Vintage finds or emerging designer pieces, Dubai’s markets have it all
From organic produce to vintage pop-ups to artisan finds and nighttime browsing, Dubai is experiencing a market boom. A number of meeting places have popped up all over the city, showcasing local produce and fabulous wares. Here are the must-visit markets for a hands-on shopping experience.
Various locations across Dubai
The region's premier open-air marketplace, the Ripe Market have a day and time to suit every schedule. The latest version is hosted in the lush grounds of the Le Meridien Mina Seyahi every Wednesday, with the five-star hotel's ocean-front outdoor amphitheatre taken over by stalls stocked with artisan crafts, stylish labels, food trucks, and fresh produce straight from the Ripe farm. Fridays from 9am to 3pm at Zabeel Park is where to find organic produce grown by local farmers, al fresco breakfast and lunch options, and local designer stalls selling everything from one-of-a-kind costume jewellery to handmade T-shirts, bags and prints. Spend Saturday evening at the Ripe Market at Al Barsha Pond Park, where it's all about the fun, family atmosphere, with film screenings, fitness activities, and live acoustic music sets as well as food and shopping stalls.
The Beach at JBR
Fancy a swim, some shopping and a freshly-made gourmet meal? Find all this and more at The Beach's new seaside markets. Open from 10am to midnight daily during the winter months, the outdoors, traffic-free space is split into two sections, one offering stalls featuring jewellery, fashion and homewares, the other featuring meals and snacks packaged to-go, and ready to nibble on by the sand.
ARTE, The Makers Market
Times Square Centre, Mercato Mall, Oasis Mall
One of Dubai’s longest-standing markets, ARTE is home to the Artisans of the Emirate. Every Friday, in various locations around the city, painters, artists, crafters and bakers converge to show off their pieces, handmade with love. Founder Miriam Walsh started the market a decade ago to give the city’s creative set an outlet to share their work. Since then, it has become a much-loved institution, with themed weekly markets. What’s on offer? Intricate jewellery, hand-carved woodwork, aromatherapy candles, hand-stitched stuffed toys, jams and chutneys. It’s the best place to pick up unique souvenirs.
Dubai Flea Market
Various locations across Dubai
If you like to travel like a local check out the Dubai Flea Market. Held three to four times each month and in locations including The Greens, Zabeel Park, Jumeirah Lakes Towers, and Ibn Battuta Mall, this market is ideal for seasoned market-goers. Furnished with a strict second-hand policy here, each site attracts more than 300 stalls of furniture, fabrics, instruments, ceramics, clothes, crafts and antiques. There's a lot to take in, but some patience and strong bargaining skills will carry the day and ensure you leave with some great treasures.
Reform Night Market
Reform's green lawns give a garden party feel to its market nights, with a number of themes being rotated during the winter months. Held on selected weeknights, the Fashion Swap Shop is always buzzing with carefully curated vendors offering items including beachwear, vintage finds, organic threads and kids' labels. The venue encourages browsers to linger, with salon manicures and mini massages offered to shoppers.
So Chic Pop-Up Vintage Market
While Dubai is known for keeping up with the latest trends, vintage fashion gets its time in the limelight at the So Chic pop-up. Held quarterly, shoppers can uncover pre-loved fashion treasures passed on from the city's most stylish women, from both local and international designers and boutique brands from Chanel and Sandro, to The Kooples and Garance.
Farmers’ Market on The Terrace
Bay Avenue, Business Bay
For six months of the year, in the shadows of the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa, a group of organic farmers sell their best locally grown produce, from tomatoes to farm-fresh eggs. The Farmers’ Market, organised every Friday morning by local deli Baker & Spice, stocks aromatic herbs, the region’s sweetest honey, handmade jams and breads, plus vibrant fruits and vegetables sold directly by the farmers themselves.
Head outdoors for some retail therapy, or try something traditional at the souks.