Ten must-try spots in Dubai’s Box Park lifestyle district

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Boxpark is a funky retail district along Dubai’s Al Wasl Road. The urban offering has quirky dining options and an eclectic mix of high-street fashion labels and entertainment brands, as well as some pretty interesting sustainable art. It’s an unpretentious space, with streets and alleyways and shops modelled on shipping containers. The area includes several parks and 200 parking spaces. The district was the brainchild of Meraas Holding, the firm behind The Beach development in Dubai’s JBR area and the Citywalk project in the heart of Jumeirah. Check out 10 to look out for.

Poupette à la Plage

There are a lot of beachwear clothing companies for kids out there, but this one is a little different. Swimwear and accessories are made from vintage-­inspired fabrics and the prints are gorgeous. Dress and headscarf combos, mix-and-match shorts, hats and ponchos make the pieces highly adaptable and prices start from about Dh135.

Marimekko

Despite celebrating its 50th anniversary last year, this is one brand that has stayed young. Think uber-cool Finnish designs with vibrant colours and playful prints for the clothing. Accessories and homeware can also be found in Marimekko’s store in Boxpark. We’re loving the summer 2015 collection, with its nature theme and aquatic colour palette.

Polliwalks

The tagline of this brand is “fun for feet” and looking at the shoes you can see why. Perfect for the UAE’s climate and kids who love to run on the beach, these foam slip-ons come in a range of colours and styles of well-known TV characters such as Elmo and Cookie Monster. Kids who don’t take their shoes or themselves too seriously will love making patterns in the sand with the fun designs of Polliwalks’ soles.

The Melting Pot

We can’t wait to try this fondue restaurant when it opens for business. The North American concept is a successful one and on the menu in Dubai will be favourites such as classic cheese fondue with artisan bread. Entrees will range from ravioli to filet mignon and seafood salads. For those with a sweet tooth, The Melting Pot won’t disappoint, with chocolate fondues served with a choice of fresh fruit, marsh­mallows and brownies.

Urbanist

This store bills itself as a place where Dubai city-dwellers can seek out the latest edgy apparel and accessories. Urbanist is also a place where customers can source unique objects for their home, such as canvas-stretched paintings and soft furnishings.

Studio Masr

The smell of freshly baked Halaby bread from the ovens of this restaurant in Boxpark will no doubt be enough to tempt you inside. Fans of Middle Eastern fare will find plenty of house specialities to choose from, including veal cutlets and grilled fish of the day, as well as crowd-pleasers such as shish tawook and lamb kofta.

Cioccolatitaliani

The name pretty much says it all and a visit to this Italian eatery will be a must for chocolate lovers when it opens later this year. In addition to chocolate-based drinks, snacks and desserts, the restaurant will also have a wide range of pastas, salads and fruity gelatos.

Angels and Imaginarium

Many of Boxpark’s outlets are dedicated to children, and there are two shops to keep an eye out for in the coming months. The first is Angels, which is the place to head to if you’re looking to treat your tots to designer togs. On the racks of the high-end boutique will be brands from Baby Dior and Burberry to Hugo Boss and Ferrari. Then there’s Imaginarium, a haven of soft toys for toddlers, mechanised cars for the garden and classic games and puzzles for all ages.

Typo

A great addition to the Boxpark portfolio is this specialist art and stationery shop. If you're looking to have gifts intricately wrapped in-store or buy paints and stencils for home crafts, then this is your one-stop shop. Online promotions include deals on hand-painted cushions and office stationery.

rduane@thenational.ae