AC Milan Sports
For a store named after AC Milan it’s somewhat ironic that most of the merchandise for that club is as fake as some of the player’s passports in Serie A. There’s a decent selection of football shirts on offer, that also come with shorts for around Dhs55, but most appear to be made by a company called Prima rather than the official makers of the Milan, Juve, Bayern Munich, Liverpool, Spurs, Holland and Brazil etc shirts. If you want the real thing then go to an Adidas/Nike/Puma shop, but if you don’t mind wearing a cheap knock-off then this is a good place to come. They do have some genuine items in store, including trainers and boots by Lotto, Adidas, Diadora and Umbro.
Shop no 58, Karama Shopping Centre (04 347 5693). Open 10am-12 midnight daily. All major credit cards.
Founded by Adolf Dassler and his brother Rudolf in Germany in the 1920s, the brand with the three stripes is among the coolest around. The brothers fell out and Rudolf went off to form Puma – which also did pretty well over the years too. These days, they’re in the middle of a retro frenzy so you can pick up lots of the old-skool kicks including the classic Forest Hills. Those who believe fashion comes from the sidewalk rather then the catwalk should look into the Y3 Adidas range designed by Yohji Yamamoto. Alongside a massive range of trainers, sleek tracksuits, sports suits, sports shorts and T-shirts for men, it also has a slightly smaller range of gym wear and footwear for women. A great rack of hightech Adidas watches presided over by friendly salesmen rounds off the collection nicely.
BurJuman (04 359 0995; www. adidas.com). Open Sat-Thu 10am-10pm; Fri 4pm-10pm. All major credit cards. Other locations: Adidas Factory Shop (04 282 5868); Al Ghurair City (04 228 9733); City Centre (04 295 0261); Ibn Batutta Mall (04 366 9777); Mall of the Emirates (04 347 7007).
The Athlete’s Foot
A good place to start if you don’t really know what you’re looking for: while you’re best visiting the flagship Nike or Adidas stores if you like your kicks with a swoosh or three stripes, this is a competent general range. It was the first athletic footwear specialty store of its kind in the United States when it launched in 1971 and now has outlets in over 40 countries. With a wide range of sports shoes this should suffice to cover your entire trainer needs, whether they’re for a specific sport or just for loafing about in.
Ibn Batutta Mall (04 368 5246; www.theathletesfoot.com). Open 9.30am-12 midnight daily. All major credit cards. Other locations: Lamcy Plaza (04 335 315); Mall of the Emirates (04 341 0270).
This middle-of-the-road brand is actually a subsidiary of the Sara Lee Corporation, as in Sara ‘nobody does it better’ Lee frozen cakes. But don’t let that put you off, as everyone from NBA basketball players to Bez from The Happy Mondays have proudly sported Champion USA sportswear and that’s the beauty of the brand. Although this store is never going to carry cutting-edge clothing, it is a great place to stock up on the basic items in the knowledge that they are well made and fairly priced. If you’re looking to do some (gasp) actual sports then Champion USA make comfortable and cool clothing to do it in. Sweatshirts, shorts, T-shirts and some great hooded tops are all on the shelves.
Ibn Batutta Mall (04 366 9730). Open 9.30am-12 midnight daily. All major credit cards. Other locations: Deira City Centre (04 294 0011); Lamcy Plaza (04 305 9242).
Great for beachwear and sloppy jeans, if you want to give the impression you ride waves or ski all day, Fat Face delivers. Encouragingly, the company was set up by two guys trying to fund their days on the slopes, so they know a thing or two about comfortable sportswear.
Jumeirah Beach Residence (04 427 0482; www.fatface.com). Open 10am-10pm daily. All major credit cards.
This Italian brand made its mark in the 1970s with underwear – which was worn by none other than tennis legend Bjorn Borg. Perhaps that’s where he got the inspiration for his own range of quality undercrackers. Either way, Fila is still a top tennis brand meaning the sport, along with running, dominates the range. However, you should investigate its golf range too, as it’s far too good to only wear on the course. The Vneck, fine merino wool sweater can hold its head high in the company of designer brands, and for casual wear it’s worth investigating.
Ibn Batutta Mall (04 368 5656; www.fila.com). Open 10am- 12 midnight daily. All major credit cards. Other locations: Deira City Centre (04 295 4087); Mall of the Emirates (04 409 9154).
Fact: once the preserve of retired majors and middle managers, golf now rocks. Everyone from the Beastie Boys to Alice Cooper is swinging the woods, and Tiger Woods himself is now considered cooler than a rock star. As a result, golfing apparel will no longer make you look like a 1970s pimp from Harlem, but instead will make you look like, well, one of the Beastie Boys. Look out for the Burberry range too; it’s surprisingly good. Even if you’ve been playing for years there’s enough in here to sort out the experienced golfer with whatever they need to shave a few strokes off their round.
BurJuman (04 351 4801). Open Sat-Thu 9.30am-10pm; Fri 3pm-12 midnight. All major credit cards. Other locations: Deira City Centre (04 295 0501); Ibn Battuta (04 366 9895); Mall of the Emirates (04 341 0611).
The French company has one of the biggest sports stores in the Emirates and if you only want to visit one place to stock up on multiple sporting goods then this is a decent bet. Items available range from shoes to clothing and equipment for almost all sports, including mountain biking, horse riding, golf, weightlifting, boxing, racket sports, team sports, fishing and many more.
Ibn Batutta Mall (04 368 5344). Open 10am-12 midnight daily. All major credit cards.
This is by far and away the best place in town if you’re looking for cheap football shirts, tracksuit bottoms and men’s trainers and don’t care if they’re dodgy. Fake shirts are one thing, but some of the fake trainers here are so dreadful they’re just wonderfully kitsch. You can buy a pair of bogus 1979 oldskool Adidas Spezials, where the famous trefoil logo has five instead of three points. Some of the other fakes are almost like totally new designs, and are rather cool. There are, of course, some genuine items here, but you’ll have to hunt for them. And it’s worth checking out the impressively cheap rail at the front of the shop for bargain finds such as Oakley shorts, Fox T-shirts, Manchester United shirts and the like for a suspicious Dhs10.
Near Lal’s Supermarket, Al Hudaiba Street, Satwa (04 349 7765). Open Sat-Thu 9am-11pm; Fri 3pm-11pm. No credit cards.
From enabling its cyber-punters to custom-build their shoes on the Nike ID website, to making some of the most technologically nifty clothing out there, Nike remains ahead of the game. Its most advanced trainers have a wireless connection to your iPod, but even the basic items here are worth investigating. Aside from the usual tracksuits, trainers, sports and gym clothing, they have a good collection of sunglasses and futuristic-looking sports watches. The shades come in a wide range of models with polycarbonate, protective, and scratch-resistant lenses, and – unlike most fashion sunglasses – they are designed to stay on your face during your sporting activities.
BurJuman (04 351 5376; www.nike.com). Open Sat-Thu 10am-12 midnight; Fri 2pm-10pm. All major credit cards. Other locations: Al Ghurair City (04 342 7107); Mall of the Emirates (04 341 0933); Ibn Battuta Mall (04 366 9777).