Having spent the past 15 years in Dubai, Maha and Hussein Abdul Rasheed love the city, but hate the malls. After too many years struggling to find unique gifts for their friends, the Egyptian brother-and-sister team decided to take matters into their own hands and launched a standalone shopping destination. So, less than a month ago, Maha opened Bambah, a girly vintage spot packed with clothes from the ’30s to the ’80s. Meanwhile, Hussein unveiled The Zoo, an innovative store with a sense of humour, packed with designer toys, Mr Happy sticky plasters, Vespa helmets, tongue-in-cheek T-shirts and bold jewellery.
‘We keep hearing the same word about the stores: refreshing,’ explains Maha, and we agree. Both venues have cherry-on-top details that give them that je ne sais quoi that mall stores struggle to capture. Bambah is full of vintage furniture from the Rasheeds’ great grandmother’s house, alongside oodles of posters that pay homage to a different era, while you’ll often see Dubai’s design crowd chilling out in the garden of The Zoo. So, without further ado, let us introduce you…
Bambah and Zoo are in the same building on Jumeirah Beach Road, opposite Dubai Zoo and next to Sultan Garden Centre, www.bambah.com (04 349 5585).
The vintage store: Bambah
Maha Abdul Rasheed, 25, Egyptian
Fashion is… ‘Wearing your mood.’
Vintage is… ‘The new fashion.’
My favourite designer is… ‘Yves Saint Laurent.’
My favourite other store in Dubai is… ‘Florist Art and Flower on Jumeirah Beach Road (04 344 3401).’
Dubai is… ‘My home away from home.’
Bambah is… ‘Your little treasure chest.’
The design concept store: The Zoo
Hussein Abdul Rasheed, 25, Egyptian
Design is… ‘A way of life.’
My favourite designer… ‘Hani Ali Reza, who designs the Wasta T-shirt range.’
My favourite other store in Dubai… ‘Furniture and fabric boutique Andrew Martin in DIFC (04 323 1388).’
The Zoo is… ‘The place where everyone comes to play!’
Other spots in Dubai to try
Reem’s Closet: For pre-loved yet still somewhat expensive Louis Vuitton, YSL and Fendi.
Mazaya Centre, Jumeirah (04 343 9553)
Garderobe Boutique: This new villa spot also sells high-end vintage – think Balenciaga and Chanel.
Jumeirah Beach Road (04 394 2753)
Bond Street Boutique: This is your one-stop shop for used (not necessarily vintage) bags, watches and jewellery that are still in very good condition.
Green Community, near the Marriott (04 885 3288)
Bloomingdale’s Home: Sure, this is a huge American chain, but its MOMA (Museum of Modern Art in New York) and Pantone collections make it a design haven.
The Dubai Mall (04 350 5333)
Kartell: Never heard of this brand? Well, we bet you’ve heard of its Philippe Starck-designed ghost chair. Wonderful stuff, but remember that high-end Italian design doesn’t come cheap.
Jumeirah Beach Road (04 348 8169)