After a day of refreshing rain showers across Dubai, the weekend was back to glorious sunshine and even better than before as there was a wonderful freshness in the air. Perfect for some market mooching in the sun I would have thought. Sadly, for a number of reasons (well, two little reasons that both woke up before 5.30am!) I wasn’t able to make it to any of the fabulous outdoor markets that were going on around town. Ripe Fresh was back at Zabeel Park or the expat Woman Festive Market over at the Polo Club in the Arabian Ranches or Bertini on the Yard.
I did however manage to sneak in an hour at one of my favourite indoor markets – the ARTE The Maker’s Market down at Times Square Centre. Here are the vendors and the wares that caught my eye on this little market mooch.
1. Clothing – inthesandpit
I love inthesandpit‘s limited edition baby and toddler clothing. I’m a longtime customer having had Monkey’s birthday outfits custom made by inthesandpit every year and buying him quite a few of the shorts sets as well as dresses and baby clothes as gifts for my nieces and nephew. With so many lovely designs and gorgeous fabrics, I always find myself longing after the latest addition to the collection as it pops up in my Facebook news feed. An ARTE stalwart, it is always nice to bump into Adele at the market and admire her beautiful creations. This weekend I was particularly loving the Christmas pyjamas featuring intricate appliqué work and festive fabrics and of course her lovely santa sacks which would be used year after year for all those pressies! Both would make perfect additions to any Christmas Eve box and I will be putting in my order asap!
2. Decorations – Little Craft Shop Komeropuoti
Staying festive, are these not the cutest snowmen you have ever seen?! I would love to be able to crochet and especially to do so as beautifully as this. Hand crocheted gifts are so special, for everyone like me who doesn’t know how or doesn’t have the time but would like these beauties adorning the tree or filling your stocking, you can find Little Craft Shop Komeropuoti at Arte The Makers Market with all her lovely wares.
3. Home Decor – The Camel Lady
Whether you love them or hate them, these camels are definitely eye-catching and make a statement! Personally I love them and both munchkins already have one each in their bedrooms in colours that match their rooms and I would love to add a santa camel to our festive decorations. Mr. however, is less convinced on them so I will have to work on him before Christmas! If you fancy one of your own you can find The Camel Lady (aka Darcy) down at Arte The Makers Market.
4. Edible treats – Bohdana Alsmoudi – Gingerbread
It is not Christmas without gingerbread and this is some of the most intricately and beautifully decorated gingerbread I have seen here in Dubai. This is pure artistry and Bohdana definitely deserves the title of gingerbread artist. It was hard to pick a favourite from all the gorgeous items displayed on the table but it was the snowflakes that first caught my eye and I think mostly people would agree they are striking. You can find much better pictures of the various designs over on the Ginger in UAE Facebook page. Customs orders over a minimum of AED500 are welcomed, wouldn’t these make great Christmas party favours or corporate gifts?
5. Gifts – Idas Shop Dubai
One thing I love about Arte is the variety of artists you will find there, from large scale oil canvases to these charming pen hand drawings by Ida. She draws these lovely pieces freehand and if you’re lucky you might even spot her doing them at her stall if the market is a little quiet like the day I went along. Watching the process reminded me very much of the work of expert henna artists who create intricate flowing patterns with what appears to be little or no pre-planning and which somehow come together beautifully. These little pictures would make unique Dubai themed gifts, since they are not traced or printed, each one is different, truly one of a kind. Check out Idas Shop Dubai on Facebook for more pictures.
6. Cards – Sugar Plum
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I’ve given up buying cards from the stores here in Dubai. I generally find either the range isn’t great or the price is extortionate. Instead I am now opting for hand made cards, either made by me and the kids or by one of Dubai’s talented card makers like Leslie from Sugar Plum. I bought some beautiful Eid cards from Sugar Plum earlier in the year and am planning to also pick up some of these Christmas cards at the next market. I especially like the little pop-up baby’s first Christmas card.
7. Craft – Desert Patch
I featured Desert Patch in my previous market mooching post and as promised I was back at their stall this time picking up some Christmas gifts including a little reindeer deco patch kit which I kinda want to keep for myself!
Are you planning to do any of your Christmas shopping at one of Dubai’s great markets? Leave me a comment, I would love to hear from you!