Dubai for Fashionistas: the Best shops, Restaurants and Experiences
With opulent multi-story malls, sprawling spice markets and cool little boutiques, it’s no wonder that Dubai is one of the world’s most famous shopping destinations. Not only that: the glittering Emirati is the place to see and be seen – whether its rubbing shoulders with boho celebrities in the trendy independent stores in the design district, sipping cocktails at a bar-with-a-view or Instagramming the interiors of Dubai’s most colourful and eclectic restaurants. Whether you’re a hardcore fashionista or just love to browse the shops, here are our top picks for a stylish getaway in Dubai.
Find a vintage-style gown at Bambah
You may not associate Dubai with vintage shopping, but when Maha Abdul Rasheed opened Bambah, one of Dubai’s first high-end vintage fashion boutiques, it was an instant hit. Maha has since developed the Bambah brand to create her own original pieces inspired by the 1950s. From glamorous ball gowns to vintage-style everyday wear, the Bambah boutiques are filled with a staggering collection of sensational prints, colours and cuts that you are unlikely to find at home. Even if you’re not looking for a glam new dress, it’s a brilliant place to browse. bambah.com
Sip cocktails at Siddharta Lounge by Buddha Bar
Chilled-out beats, zesty cocktails and candlelight set the sauve scene at Siddharta Lounge, one of the most sophisticated bars in the city. Grab a seat on a silky cushion in the tiered garden, which has 360-degree views over the the Dubai Marina, Palm Jumeirah and the Arabian Gulf, and indulge in a spot of people watching – this is where Dubai’s wealthy and famous come to eat and drink. Choose from a drinks menu of fruity handcrafted cocktails and champagne, while the pinxtos and sushi menu is perfect if you’re feeling peckish. siddhartalounge.com
Overhaul your wardrobe with Style Me Divine
If you’re feeling uninspired by your holiday wardrobe then book a one-on-one shopping session with one of Dubai’s leading personal styling agencies, Style Me Divine. The three-hour-long sessions can range from closet detoxes – which will help you decipher what you think you need, versus what you actually need – to a ‘travel in style’ session, which will help you pick out several stylish pieces that seamlessly blend fashion and function. With the help of one of Dubai’s leading stylists, you’ll start to reconsider your choices, helping you create a super chic look that makes you feel stylish, and comfortable in your own skin. stylemedivine.com
Get a manicure at Kozma and Kozma
At Kozma and Kozma they do things differently – and that’s why we love it. It may position itself as a beauty and nail salon, but it’s so much more than that: a trip here is an experience for all the senses, whether it’s sampling popping candy from the sweet jar or Instagramming the salon’s floral chandelier – yes, that’s a thing. Their treatment menu is equally fun – pick from a PomPom Monster Pedicure, where your feet sit in a pool of purple gel-filled balls, or a signature Tropical Island Manicure, where your hands are revived with a brown sugar crystal scrub, before a relaxing hand massage. Of course, nail colours and designs go beyond the ordinary: crystal, chrome or candy are de rigueur, so you can forget the everyday nude. kozmaandkozma.com
Book brunch at Flamingo Room by Tashas
Dubai is Instagram heaven: with topaz-blue sea, shimmering skyscrapers and slick surroundings, your grid will be filled with wanderlust-inspiring pictures. For the best food and interior shots in town, head to Flamingo Room by Tashas. The ultra-chic and glamorous room features dusty-pink ceilings, ‘70s-inspired statement lighting, zebra-print fabrics and plush velvet chairs, while the dishes – including lobster benedict – are some of the prettiest meals in town. Book ahead to dine at one of the most stylish spots in Dubai. flamingoroombytashas.com
Shop and eat at Comptoir 102
This super-stylish concept store is adored by Dubai’s fashion-forward bohemian crowd, and no wonder. The vast light-filled space is inspired by a 1970s Californian villa, and has been conceived as a low-key home, with a lounge, dining area and terrace. Shelves are lined with the finest crockery, home linens, silk pyjamas and dainty jewellery – all of which have been hand-picked by the effortlessly cool French owners – while the popular onsite cafe goes big on organic dishes, gluten-free pancakes and detoxifying juices. Pop in to shop, but be sure to stay for lunch. comptoir102.com
Accessorise your life at Mochi
Located in the heart of Dubai’s design district, Mochi is an independent boutique that celebrates the art of embroidery. Founded by designer Ayah Tabari in 2013, the store has had a quick and well-deserved rise to fashion fame, with celebrities including Cara Delevingne and Georgia Jagger sporting Tabari’s colourful creations. The vibrant and eclectic pieces – ranging from chandelier earrings to rainbow-hued kaftans – have been handcrafted by local artisans who use traditional embroidery methods to create contemporary pieces. The result? One of the most exciting shops in Dubai. allthingsmochi.com
Ready to Pack your Bag?
Want to discover stylish Dubai for yourself? We recommend staying at Bulgari Resort & Residences Dubai, Dubai’s flashiest five star hotel and Nikki Beach Resort & Spa Dubai, one of the city’s most hip and happening beach resorts for that extra Instagram-envy glamour. But don’t just take our word for it. The Style Traveller and Instagram Fashion Blogger, Bonnie Rakhit checked out our alternative fashionista guide to Dubai for herself, staying at these glamorous hotels. Check out her vlog below. Tempted? Check out our latest deals!
Read our Alternative Guides to Dubai:
- Wellness Guide: Get the Inside Track on Dubai’s Booming Health and Wellness Scene
- Family Guide: Fun for the Whole Family in Dubai
- Culture Guide: How to Get your Culture Fix in Dubai