While the UAE certainly isn't short of air-conditioned shopping malls, there's nothing quite like a marketplace and some of Dubai's favourites have moved indoors for the summer.
There's something for every shopper in Dubai and these markets are spread throughout the city, from Barsha to Palm Jumeirah and Dubai Festival City.
Here are some of the best indoor markets to check out this summer.
Dubai Flea Market
Dubai’s popular flea market has moved indoors for the summer with an event at Dubai World Trade Centre, at the main hall 4. It takes place on the first Sunday of the month, from 11am to 6pm, the next one will happen on Sunday, August 7. Usually taking place outdoors at a different location each month, Dubai Flea Market is a place to sell and buy secondhand goods, with everything from furniture and appliances to electronics and antiques on sale. Also find toys, games, books, clothes, ceramics and more.
More information is available at www.dubai-fleamarket.com
There Goes the Neighbourhood
This monthly alternative market experience will next take place on Saturday and Sunday, August 6 and 7 at One Life Kitchen and Cafe in Dubai Design District. It's a celebration of Africa and the African diaspora, with about 20 vendors selling goods, offering workshops, playing games and providing trivia. African street food options, including South African braai, will also be on offer, as well as live music.
More information is at www.instagram.com/tgtnalternativemarket
Shop from vintage, thrift and local artisans at the Urban Market, which is next taking place on Saturday, August 6 from 2pm to 8pm at Radisson Red Hotel Dubai Silicon Oasis. High-street fashion, beauty products, wellness and fitness items, plus plenty more, will be on sale. There will be live beats, drinks and burgers to enjoy, too.
More information is available at www.urbanmarketconcept.com
Mall of the Emirates’s cultural hub now has a new market, which features home-grown brands, leading artists and designers specialising in jewellery, fashion, arts and crafts, as well as culinary experiences. Located on level two in the fashion dome, next to Armani Cafe, Zeman Awwal also offers a new drop and shop service for parents looking to keep their children entertained while they trawl the mall. This new service is on offer daily between 1pm and 10pm for children aged 3 to 9 or Dh70 to 100 per hour.
More information is available at www.malloftheemirates.com
One of Dubai's favourite outdoor markets moves indoors during the summer, with several events each month. Every Saturday, head to The Springs Souk between 10am and 10pm or Golden Mile Galleria at Palm Jumeirah between 9am to 7pm. On Sundays the market moves to Times Square Centre Dubai (August 7, 14 and 28 from 10am to 7pm), Me’aisem City Centre (August 7 and 21 from 10am to 10pm) and Circle Mall in JVC (August 14 and 28 from 10am to 7pm). Expect the regular roster of vendors selling all sorts of beautiful, handmade items, including food, gift, jewellery, clothes, homeware and more.
More information is available at www.ripeevents.com
As part of Dubai Design District’s Rethink Summer programme, which includes workshops, talks, activities and more throughout d3, there’s Reborn Society, an exclusive pop-up shop by influencer and designer Zeynab El-Helw. The brand's sustainable fashion collections, made from 100 per cent organic cotton and recycled materials, are up for sale, and a portion of the proceeds will go towards UNHCR to support refugees around the world. Find it at the d3 Summer Hub.
More information is available at www.therebornsociety.com
Souk Al Marfa
Peruse the hundreds of shops and stalls at Deira’s waterfront marketplace, which has 70 retail pavilions divided into various core categories. This includes the recently opened Museum Hub, which comprises 50 stalls and boasts a collection of 10 million antiques and rarities representing the pre-millennium lifestyle and heritage of the UAE. The stalls, dubbed “museums”, are thematically curated, presenting items from handmade portraits of UAE leaders to postal stamps and coins to jewellery and musical instruments. There are some fascinating pieces on display, many of which are for sale.
More information is available at www.soukalmarfa.ae
Not Just For Vegans
This ad-hoc vegan market is hosting events in Abu Dhabi and Dubai this month, with a pop-up at The Sportsman’s Arms in the capital's Zayed Sports City on Sunday, August 21, followed by one at Zabeel House The Greens by Jumeirah on Sunday, August 28, each from noon to 6pm. There’s free entry to the market, which brings together a variety of local businesses selling and promoting vegan products. That's everything from food and drinks to eco-friendly homeware and clothes to candles.
More information is available at www.notjustforvegans.com
Arte, The Makers Market
Browse dozens of stalls by local artisans who create handmade art, fashion and crafts at Arte, The Makers Market, which was first established in 2005. Find everything from artworks to candles and skincare items to jewellery, plus gifts, home decor, clothes, food and more. The free-to-enter indoor market takes place every Saturday between 10am and 6pm, and alternates between Mercato Mall on Jumeirah Road and Times Square Centre, near Al Quoz. It will take a break for the next few weeks and return to Mercato on Saturday, September 3.
More information is at www.arte.ae
The Market at Dubai Festival City
As part of Dubai Summer Surprises, which runs until Monday, September 4, an indoor pop-up market is taking place at Dubai Festival City. Mall visitors can check out The Market, which is opposite a petting zoo, and peruse stalls by local and home-grown vendors, offering all manner of products, including items for children, pets and the home.
More information is available at www.dubaifestivalcitymall.com