I find that the cheapest items are always placed on the bottom shelves.”
Sophie McClean, Mum to Lilly (2) and Poppy (9 months)
“Buying presents for my daughter’s friends can get expensive, as there are lots of birthday parties around the same time. I budget by buying gifts when there are big discount sales in Dubai, such as Summer Surprises and DSF. I also buy Christmas presents throughout the year when I see something suitable, giving me a stock of gifts by the end of the year.”
Serena Selby, Mum to Jack (3 months)
“I’m making the most of the outdoors while the weather is good. Heading to coffee shops to meet friends for a chat every day can start to really add up cost wise. I love pushing Jack around parks and along the beach promenades in the sunshine – and it’s a free way to exercise too!”
Katie O’Sullivan, Mum to Rafferty (2)
“My friends and I were tired of paying expensive entry rates to indoor play areas during the summer months, so we decided to start a regular weekly playdate, rotating around each of our homes. The kids get a change of scenery every week and new toys to play with – and we get coffee and chat while they enjoy themselves. The hosting Mum prepares tea for the kids on her week – and apart from that, it’s completely free.”