Store detective

Wondering which shops do returns and where to find the best bargains? Look no further...

Harvey Nichols

Returns policy 1/5
In-store café 5/5
Exclusive or rare items 5/5
Service & ambience 5/5
Luggage 4/5
Lingerie 4/5
Harvey Nichols is high-end shopping at its unadulterated plushest. The store is awash with friendly and attentive staff happy to assist with all enquiries, and fashion queens are spoilt for choice. The highlight is the tantalising display of handbags, but, Harvey Nics will only exchange items within seven days. There’s also a delicious juice bar, and Almaz restaurant for nibbles and cocktails.

Debenhams

Returns policy 2/5
In-store café
3/5
Exclusive or rare items
3/5
Service & ambience
2/5
Luggage
4/5
Lingerie
2/5
This British retailer is a value-for-money department store, stocking a good selection of fragrances, handbags, lingerie, linen and homewares. There are some decent brands, like Samsonite for luggage, Calvin Klein lingerie and Sheridan linen, and an in-house ‘style advisor’ if you need any help. There’s a Starbucks on level two. Its one downfall is that the staff don’t seem to be on hand when you need them. The store has a 14-day refund and exchange policy.

Saks Fifth Avenue

Returns policy 1/5
In-store café 0/5
Exclusive or rare items 5/5
Service & ambience 5/5
Luggage 4/5
Lingerie 3/5
This store is one of Dubai’s most exclusive addresses. It’s a sensory delight to wander around the glossy interior, being greeted by friendly and professional staff. Along with an endless array of handbags, Saks has limited lingerie and some less pricey designers like Vivienne Tam. But choose wisely, as staff enforce a seven-day exchange policy. The Laric beauty range is exclusive to Saks and the Burj al Arab spa.

Jashanmal

Returns policy 4/5
In-store café 0/5
Exclusive or rare items 1/5
Service & ambience 4/5
Luggage 4/5
Lingerie 3/5
If you’re in need of a new casserole dish or you’re desperate to stock your kitchen with Royal Doulton or the latest Russell Hobbs grill, then Jashanmal is a good bet. Aside from a comprehensive kitchen and homewares section, there’s a small selection of Mexx clothing, Calvin Klein underwear, Clark shoes and luggage like Delsey and Kipling. Staff are very friendly, though some tend to shadow shoppers. The store also offers a generous 30-day refund.

Marks and Spencer

Returns policy 5/5
In-store café 3/5
Exclusive or rare items 0/5
Service & ambience 4/5
Luggage 1/5
Lingerie 3/5

M&S is a one-stop shop if you need to stock up on essential staples for a work wardrobe. Along with M&S’s own line, clothing includes the Per Una range for women and Blue Harbour for men. There’s also a decent selection of swimwear, shoes and the famous and trusty lingerie. Plus the store offers a generous 90-day refund or exchange. Homesick Brits will love the small M&S food outlet.

Salam

Returns policy 1/5
In-store café 5/5
Exclusive or rare items 4/5
Service & ambience 5/5
Luggage 5/5
Lingerie 4/5
Shoppers are lured in by a gleaming entrance scattered with Escada and Moschino bags, and top-notch brands abound through the rest of this two-level store. Luggage and camera equipment are covered by brands like Manfrotto and Delsey, and the fragrance and make-up section isn’t too shabby either. Though strict on exchanges (seven days only) the chance to take a break in one of the plush seating enclaves or at the Gilles Desplanches café wins the day.

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