This amazing city is infamous for the extravagance of its shopping experiences. You can gorge yourself at the mega malls, one has more than 1200 stores, packed with every ultra-expensive designer and luxury brand known to woman. You can click right through ever expanding online shopping sites, save at multiple Duty Free Stores at the airport or scrounge for bargains at an outlet mall located in the desert. Shop around the world at Global Village or wander narrow passageways scavenging the traditional souqs for spices, textiles and heaven knows what else.
To tempt shoppers even more, Dubai offers two city wide shopping festivals a year where more than 6,000 stores offer heavy discounts. In fact, retail accounts for around 30 percent of the gross domestic product in Emirate of Dubai.
This is all well and good but maybe you are looking for something more? . . . something priceless?
Where is the most unique shopping experience in Dubai?
Dubai's real shopping treasure is down a dusty unpaved road in the industrial area of Al Quoz #1.
|Good friends Angela Martin & |
Carol Critchon on their
first Antique Museum foray!!
|Carmen Clarke loves this place!|
A pleasant guard shows us to the entrance and we climb through a small antique wooden door, and over its rather high threshold, emerging into an attractive office. There sitting behind a desk wearing a big welcoming grin is the proprietor Bob, destined to become one of my best Dubai friends. We proceed to spent more than four hours rummaging around the vast and infinite collection of amazing “stuff!”
The Antique Museum, operated by the Fakih Group, is an “over-the-top” eclectic collection of souvenirs, gifts, antiques, and handicrafts, lamps, decorative items, oils, perfumes, jewelry, furniture, clothing items and too much more to list. It even has a first-class framing shop.
Plan to take the afternoon exploring because this is a not a place you go through quickly. Spread across four warehouses –all recently air-conditioned, thank you Bob - there is real danger here of sensory overload as you gorge yourself on a dizzy array of goods arranged in various sections connected by narrow stuffed aisles – and don’t forget to look up, even the ceilings are chuck full of goodies.
|Jani Diedam cooling off!|
Operating in India, Thailand, Nepal, Indonesia, China, Burma, Vietnam, Turkey, Cambodia, Philippines, Africa and the UAE, the Fakih Group provides its workers with a very equitable wages and good working conditions enabling the otherwise unemployable the opportunity to support themselves and their families.
The company’s philosophy is “Let the customers participate in our campaign of charity work.” They accomplish this by channeling the work of craftsmen and artisans to manufacture high quality handicraft items based on traditional and modern designs that you and I can enjoy.
As all good things must come to an end so has bargaining at the Antique Museum. They now have set prices but they are still very good prices and the bonus is you can feel good about your purchases. You are an active participant in the civic engagement of helping someone feed and educate their family.
Postscripts . . .
1) Dress coolly, while Bob has the warehouses air conditioned now it still can get a bit sticky as you work up a “shopping” sweat.
2) Give yourself enough time to savor the experience this is truly one of Dubai’s treasures.
3) Go back again and again . . . each time I wandering the passageways I discover exquisite new items.
How to get there . . .coming from Dubai Marina take Sheikh Zayed Road towards Dubai and exit at Marabea’ Street (Exit 42) and follow signs to Marabea’ taking your first right then a left. This road ends at Marabea’ Street . . . turn right and move quickly to the far left lane turning left at the light (8th Street). . . go on until to see on your right the big blue Kanoo Building at the light - turn right. Look on the right for a very small mosque sitting on a corner – look for the microphones up in the trees which are the easiest to see – turn right and the Antique Museum is on your right
. . . . coming from old Dubai take Sheikh Zayed Road toward Abu Dhabi exit at Marabea’ Street . . . as you travel the overpass move to the left lane and turn left at the light (8th Street) . . . go on until to see on your right the big blue Kanoo Building at the light - turn right. Look on the right for a very small mosque sitting on a corner – look for the microphones up in the trees which are the easiest to see – turn right and the Antique Museum is on your right.
Telephone: +971 (0) 4 347 9935
Web site: http://www.fakihcollections.com/corporate.php
|Katie & Bob|