1 Boutique 1, Concept Store
Designer threads are what this brand is best known for, but its JBR store offers more than just quality clothing. Time Out’s particular favourites are the wonderful art gallery (currently displaying lithographs by modern greats Juan Miro and Alexander Calder) and the bookshop – we are especially taken with the reprints of ’70s childrens’ books. The coffee comes with cute little B1 biscuits and a spa is due to open in April. The only danger is that once you get here, why would you ever want to leave?
Phone 04 330 4555, www.boutiqueone.com
2 The Men’s Store
No less an esteemed name than Saks is behind this spacious homage to all things male. That the clothes are stylish is a given, but it’s the accessories that really do it for us – ties, cufflinks, bags and shoes. It’s one of the best shots of metrosexual testosterone currently on offer in Dubai.
First floor, Murjan building, call 04 435 5682
3 Thomas Sabo
We have developed a bit of a crush on Thomas Sabo’s designs in recent weeks. Typically cast in sterling silver, the designs sit playfully on the right side of kitsch. Quality and fun – it’s pretty much our favourite combination. The JBR shop may be small, but it’s perfectly formed – we have been known to lose hours in here having a merry mooch.
First floor, Murjan building, phone 050 587 8836
4 Covent Garden Market
Marina Market, located for the past few years in, you guessed it, Dubai Marina, has been given a change of name and location, shifting a few hundred metres upstream to relaunch in JBR. Now with more than 75 stalls, flogging everything from flip flops to local arts and crafts, it aims to be a one-stop shop for those who prefer their retail therapy a little more off-piste. Throw in the street artists, performers and entertainers and it’s a veritable entertainment smorgasbord. Absolutely nothing like London’s Covent Garden, past or present, of course, but then, isn’t that kind of Alice in Wonderland-style re-appropriation of otherwise familiar ideas just one of the many cheeky joys that you love about Dubai?
5 Zadig & Voltaire
No one does insouciant style quite like the French as one peek inside the interior of this offshoot of the Paris-launched fashion chain reveals. Z&V comes complete with a philosophy (told you it was French) – a yen to create ‘affordable luxury’. It is, according to its own legend, a ‘dream factory’. Where better to shop for future fantasy than Dubai’s very own fantastical vision of urban life, JBR?
The Walk, phone 04 423 3768
6 The Fish & Chips Room
It opened late last year to a fanfare of excitement from British expats: a genuine chippy in the city (the chef, we were assured, was brought in from sunny Scotland)? Brilliant.
Murjan, phone 04 427 0443
7 Carbon 12 Art Gallery
Hold the front page: serious new art gallery outside Al Quoz shock. Yes, the city’s buoyant art scene is heading to the seaside – not that you’d know it. Stepping inside this underground, bunker-like space – definitely one of the city’s coolest – is like taking a portal into a different dimension, while its roster of international artists (many of whom are from Europe and the US) offers the injection of new blood into the local art scene that Dubai, for all its cultural vibrancy, desperately needs.
www.carbon12dubai.com. 050 873 9623 Marina View Towers, Dubai Marina.
8 The public beach
JBR’s stretch of sand might be compact, but it’s an essential part of the area’s charm. Residents and visitors alike tend to swarm here on the weekends and, while you won’t find any sun loungers, there are no pretentions either. It’s the perfect spot for a post-shopping paddle.
9 Ritz Carlton
Any of the many cafés and restaurants that stretch out along the length of The Walk will satisfy the average shoppers need for a mid-browse pick-me-up. But with most of the current fare currently provided by the city’s many franchises, from Starbucks to TFI, far better to pop yourself up to the Ritz Carlton, set slightly back, beside the sea. We’ve got it on good recommendation that the Library Bar is one of the nicest spots to unwind in the city. And the hotel grounds are simply stunning.
www.ritzcarlton.com, call 04 399 4000