Al Baba Sweets
Arab sweet makers aren’t known for holding back on their sugar, slathering piles of honey onto most pastries. Al Baba Sweets is no exception, with its sugar high-inducing baklava, mammoul and kunufa that come packed full of honey and chopped nuts. All of the sweets are sold in boxes for Dhs75 per kilo. If you feel the need to wash down your sugary sins, sit at one of the tables and sip on a nice cup of tea.
Deira City Centre (04 295 2007)
Straight out of Time Out’s childhood fantasies, this cocoa-dusted wonderland is the sort of sweetshop that’ll get the kid in you salivating. Delicious bites from Belgium, Lebanon and Germany are stacked up on the front counter just waiting to transport you to sweet-toothed nirvana. Prices are steep (ranging from Dhs140 and Dhs200 per kilo), but trust us, the Swiss truffle will remind you how very good chocolate can taste.
Al Diyafah Street (04 221 2035; www.atayebchocolates.com)
Choc and Nuts
This one-stop shop of Middle Eastern and Persian goodies is packed with Iranian almonds, Lebanese pistachios and Egyptian seeds, all for sale by the pound. It’s a long narrow shop with huge open boxes of nuts on the left and sweets from around the world on the right, all waiting to be weighed up by a delightfully old-fashioned set of scales. The friendly shopkeeper is more than happy to offer up suggestions and samples.
Baniyas Road, Deira (04 221 2035)
This international patisserie stocks rich French truffles, imported strawberry macaroons, Arabian, Persian and European sweets, and some top-notch coffee. But when it comes to tasting Scandinavian candy, it’s truly in a league of its own. Those with an adventurous palate might be tempted to try djungelvral from Sweden (salt liquorice) or the fiery tyrkisk peber (extra hot liquorice) from Finland. You can also buy tiny, perfectly sculpted cookies by the kilo – absolutely delicious.
Souk Madinat Jumeirah (04 368 6006; www.vivel.com)
This spot specializes in silk (fake) flowers but there are fresh ones to be had. Work out whether your mum would rather have something long lasting, or blooms to make the house smell nice for a week, then pick your purchase.
Umm Suqeim,04 394 6094
Green plain flowers
Another fresh, and fake flower, specialist, with an outstanding array of displays. This is the place to go for a really fancy bouquet, or basket, if you’re feeling flash.
Al Mankool Road, Satwa 04 398 9864
This one’s kind of a hidden gem as it’s more of a garden centre than a florists but the bouquets are surprisingly attractive. Definitely worth a look, or a last-minute call.
Century Plaza, Jumeirah Beach Road 04 344 0560
For heaven’s sake, make sure you take the labels off if you get your flowers from here, a supermarket stop is almost as bad as the last-minute petrol station dash. Luckily, the blooms on offer are pretty nice, so with a bit of clever re-packaging, they shouldn’t disappoint.
Mercato 04 349 6900
If you’re more of an online shopper, you could do worse than taking a look at www.forever-florist-dubai.com. The selection’s pretty good, from big baskets to huge pink explosions for those of you who like a ‘grand’ gesture.
Upscale and posh
Yes, this is one of the best-named shops in Dubai, but it really is quite upscale, and rather posh. You even get an ‘advisor’ to help you pick your bunch.
Call your very own floral advisor on 050 173 6479 and place your order.