Matalan: It’s pretty telling when Dubai’s most exciting new opening isn’t some French bourgeois brand, but Matalan. The UK-based chain is best known for its budget offerings. No doubt famished for a good deal, Time Out’s British staffers squealed with glee on learning the store was opening its first store in the Arabian Center. So is it as good as the ones dotting the ol’ Blighty landscape? Pretty much. Jeans start as low as Dhs35 (take that, Diesel!). We have a feeling that with Matalan’s arrival, cheap will be the the new chic.
Matalan, Arabian Center (04 284 5322).
United Colors of Benetton: In Dubai, many of the season’s cutest winter trends are just off limits – long sleeves simply don’t work in the desert heat. United Colors of Benetton’s new wool dress, however, is aptly sleeveless, and adorable to boot. Reminiscent of our secondary school uniform, this saucy number makes us feel 16 again.
Available at United Colors of Benetton, The Dubai Mall (04 339 9356). Other locations: Deira City Centre (04 295 2540), Arabian Center (04 284 5663), Mall of the Emirates (04 341 4646), Jumeirah Centre (04 349 3613). Dhs670.
Virgin Megastore: We envy Betty Boop. What we wouldn’t give to spend our days lounging around in a martini glass. Alas, we can’t find one large enough to fit our ample curves. So instead, we’ve decided to let Betty do the lounging and we’ll wear her on our ears. What better way to channel the animated sex symbol’s saucy spirit, eh?
Available at Virgin Megastore, Deira City Centre (04 295 8599). Other locations: Mall Of The Emirates (04 341 4353), Mercato Mall (04 344 6971). Dhs30.
Wrist: We never knew watches could be so entertaining, or so personality forming. Wrist, a new wristwatch art store in The Dubai Mall, has watches that are funny, humbling, depressing and often just plain bizarre (it depends on your mood and the watch you buy). The line by UK-based designer Crispin Jones is particularly fascinating. One model has a mirrored display that intermittently flashes the statement ‘remember you will die’, providing a constant reminder of the wearer’s mortality. Grim, but we like.
Available at Wrist, The Dubai Mall (04 330 8171). Dhs590.