Your shopping guide to Arabic perfumes and authentic fragrances
As one of the world’s top shopping destinations, Dubai is the first port of call for perfume lovers seeking something a little bit special. In our souks, salons and malls, you can find a world of fragrances from famous names, sitting alongside niche and speciality perfumes, including those created by Arabian perfumeries. In typical Arabic style, Middle Eastern perfumery doesn't do subtlety. Expect bold, heavy-hitting fragrances that use the finest ingredients and are sure to make a long-lasting olfactory impression. Ready to get spritzing? Here’s our guide to the best Arabic perfume houses Dubai has to offer.
Ajmal Arabic perfume
Based in Dubai and family run since 1951, Ajmal is a favourite fragrance house among Dubai residents. In-house nose Nazir Ajmal specialises in spice-laden scents and traditional Ouds with his Dahn Al Oudh line, including the special edition Al Shams which comes in three concentration intensities depending on the wearer’s tolerance. Find the full line in The Dubai Mall, Mall of the Emirates and Mirdif City Centre.
A luxury niche fragrance house, Khaltat was founded by Emirati Mohamed Hilal, and aims to capture the sensation of falling in love. Dubbed “the blends of love”, his eaux des parfums take a more romantic approach to Arabian perfumery, combining prestige notes such as velvety Turkish rose and Indian sandalwood with the traditional Agarwood to create a softer, sweeter aromatic for his signature fragrance, Ask. Book an appointment at their salon boutique in Saks in Burjuman for a guided tour around the collection.
Popular with the Emirati fashion set and stocked exclusively in global beauty powerhouse, Sephora, Mohammed Ne’emah's creations modernise elements of traditional Arabic fragrance. His bestseller, Layla, cleans up an oud base with sweet vanilla, powdery musk and dry cedarwood for an easy-to-wear evening scent that retains the smoky sensuality of its desert origins.
Designed to be delicately dabbed on to pulse points, rather than spritzed, Swiss Arabian’s line of alcohol-free, concentrated parfums are homages to oud. One of their bestsellers, Kashkha, is a rich blend of oud, incense and saffron, lightened with a touch of musk. Unisex and housed in an ornate golden flask, it’s a slightly showy introduction to heady, woody aromatics, Dubai-style. Find the brand in our leading malls including The Dubai Mall, Ibn Battuta Mall and Souk Al Bahar, or head to Dubai Outlet Mall for Swiss Arabian's showroom for discontinued stock.
Based in neighbouring Oman, Amouage was born out of the Sultan's love of fragrance. Known for their intricate blends of precious woods and Middle Eastern spices such as frankincense and myrrh under the guidance of creative director, Christopher Chong, the luxury perfume houses’s beautifully heavy flagons make the perfect memento of your travels. Amouage is best sampled in their UAE flagship store in The Dubai Mall, tucked between fellow fragrance rock stars, Creed and L'Artisan Parfumeur.
Splitting their time between Dubai and Grasse, France, co-founders Geoffrey and Martine specialise in recreating ouds for a modern market. Their sophisticated blends of marine accents, tropical fruits and agarwood are rivalled only by the delicate crystal-studded perfume bottles. Visit their boutique in Grosvenor House, Dubai Marina to have yours engraved with a personal message, or have a tailored blend created just for you.
Sure, the Spanish perfumer may not be based in the Emirates, but Ramon Monegal was so taken by the city’s energy during a visit that it inspired his next major fragrance release. Dubai Next To Me is a heady mix of warmed leather, creamy tonka bean and oud, sweetened with dried apricots, coconut and jasmine. It's available exclusively at Bloomingdale’s, The Dubai Mall.