I was having the bluergh moment as I reached Dubai especially during the Dubai Shopping Festival. Must be pregnancy hormones. My husband and I were more into sight-seeing activities but we do manage to grab some bits and bobs during our trip.
OK a little heads up, these middle eastern Sephora outlets are a little behind for some products and brands. I feel sorry for them. The common mainstream US brand like Estee Lauder, Chanel, Urban Decay can be easily found in Sephora AE. The prices are relatively marked up as compared back home (Singapore). If you have to, save on normal products and go for the exclusive brands (I go straight to Giorgio Armani stand) that are uncommon in your country. They have launched their online store recently. So take a look at the prices and the ranges of products they have offered.
Huda Beauty and Anastasia Beverly Hills sections are a constant maniac especially on evening (arrive early if possible). So, you have to snap up those Liquid Mattes as soon as you reach the section. A few splurges later, I walked back to my hotel with a wide smile. To be honest, it is tad expensive as compared to US. I recommend to purchase online if possible. There are some local instagram stores (voila by liz carmen) that sells them. Have a feel of the product or swatch them (when they set a store), if you like it then purchase online on a reputable sites (Cult Beauty) that comes with *free shipping.
And by the way, the Beauty Advisors (I think is what they called themselves) are better in service as compared here. They won’t push you to purchase any of the products or stalked behind you so that they can place their commission card onto your basket.
The best outlets to grab your Huda Beauty splurges are Dubai Mall, Dubai Marina, Mall of Emirates.
Oud perfumes. Once you stepped into the malls, airport or local hotels, you might scent some woody masculine frangrance. That is oud made from Agarwood. A common distinct smell in Dubai. I manage to find a cheap local shop called Ajmal Perfumes near the Gold Souk exit (you have to keep walking straight in Gold Souk.). Their best seller is the Sweet Oud. A small bottle will cost you AED30 depending on the perfume you have chosen. They also sell their own concortion of alternative perfumes that are commercialist in the market without the alcohol content. I did not go to other shops around the area because it might be fake or too common.
Carrefour & Waitrose Supermarkets
We have been to two supermakets in Dubai. If you have not notice my travel habits, supermarket is where I would drop by whenever I travel.
Waitrose is a british owned supermarket in Dubai Mall. So, we noticed the local rarely shopped due to the expensive price tag.
Carrefour however is congested with the locals, shopping for their weekly groceries. We went to the Mall of Emirates outlet. This is where we noticed that dates (that dried fruit) is somehow have similar price with Singapore. So, we rather not buy the Ajwa dates in Dubai. Yemeni Sidr honey are also sold there but I don’t remember exactly how much. Approximately AED100-200 per 100 gram (don’t quote me on that)
This shopping centre is massive, think of it like a mix of Vivocity with Marina Bay Sands. A combination entertainment and shopping in one building, this is one stop mall that everyone can enjoy.
What to look out for:
- Sephora – This is the flagship store in Dubai. Most items will be available here especially Huda Beauty.
- Shake Shack – The famous American burger stand is available here. Try their Cheese fries!
- The Dubai Fountain – the largest musical fountain display performance is spectacular. This daily show is different than the previous timed schedule.
- The Cheesecake Factory – Every slice is huge in portion and oh so delicious. We managed to purchase it on the day of departure and store it in the plane fridge. Approximately AED 30 per slice (depending on flavour).
- Food Court – This is relatively the cheapest place to find food in Dubai Mall. All sorts of cruisine and fast food options available here.
Mall of Emirates
Personally, I would prefer Mall of Emirates as compared to Dubai Mall. It is more affordable and less intimidating than the former. Also, the second largest shopping mall in Dubai cater all shoppers. Furthermore, there is a mosque located on the top floor.
What to look out for:
- Carrefour – this hypermart is cheaper with more choices for groceries and home department.
- Din Tai Fung – the famous Michelin star Chinese restaurant is halal. Waiting time is approximately 30 minutes.
- Sephora – Another alternative outlet in case your favourite Huda Beauty is sold out.
- Ski Dubai – If you fancy skiing visit this place cool yourself from the desert heat.
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