From Alexander McQueen to Chanel, our vibrant city boasts the world’s top fashion labels – as well as department stores such as Saks Fifth Avenue, Bloomingdales, and Harvey Nichols. But Dubai is also a hotbed of independent boutiques – and we love that our inspiring, fashion-forward local women founded many of them. These shops showcase local design talent alongside global power brands for a refreshing retail experience.
Hurry to Jumeriah to experience our city’s top indie shops. Boutique 1 at The Walk at JBR is a two-floor multi-brand haven offering high-end runway collections with both international and local talent in stock. These range from Missoni, Carolina Herrera and Mary Katrantzou, to Middle East designers on the order of Basil Soda, Maha Lozi, and By Sophie.
Another must-visit is S*uce, founded by a trio of Middle Eastern women. The company has six Dubai outlets. Peruse an edgy selection ranging from playful, embellished sweatshirts by designer du jour Markus Lupfer to the signature lip and bird motifs of S*uce’s very own ready-to-wear line Zayan The Label. Other multi-brand boutiques in Jumeirah include Socialista at the Sunset Mall. Hip Arab-American sisters Lama and Dalia Sadiq handpick ultra-feminine pieces for Socialista, with its minimalist dÉcor of white walls, glass and steel. Labels here range from the US brand Opening Ceremony to Dubai-based Kage.
For an exclusive Dubai shopping experience, check out the independent boutiques housed in beautiful villa properties in the Jumeirah area. At multi-brand store Studio 8, founded by Dubai style maven Sarah Belhasa, you’ll find Indian and Pakistani labels alongside Emirati designers such as Khulood Bin Arab, who is known for her sumptuous, Swarovski-encrusted evening gowns. You’ll also find inspiration at Kimaya, which is celebrated for its exquisite eveningwear by respected Indian labels of the likes of Tarun Tahiliani, Gaurav Gupta, and Kavita Bhartia.
Vintage aficionados will discover rich pickings at villas along Jumeirah Beach Road. For authentic, pre-loved designer gear, head to the treasure trove that is Garderobe, founded by former fashion buyer Micha Maatouk. Upscale brands you might chance upon include Chanel, Balenciaga, and Bottega Veneta. Another popular vintage haven is nearby Bambah – from a perfect Lanvin LBD to rare Dior sunnies, you may just hit upon it here.
If one-of-a-kind lifestyle items are on your radar, you’ll find super-cool concept stores in villas along Jumeirah Beach Road. At The Zoo, step into an imaginative world that offers arty gifts, clothes, and accessories. Or shop and sip at French boutique and café Comptoir 102. You’ll love the trés chic mix of interiors, fashion accessories, and gifts – plus the wholesome culinary menu (try the green juices).
Similarly hip lifestyle boutiques in the area include O-Concept, which showcases Middle East and international brands, and has a café offering coffee and light snacks. There’s also The Odd Piece, an eclectic furniture and home accessories store that’s a labor of love for design enthusiast Arwa Hafiz.
Away from Jumeirah, established multi-brand emporium Symphony can be found at The Dubai Mall. Symphony is the brainchild of Emirati stylesetter Salama Alabbar, who wanted to create a luxury ‘home from home’. Labels Marchesa, Issa, Vera Wang, and Temperley London are sold alongside emerging Middle East names such as Abeer Al Suwaidi, Razan Alazzouni and Reem Juan. Venture onto the store’s terrace for views of the Burj Khalifa and dancing fountains.
Founded by fashion visionary Ingie Chalhoub, Etoile has three Dubai shops, all with opulent, gilded interiors. Enjoy big names like AlaÏa, Christian Dior, and Prabal Gurung, or delve into regional talent such as Rani Zakhem and Toujouri.
Meanwhile Rivaage, founded by Dubai businesswoman Rohini Gehani, offers a light, airy space filled with plenty of style hits.
Another multi-brand destination is Ginger and Lace – drop by one of two whimsical stores at Ibn Battuta Mall and WAFI Mall. Stock up on emerging brands plucked from around the world, including Cristiano Burani, Butter by Nadia, and MLH.
For costume jewellery devotees, a must-visit is Sophie’s Closet on Sheikh Zayed Road. You’ll find everything from a rare vintage Chanel cuff to striking Elizabeth Cole earrings, plus there are bags, belts and other accessories.
And don’t forget our boutiques selling traditional Arabic clothing. Growing fashion house DAS, founded by chic Emirati sisters Reem and Hind Beljafla, was built upon the idea of giving a modern twist to the traditional abaya – this is achieved through their signature cut, which comes in a variety of hues, lengths and fabrics, and often with on-trend embellishments.
One thing’s for sure, you won’t be short of fabulous shopping options in our stylish city.