These unique boutiques offer one-of-a-kind mementos of your Dubai adventure
You’ve shopped for yourselves, now it’s time to find treasures for someone special. Look for artisan mementos from some of the most distinctive and quirky boutiques in Dubai. From bohemian homewares to bespoke fragrances, there’s a gift for every age and taste. Here are some of our finest picks.
Specializing in unique art and design finds, Cities boutique has curated the favorite (and slightly eccentric) finds of globetrotting founder Hazem Aljesr, the results filling the homes of hip young Emiratis and in-the-know expats alike. The shop’s floor focuses on regional designers, with rotating in-house exhibitions featuring exclusive items presented each season. Look for structural pieces with a Bedouin-meets-Lebanon twist from the likes of Alma de Luce, Nada Debs, and Corinne Martin.
Embracing Dubai’s laid-back philosophy, this part-café, part-homewares boutique is all about beachy chic style. The bohemian vibe sees wicker baskets full of seaside treasures share floor space with hand-knotted and stone-washed rugs, beach-ready Bsbee kaftans and tunics, and, if you’re happy to pay the shipping back home, sun-bleached sofas and hanging pod chairs in natural fibres. Or keep it simple and opt for a pastel-hued teapot from their hand-painted line.
A spin-off of the popular and Emirati-owned high fashion boutique,S*uce, this jewellery-dedicated cousin is an Aladdin’s cave of wondrously fresh designs from local and regional artisans working with gems, metals and precious stones. Look for charms and rings with a modern take on the traditional “evil eye” and Hamsa palm iconology from local designers Ayaat, Bil Arabi, L’Atelier Nawbar, and Lito and Ralph Masricuffs, which all capture the mashrabiya lattice patterns, seen in mosque windows and traditional-style homes around the city.
The humble date may be part of a staple diet across the region, but there’s nothing standard about these sweet delights sold in Bateel. Like premium Swiss chocolates, these delicacies are renowned as being among the world’s best. You’ve got an array of options to choose from – try the ones filled with caramelized nuts, or, for a more exotic flavour, savour those stuffed with candied ginger, lemon or orange peel. These sweet treasures, grown from the date palms of Saudi Arabia, come beautifully packaged and in many guises – date cookies, honey and jams and even date mustard.
SoH Art + Beauty
Known for quirky nail art and speedy blow-outs, SoH already has a reputation for cool, street-style beauty. But it’s the salon’s side hustle that is developing a following among Dubai’s fashion forward crowd, with the nail artists’ intricate and edgy designs now available as artwork on your item of choice. Canvas totes, jeans, Converse sneakers, and even Hermes Birkins have all been given the SoH treatment, with the Dubai skyline, an Arabian re-imagining of the Disney Princesses, and the abaya-wearing habibi mascot making up the most popular designs.
Al Jazeera Perfumes
While The Dubai Mall’s Gold Souk is known for its namesake products, the wide indoor avenue is also home to a range of ouds and intense Arabic fragrances. Selecting your fragrance at Al Jazeera Perfumes is an experience within itself, with distilled oils presented one by one in a private seating area, before being mixed to your exact preference, with pure sandalwood, rose and jasmine oils, and bottled in the preferred glass flask by the millilitre. The nearby Paris Gallery has a more Western take on the Middle East’s favourite note, with the department store stocking oud-heavy lines from niche perfumeries Clive Christian, Music De Parfum, By Kilian, Roja Parfums, and Byredo.
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