Dubai is famous for its style and shopping culture: from local items to luxury brands, this city is on every fashion lover’s bucket list. Find out the best places to see the Emirate’s chic styles and be introduced into its fashion scene.
For those looking to indulge in local trends and to acquire ethnic items, this modern market is a must-see. Mimicking the style and architecture of a traditional Arabic market, the Souk Madinat Jumeirah offers the best shops for fashionistas seeking to add a traditional twist to their look. The souk — which means market — has several small stands selling anything from jewelry to footwear, all from countries around the region. This is the ideal place to take in views of the Burj Al Arab while shopping.
Souk Madinat Jumeirah, Al Sufouh Rd, Dubai, +971 4 366 8888
This store gathers styles from the best local designers, and is the place where all up-and-coming designers in the region get together with pop-up stands. The Fashion Vault is the best place to admire local talent, and to get the opportunity to support regional creatives who are making waves in Dubai’s fashion scene.
Located at Dubai Mall — the world’s largest shopping mall with over 1,200 retail outlets — Fashion Avenue is every designer lover’s dream destination. All the best-known luxury brands are gathered in a quiet corner of the mall, and provide shoppers with the most high-end shopping experience possible. Chanel, Valentino, Gucci, Cartier… the list goes on. Fashion Avenue even offers a personal shopping experience, which includes personal styling, an exclusive porter service and more, to make every shopper feel unique. The service can be booked online in advance.
The Dubai International Financial Center (DIFC) is the place to dine in Dubai. Gathering some of the world’s classiest restaurants as well as local flavors, the area caters to every taste. It is a hip and luxurious spot. DIFC is also the place to admire a variety of art galleries and grab a late dinner at Sass Cafe. This Monégasque (hailing from Monaco) restaurant turns into a lounge late at night, frequented by Dubai’s cool crowd. Alternatively, for some of Dubai’s best Japanese cuisine, try Zuma. This popular restaurant provides an elegant dining experience along with a stylish bar and lounge. Another of the world’s best, Cipriani, is located in DIFC, and is the place to rub shoulders with Dubai’s biggest fashion bloggers.
From pop-up stores to major events, Dubai Design District (better known as d3) is the place to see and be seen. Whether grabbing a quick coffee at One Life Kitchen and Cafe or sipping on wine at The Lighthouse, this is the place to watch Dubai’s stylish citizens going about their daily lives. Some of the city’s biggest fashion events are held in d3, where Middle Eastern designers showed off their couture and ready-to-wear skills in runway shows. An annual event held at d3 is Sole DXB, a footwear fashion experience that gathers some of the best-known international athleisure brands. Such events also offer concerts and talks, and are a great space for the fashion community to gather.
Horse racing is massively adored in Dubai, and the Dubai World Cup is the biggest event of all. It has been a fixture on Dubai’s events calendar since 1996, and draws enthusiasts from all over the globe to watch one of the most luxurious horse races in the world. It takes place every March, in Meydan. Horses are not the only attraction of the event, as the Dubai World Cup is the best place to see avant-garde looks and some of the city’s most daring styles. The Dubai World Cup even holds a competition for the best hat, and many women get theirs made especially for the event. All the biggest names in Dubai fashion are regular attendees, giving fashion lovers the perfect opportunity to admire looks that truly are pieces of art.