After years of sharp increases the price of renting or buying property in Dubai has finally started to fall.
There has been no better time, in recent years at least, to upgrade or decorate your home.
Time Out hit the streets and malls of Dubai to browse the shelves of 50 of the best furniture and interior design stores in the city.
Aati: Dubai is home to a hoard of ‘Label Mabels’ who love nothing more than dressing to impress. For a home that is just as dapper, you can clad your pad in designer fabric at Aati. Home to some of the sleekest, most stylish items of furniture this side of Europe, the ultra-contemporary pieces bear such brands as Ligne Roset, Ralph Lauren and Fendi, and are the real deal in every sense.
Al Manzel Building, Za’abeel Road, Karama (04 337 7825). Open Sat-Thu 9am-10pm; Fri 4.30-10pm. All major credit cards. Other location: Sheikh Zayed Road (04 347 5090).
Artikel: Artikel only orders a few of each item it stocks so if you wait to buy something, the chances are that dream dinner plate set will be snapped up by a less indecisive shopper. Offering a delectable range of furnishings, accessories and oddball trinkets, Artikel, with its almost Bohemian air, promises a novel surprise in every corner. Ever hankered after an Elvis mug? A maple syrup pitcher perhaps? Or how about home accessories all in pink, whether candelabras, placemats and cocktail glasses? But it’s not (as it may be sounding) a load of tacky tat. Artikel’s items are tasteful and imaginative. Definitely worth a lingering visit.
Mall of the Emirates (04 341 0661). Open 10am-12 midnight daily. All major credit cards.
Art Of Life: Within the quirky, if not slightly random, enclosed Courtyard is this antique and home accessories haven. Stepping into Art Of Life is more Thai holiday than shopping hell. For those who aren’t keen on trawling around neon-lit behemoths, this relaxed little shop is a serene space for strolling around and picking up authentic-looking Thai photographs, silk cushions and beautiful dark wood furniture. Then, once you’re all shopped out you can stop at the outdoor fountains and sip on a coffee.
The Courtyard, Al Quoz (04 340 6755). Open Thu-Wed 10am-8pm. All major credit cards.
Baituti: The furniture here is stylish and contemporary with clean lines and a sea of class. The Za’abeel Road store holds a variety of dining sets and bedroom suites as well as chic accessories. Stone, chocolate, mocha brown and sharp reds dominate the colour palette, while animal prints are in evidence in European collections like De Sede. Muted tones and textured suede make wonderfully restrained style statements, but you’ll also find furnishings with the volume turned way up, leaving innocent bystanders in little doubt about the cost of such ostentatious pieces.
Za’abeel Road (04 334 4478; www.baituti.com). Open Sat-Thu 10am-10pm; Fri 5pm-10pm. All major credit cards.
Bayti: Bayti adds a touch of necessary flair to Deira City Centre’s homeware offerings, with its quirky crockery and eclectic decorative items. Its reasonably priced interior collections boast seasonal colours with a distinctly oriental flavour: you’ll find fake flora, pungent candles, dark wooden trays and cute glazed vases, all for under Dhs100 apiece. Bayti is a top choice for sprucing up on a budget and there’s guaranteed to be something new every time you visit.
Deira City Centre (04 368 5145; www.baytiliving.com). Open Sun-Wed 10am-10pm; Thu-Sat 10am-12 midnight. All major credit cards. Other locations: Dubai Festival City (04 232 5571); Ibn Battuta (04 368 5145).
The Bed Company: Apparently the average person spends a third of their life in bed, so you may as well make sure you’re comfy and get a good night’s kip while you’re in there. Beds Trading LLC stock the Hastens range, with beds made from all-natural materials which help to avoid waking up in a pool of your own sweat. The horsehair stuffing makes for an ultra-soft landing for any weary head, although not entirely politically correct, so you may not have particularly sweet dreams.
Al Brashy Building, Al Quoz Industrial Area, between interchange two and three off Sheikh Zayed Road (04 338 0919). Open Sat-Thu 10am-1pm, 4pm-7pm. All major credit cards.
Butlers: Interior design doesn’t have to be a serious sport: with quirky stores like Butlers emerging across the city it’s possible to bring a bit of humour into your home. This contemporary shop has a range of reasonably priced products from pink buddhas and chic chandeliers to strings of girly butterfly lights that will kitsch up any dull garden patio. You may come away with lots of things you never knew you needed and probably still don’t, but then who says you have to be sensible all the time?
Dubai Festival City (04 232 5581; www.butlersnet.com). Open 10am-1am daily. All major credit cards.
Carpe Diem: The villa setting of this store feels like you are taking a sneaky peek inside some unsuspecting person’s home, with rooms kitted out from a nippers’ nursery to a sleek modern living room, all offering useful nuggets of interior inspiration. Dark wood chests and robust cabinets border on ethnic chic, but there’s more than a splash of French savoir-faire among its mix of contemporary and classic styles too, offsetting carefully aged woods with creamy throws of purest linen.
Villa No. 145a, Jumeirah Beach Road, Jumeirah (04 344 4734). Open Sat-Thu 10am-7pm. All major credit cards.
Chinese Secrets: Chinese Secrets is a diamond in the rough, hidden among the acres of kids’ toys and food that is the Dragonmart. You can pick up beautiful decorative fans to liven up your walls, as well as pretty picture frames, and gorgeous butterfly vases for next to nothing.
Dragonmart, Hatta Road, next to Dubai International City (no number). Open 10am-10pm daily. No credit cards.
Colour Frame Trading: Here you can pick up quirky canvases for as little as Dhs20 – the Parisian café pieces are particularly good. Who would know they weren’t from the Left Bank? If you want to be able to decorate your whole villa for the price of a Friday brunch and not to succumb to the zombified Ikea sheep, this is the spot for you.
Dragonmart, Hatta Road, next to International City (no number). Open 10am-10pm daily. No credit cards.
Curtainland: Like its big brother, Carpetland, this store is dedicated to selling one household item to the highest standards. No surprises then that your choice here is curtains and metres upon metres of them. Whether you are into velour drapes, flower-print window dressings or minimalist poll mounts, Curtainland is the place to head for all your material needs.
Pyramid Centre, Karama (04 335 0626). Open Sat-Thu 9.30am- 1.30pm, 8.30pm-11pm. All major credit cards.
Designers Hub: Thankfully, they know more about furniture here than they do about apostrophes. There are three stores: one supplies stylish office solutions to the likes of The World Bank; the other two will sell you high-end solutions for your rear end as you watch TV. The store nearest Malaysia Trade Centre is particularly wonderful if you’re a fan of mid-20th-century design, stocking iconic pieces like Eero Saarinen’s Jetsons-style tulip chair. Upstairs, there are one offs and limited editions to splash out on, like, if you’re more about comfort than conscience, Arne Jacobsen’s egg chair, which is covered in real polar bear skin.
Za’abeel Road, near Malaysia Trade Centre (04 334 2433). Open Sun- Thu 9am-6.30pm. All major credit cards.
Emirates Trading: A large and varied treasure trove of stationery, art supplies and office furniture, Emirates Trading is the sort of shop you go to with the aim of buying a hole punch but end up leaving with arms full of gadgets. Serious artists will find the sort of equipment – easels, drawing boards, paints etc – that is in short supply elsewhere in the city.
Al Makhawi Building, Umm Hurair Road near Al Nasr Cinema (04 337 5050). Open Sat-Thu 8am-11pm; Fri 5pm-11pm. All major credit cards.
Etc Living: Located in a stylish villa on a sought-after strip of Jumeirah estate, Etc Living is a boutique store where bags of style ideas thrive throughout the themed rooms. But expect more than an aesthetic arrangement of accessories for sale; the consultancy services of the in-house design team are also available to serious bidders. There’s a distinctly feminine feel to each Etc creation, designed around floral displays, screens and bedroom frills and fabrics. The staying power is provided by such premium interior brands as La Reine Des Prés, Villa Collection and Philippi.
Next to Lime Tree Café, Jumeirah Beach Road, Jumeirah (04 344 8868). Open Sat-Thu 10am-7pm. All major credit cards.
Fabindia: This iconic retail brand has redefined ethnic chic and inspired today’s popular lifestyle trend for authentic handcrafted furnishings and clothing. Fabindia sources its products from over 7,500 craftspeople and artisans across India, all of whom have helped create stylish home furnishings including bed, bath, table and kitchen linen, upholstery fabric, curtains, and floor coverings. In addition to handcrafted clothing and home furnishings, the product range also extends to garments for men, women, children and infants, garment accessories and organic food. What more could you want?
Al Mankhool Road, Bur Dubai (04 398 9633). Open Sat-Thu 10am-10pm; Fri 4pm-10pm. All major credit cards.
Falaknaz Habitat: Falaknaz Habitat sells home starter kits, containing everything from your doormat to the pictures on the wall. If all this sounds a little soulless, that’s because it probably is, but there’s plenty of choice and it’s certainly easier than schlepping around town in the blazing heat if you’ve got an empty white box to fill. Even if you’re not bulk buying, it’s worth checking out the store, as they have some excellent, colourful ceramics and a fine collection of minimalist furniture.
Jumeirah Plaza, Jumeirah Beach Road, Jumeirah (04 344 7456). Open Sat-Thu 9am-10pm; Fri 5pm-10pm. All major credit cards. Other location: Al Quoz, Road 4/368 (04 340 4996).
Five Green: Five Green is known for cool clothes collective, but it also stocks some funky interior gems. The Japanesestyle boutique not only plays host to work by local artists, it also has some striking pieces of furniture such as chunky Perspex tables and stainless steel chaise longues.
Behind Garden Home, Oud Metha (04 336 4100; www.fivegreen.com). Open Sat-Thu 10am-10pm; Fri 4pm-10pm. All major credit cards.
Harvey Nichols: It goes without saying that you’re paying for the names when you shop at Harvey Nichols. Fans of brash, big-brand fashion will be delighted that their sideboard can now match their underwear, courtesy of homeware collections from the likes of Missoni, Versace and Calvin Klein. Others, of course, will find it all unspeakably vulgar.
Mall of the Emirates (04 409 8888; www.harveynichols.com). Open Sun- Wed 10am-10pm; Thu-Sat 10am-12 midnight. All major credit cards.
Home Centre: The sheer enormity and affordability of Home Centre makes it the first port of call for most decoration desires. Over an expansive floor of bargain home furnishings, the easy-to-navigate, spacious showrooms showcase a vast range of furniture from far and wide, offering something for everyone with its eclectic array of Arabic, Asian and Western designs. Whether its weird or wonderful lampshades, funky ornaments, comfy bedding or functional cutlery you are after, you’ll find it here.
Mall of the Emirates (04 341 4441; www.homecentre.net). Open Sun- Wed 10am-10pm; Thu-Sat 10am-12 midnight. All major credit cards. Other locations: Mercato, Jumeirah Beach Road, Jumeirah (04 344 2266); Reef Mall (04 222 7755).
Homes R Us: With hundreds of select styles brought in from global designer houses, Homes R Us is equipped to offer a range of modern furniture that suits the multicultural fabric of the UAE market. A varied range of products are packed into the monster space, including bedroom sets, sofas, dining sets, bedding and bath accessories, lamps, carpets, kitchen and tableware, and recliners, among a host of others – all available at affordable prices.
Mazaya Centre, Sheikh Zayed Road (04 321 3444). Open Sat-Thu 10am-10pm; Fri 2pm-10pm. All major credit cards.
IDdesign: IDdesign is a stockist of modern furniture and an elegant range of domestic joys. There’s a tangible Danish influence at work in the more stylish pieces, and there’s a range of office furnishings sure to transform the experience of anyone working from home. Falling neatly between bespoke and bog-standard, IDdesign also boasts a service dubbed ‘Innovation’, allowing choosy homeowners to modify items in terms of material and size. Check out the tempting array of coloured glassware and the many cuttingedge lighting options.
Al Ittihad Road (04 266 6751; www.iddesign.dk). Open Sat-Thu 10am-10pm; Fri 4pm-10pm. All major credit cards. Other location: Mall of the Emirates (04 341 3434).
Ikea: Ikea has flatpacked itself all the way to the Middle East with the 25,400 sq m outlet in Dubai Festival City offering miles and miles of inspiration to nest builders. Home to every conceivable type of homeware, it’s the place where those new to the city swing by for basics and more expensive items alike. Expect self-assembly kitchen, bedroom, dining and bathroom accessories in abundance, designed to Scandinavian standards and tastes, of course.
Dubai Festival City (04 203 7505; www.ikeadubai.com). Open Sat-Fri 10am-12 midnight. All major credit cards.
Interiors: This popular UAE store offers furniture from across the world with items such as sofa sets, bedroom sets, dining room sets, outdoor furniture, carpets, curtains, lamps, mirrors, artwork, decorative items and much more. The company imports and markets the products of over 80 well-known furniture manufacturers from the USA, the UK, Spain, Italy, Belgium, Scandinavia, Australia and the Far East. These include such well-known names such as Broyhill, Pulaski and Lane of USA, Airsprung, Alston and Knightsbridge of UK, Mariner, Koher and Mabelco of Spain, Seven Sedie and Scappini of Italy. Don’t know about you, but we’re exhausted just thinking about it…
Umm Hurair Road, opposite TV station (04 337 0116). Open Sat- Thu 8.30am-9.30pm; Fri 5.30pm-9pm. All major credit cards.
Irony: The self-professed ‘providers of innovative lifestyle’ bring together beautiful furnishings, elegant tableware and inspirational interior design, which all confirm its strong claim. What makes this little store stand out from the myriad home decor outlets in the city is its unique collection of wrought iron furniture, carefully built by master craftsmen in the Philippines. But the magic doesn’t stop there – the outlet is a treasure trove of elegant wood and glass furniture, seasonal decorations and custom-designed tableware and linen that can add a sparkle to your next dinner party.
The Village (04 342 2145). Open Sat-Thu 10am-9pm; Fri 4pm-9pm. All major credit cards. Other location: Al Quoz Warehouse (04 340 8830).
JingHong Dragonmart: There’s a huge range of Chinese pottery that will liven up any whitewashed Dubai home. We’re particularly blown away by the cute Oriental parasols for just Dhs15, which look fabulous in the bedroom.
Hatta Road, next to International City (no number). Open 10am-10pm daily. No credit cards.
Kas Australia: Established in 1976, Kas Australia is master purveyor of the soft, fluorescent and frilly. The constantly changing ranges reflect global trends in home fashions to keep it ahead of the market. The snug little outlet in Mercato is limited in floor space, but speaks volumes in colour, shipping in soft furnishings exclusively from down under. Citrus-coloured pillows plump up against extravagantly textured throws and brightly coloured fabrics: a little goes a long way towards livening up any room.
Mercato (04 344 1179; www. kasaustralia.com.au). Open Sat- Thu 10am-12 midnight. All major credit cards. Other locations: BurJuman (04 359 0503); Ibn Battuta Mall (04 366 9386).
Kube: There’s a brilliant hidden stash here of Indian artwork and pottery in what appears to be a clothes store. Snap up one of the vintage trays covered in modern Indian paintings. Not just great for secret decorative housing bargains, you can buy a one-off item for your wardrobe too.
Opposite the Enoc building, near Lamcy Plaza (04 335 7657). Open 10am-10pm daily. All major credit cards.
The Living Zone: The Living Zone is made up of a home wonder trio to cure most domestic blues. American-owned Bombay is the place for luxurious bedroom accessories, crushed velvet cushions and expensive feathered lampshades, while Danish outlet The Zone makes an uncompromising style statement with stainless steel appliances and chrome kitchen utensils. The thrift shop feel hides a multitude of quirky treats so dig deep. Swiss store Bodum is petite in comparison to its boisterous brethren, but you’ll find enough quality cafetières and colourful coffee mugs to kit out your home.
Mercato, Jumeirah Beach Road, Jumeirah (04 344 5994). Open Sat-Thu 10am-12 midnight; Fri 6pm-12 midnight. All major credit cards. Other locations: Wafi (04 324 5255).
Lucky’s: A trip to Sharjah’s industrial estate isn’t most people’s idea of a good day out, but Lucky’s reputation precedes the unsightly visit as the best place in the UAE to pick up large pieces of Indian antique furniture. Three enormous warehouses are piled high with all manner of delightful pieces, from coffee tables to cabinets via candlesticks and bizarre figurines. You’ll find bargain prices that are unheard of when buying wooden furniture in Europe.
Industrial area no11, Sharjah (06 534 1937). Open Sat-Thu 9am-1pm, 4.30pm-8.30pm; Fri 9am-noon, 4.30pm-8.30pm. All major credit cards.
Marina: Dubai’s reputation for cheap but chunky items of quality wooden furniture is built on the supply of dealerships like Marina, a warehouse-cum-showroom jampacked with Indian and Indonesian furniture. Wooden coffee tables, chests and desks, punctuated by brass figurines and handmade silk throws, sit snugly in the antique reproduction niche. Marina isn’t the haven of antiques it purports to be, but does offer a few original items alongside attractive imitations at surprisingly low prices.
Al Barsha, interchange four, Sheikh Zayed Road, Bur Dubai (04 347 8940). Open 9.30am-8.30pm daily. All major credit cards. Other locations: Dubai Festival City (04 232 5935); Mall of the Emirates (04 341 0314); Souk Madinat Jumeirah (04 368 3050).
Marks & Spencer: No matter how many times they pass under the glowing green beacon, British expats will still appreciate the novelty factor of shopping in Marks while in the Middle East. However, banished are the childhood memories of chintzy tiebacks and frill-laden armchairs: today’s M&S most definitely has a firm foot in the future. The thoroughly modern Marks is a streamlined affair with a full range of attractive kitchenware and affordable dinnerware.
Dubai Festival City (04 206 6466; www.marksandspencerme.com). Open Daily 10am-10pm. All major credit cards. Other locations: Deira, near Reef Mall (04 222 2000); Wafi (04 324 5145).
Natuzzi: Before you even enter the 2,200 sq m expanse making up Natuzzi, you know you are in for a style treat. Beyond the ultra-cool glass-panelled exterior you stumble upon all that epitomises Italian style, luxury and innovation. Natuzzi is famed for being a leading manufacturer of leather sofas, but also offers complete lifestyle solutions suited to individual preferences and tastes. Products are created to reflect Natuzzi’s three design worlds – casual, urban and vintage. Expect an extensive range of classic leatherwork, casual furniture and contemporary accessories including glass, ceramic and metal items.
Between interchange two & three, Sheikh Zayed Road (04 338 0777; www.natuzzi.co.uk). Open Sat-Thu 9.30am-9,30pm; Fri 5pm-9.30pm. All major credit cards.
OK Furniture: ‘World’s most trusted brand!’ shrieks the leaflet for OK Furniture. That’s a big claim for a small chair shop on the Za’abeel Road, but the place at least lives up to its name, if not its ambitious slogan. Much of the furniture here is, well, just OK, but it’s the occasional gems which make it well worth a visit: a replica of Mies van der Rohe’s leather Barcelona chair, for example, with a price that’s more straw donkey than Iberian holiday.
Za’abeel Road, near Malaysia Trade Centre (04 335 2204). Open Sat- Thu 9am-9.30pm; Fri 5pm-9.30pm. All major credit cards. Other location: Al Mamzar (04 297 0110).
The One: Established in 1995, this local company has become the most popular home accessories shop in Dubai. The secret to its success is its design-led product range, neatly marrying ethnic accessories with bold, contemporary items of furniture that wouldn’t look out of place in any budding interior designer’s home. The city’s more stylish homes aren’t complete without a pair of brown leather reading chairs from The One, complete with dark wooden legs and simple stitching.
Jumeirah Beach Road, Jumeirah (04 345 6687). Open Sat-Thu 9am-10pm; Fri 2pm-10pm. All major credit cards. Other locations: BurJuman (04 351 4424); Mall of the Emirates (04 341 3777); Wafi (04 324 1224).
One World: East meets West amid the cornucopia of decorative treasures lining the shelves of One World. The diverse selection of unique items at affordable prices and the dynamic mix of striking colour combinations will leave you spoilt for choice. The outlet is an ideal stop for giftware, ethnic items, furniture, fine tableware and a seemingly endless list of gorgeous home accessories.
Ibn Batutta Mall (04 366 9742). Open 10am-11.30pm daily. All major credit cards. Other locations: Town Centre (04 344 9085).
Options: World-class designs are combined with innovative concept room displays that really do provide a wealth of design possibilities. The home decor collection includes accessories such as cushions, rugs, silverware, tableware, wall paintings, mirrors, bedding bits, potpourri, and an extensive range of garden furniture. Options further enhances the shopping experience with its convenient basement parking, coffee shop, team of professional interior designers on hand, and a special in-house childcare facility, which allows you to monitor your little ones on televisions on every level while you shop.
Za’abeel Road, near General Post Office (04 335 5344). Open Sat- Thu 10am-10pm; Fri 4pm-10pm. All major credit cards.
Pan Emirates: Whatever your style persuasion, Italian or Arabic, contemporary or classic, outdoor dining or indoor reclining, you’ll find cheaper versions of signature pieces from your favourite stores on sale here. Newcomers to Dubai are well advised to rummage through arguably the largest selection of beds and bedding in the UAE, particularly if hamstrung by limited first home budgets. If there’s a basic item of furniture not stocked by local giant Pan Emirates, we’ve yet to discover it.
Wafi (04 324 8061; www. panemirates.com). Open 10am-10pm daily. All major credit cards. Other location: Ibn Battuta Mall (04 368 5372).
Persepolis: ‘Dolce and Karama’ is not just about fake designer goods and mosque alarm clocks. Head down here for Kashmiri silk throws and cushion covers, ornamental buddhas, wall hangings, slippers and jewellery all for great prices. And since it’s off the beaten track, you’re entitled to bargain ’til the cows come home.
Karama shopping area (04 334 2824). Open Sat-Thu 9am-11pm; Fri 9am-11.30am, 3pm-11pm. All major credit cards.
Rattan House: Rattan is nature’s answer to quality furniture. Not only is the South East-Asian vine Tarzan-swingingly strong; the look is elegant, stylish and still highly popular around the globe. This handcrafted furniture brings a relaxed and tropical ambience to any living space – especially suitable when trying to achieve a beach house or summer home effect. Rattan House offers a good selection of rattan and wicker furniture, such as bedroom and dining sets, tables, bar stools, chairs and baskets, and a strangely exquisite rattan baby cot.
Sheikh Zayed Road (04 338 2977). Open Sat-Thu 8.30am-8pm. All major credit cards.
Royal Dirham: While Dubai is full to bursting with tat-tastic shops, the Royal Dirham (as its name so boldly denotes) is the king. Spread over two extravagantly lit floors, it includes every conceivable household item and a host of utterly random objects, including a whole row of almost-as-tacky-as-the-real-thing Burj artefacts. Big fun, and a good source of ‘secret Santa’ gifts.
Royal Dirham, opposite Musalla Towers, Bur Dubai (no number). Open 9am-12 midnight daily. No credit cards.
Singways: If you’ve decked out your pad in Ikea bargains, and want to top it all off with something a little more distinctive, then head to this spacious store on the first floor of Mall of the Emirates. Chic, contemporary furniture sits alongside lustrous vintagestyle vases and original canvases, and some of the pieces are dead ringers for designer classics, but at a fraction of the price. Pick of the bunch is the Dhs930 replica of Castiglioni’s iconic Arco floor lamp, complete with solid marble base.
Mall of the Emirates (04 340 9116; www.singways.net). Open Sun-Wed 10am-10pm; Thu-Sat 10am-12 midnight. All major credit cards.
Table Art: A quick delve into Table Art will set your dinner table apart with its luxury glassware and porcelain products. Renowned international brands feature premium products that vary from the simple to the exquisite, each item crafted from only the finest materials. The enviable product range includes fine china, hand-painted porcelain; gilded, lead-free crystal and a range of gift items such as the much sought-after Murano glass. Some of the luxury brands in-store include Herend from Hungary, Moser from the Czech Republic, William Yeoward crystal and Dibbern.
Ibn Batutta Mall (04 366 9710). Open 10am-12 midnight. All major credit cards. Other location: Mall of the Emirates (04 341 3663).
Tanagra: If you are prone to accidentally knocking things off shelves, avoid Tanagra, as a second mortgage may be needed to cover any breakages. The shop boasts the city’s finest crystal and porcelain ranges and todie- for trademarks like Bernadaud and Baccarat are standard fare. You’ll find contemporary ornaments and classic figurines, and piles of Hollywood’s favourite sparkler, Swarovski crystal. Even the stylish dinner sets are stamped with the desirable initials of European master plate makers Villeroy & Boch. Classy.
BurJuman (04 355 0183). Open Sat-Thu 10am-10pm; Fri 2pm-10pm. All major credit cards. Other locations: Deira City Centre (04 295 0293); Mall of the Emirates (04 341 1084); Wafi (04 324 2340).
Tepe Home: Tepe Home stocks elegant glassware and other accessories alongside large pieces of furniture. The outdoor furniture is tasteful and modern, wicker chairs surround chunky wooden family-sized tables and the bold recliners are sure to brighten up a dull garden. To add a touch of luxury to your bathroom the Dhs3,065 jacuzzi should suffice. If that is beyond your budget, the Dhs17 wooden soap dispenser will spruce up a dated washroom.
Mall of the Emirates (04 341 0001). Open Thu-Sat 10am-12 midnight; Sun-Wed 10am-10pm. All major credit cards.
Tomaco: Tomaco – not to be confused with Tomacco, the half tomato, half-tobacco fruit that Homer misguidedly creates in The Simpsons – is a cavernous showroom packed full of worldclass kitchen equipment. Purchase Italian pots and pans from the likes of Paderno and dangerously check the sharpness of professional quality knives from around the globe. If you don’t find what you need, try Al Diyafah at the Courtyard just behind Tomaco – unofficially this is Dubai Kitchen City – for a cookware extravaganza.
Sheikh Zayed Road, between junctions three and four (04 340 0191). Open Sun-Wed 9am-5.30pm; Thu 9am-2pm. All major credit cards.
VG Newtrend: This trendy home shop is decorated in black. It’s refreshing to find a store in Dubai with the nerve to make such a bold style statement. And in this tiny copy of the greater cosmos, the pioneering designers have placed extraordinarily beautiful flower displays, crafted with infinite patience in equally extravagant vases and bowls. If your idea of a full bloom is more sublime sculpture than houseplant, the spacemen at VG await.
Wafi (04 324 5430; www.vgnewtrend.it). Open Sat-Wed 10am-10pm; Thu-Fri 10am-12 midnight. All major credit cards.
The White Company: Among Britain’s most successful new business ventures, The White Company is one of those brands that seems to be touting a lifestyle dream rather than selling anything especially distinctive. There’s Make your meals a thing of beauty It’s not often that a humble plate ignites excitement. Essentially they’re clay moulds, heated to a searing temperature and then used to aid the scoffing process. There are some folk who use them to decorate their walls, but they’re in the minority and, forgive the generalisation, usually over 70. But trust the French to put some passion into a mundane household item. Eat off a plate from Geneviève Lethu and your takeaway fish and chips will magically transform into five-star poisson et pommes de terre frites. Of course, being French, they’ve given the collections ludicrously pompous names (‘Le Memoire du temps’ [the past in the present] and ‘Un tresor poudre’ [a modern glamour] are particular favourites). They are just things to eat off, after all.
Mall of the Emirates (04 341 0493). Open Sun-Wed 9am-11pm; Thu-Sat 9am-12 midnight. All major credit cards.
Plates from Mercato Mall: Something breathtakingly smug about the kind of people who shop at The White Company, but that’s nothing compared to the satisfaction the owners must be feeling: the mark-up on the plain white goods sold here – everything from tea towels to bedside tables – must be immense. To give them their dues, however, the quality is tiptop. Particularly noteworthy is the Egyptian cotton bed linen and there’s great fun to be had requesting a pair of their finest ‘scented balls’.
(04 344 8810; www.genevievelethu.net). Other locations: Deira City Centre (04 295 6182); Dubai Festival City (04 232 5506); Wafi (04 327 9110).
Zara Home: Just like the clothing range, Zara Home caters for fans of hip urban chic. There is a mix of styles to suit every design taste, from ethnic animal print and vibrant Indian batik to kitsch paisley and modern cream hues. From bedspreads and bathroom accessories to funky kitchenwares in a cornucopia of colours, Zara Home has a little of everything at surprisingly reasonable prices. To complete its full-scale assault on your home, Zara-branded beauty products are offered along with some night wear.
Mall of the Emirates (04 341 4184). Open Thu-Sat 10am-1am. All major credit cards. Other locations: BurJuman (04 359 9988); Deira City Centre (04 295 2092).
Zen Interiors: If the idea of identikit furniture doesn’t appeal, Zen has the perfect, custom-made antidote, creating furniture for the mind, body and soul. Centuries-old carving techniques are revisited within modern designs, and remixed for contemporary living. Items are hand-carved, hand-finished and made of select natural wood timbers. Furniture can also be custom-made to reflect colours and available carvings. All fabrics are hand-woven, fire retardant and pre-shrunk. Items are lovingly assembled, ensuring you don’t have to hammer part B into hole C while cursing Swedish designers.
Between interchange four & five, Sheikh Zayed Road (04 340 5050; www.zeninteriors.net). Open Sat- Thu 9am-9pm; Fri 3pm-9pm. All major credit cards.