Dh15 meals, Dh35 shoes: Dubai's winter markets are back with deals for foodies, bargain hunters

These markets have become a great post-work spot for many residents across the city

by

SM Ayaz Zakir

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Photos: Shihab/KT
Photos: Shihab/KT

Published: Tue 14 Nov 2023, 4:48 PM

Last updated: Wed 15 Nov 2023, 3:45 PM

As the temperature dips, Dubai comes alive with pop-up markets that take shopping enthusiasts and foodies on a festive and adventurous journey. These temporary markets offer street food from around the world, turning every visit into a cool experience.

From aromatic Indian chaats to Chinese hot pot and noodles, Filipino Balut, tempting Malaysian lok lok, and Arabic sheesh kababs, these markets cater to every craving. Aroma of diverse cuisines and various flavours hang in the air surrounding the dining area.

A variety of meals are offered at a low price of Dh15 — momos, malaysian dishes, and Lok Lok being some of them.

Such markets have become a go-to place for many residents across the city for their evening snack or even dinner.

One among many residents is Alex Batista who works as an admin representative at a typing firm in Oud Metha.

“I finish my work at 7pm. I disembark at Karama and make my way to the pop-up market next day for dinner,” said Bautista.

“There are diverse cuisines catering to every type of tastes buds here. I don’t have to find a restaurant if I want to eat Chinese or Indian food. I just have my dinner here, relax, and make my way home,” added Bautista.

Another resident who dines at this open market is Abdul Hameed, a resident of Al Rigga in Deira. “After a heavy work day, we obviously need time to relax and rewind. So I come here with my colleagues for dinner. If you don’t enjoy the winters outdoors in the UAE, you miss out on the best weather,” said Hameed.

“There are over 20 stalls serving delicious food. We have tried five of them until now and we will try the rest in coming days,” said Hameed.

Clothing, accessories and footwear

But it's not just about the food, these markets are a shopping haven for bargain hunters. With clothing items starting at just Dh5, sunglasses at Dh30, shoes at Dh35, and earrings at Dh2, these markets redefine affordable fashion.

Mohammed Shafeeq, a salesperson at stall number 13 in the Al Rigga pop-up winter markets, has been actively participating for the last five years. “We have our physical store in Naif and for us participating here is like an exhibition for five months, serving as a valuable platform to promote our business. Through our consistent participation in the pop-up market, we've garnered hundreds of loyal clients,” said Shafeeq.

Something for tech enthusiasts

For tech enthusiasts, there are mobile accessories starting at Dh10, laptops, and mobile phones available to explore from a variety of products. “The most in-demand item for us is mobile accessories like cable strings, mobile covers, earphones, and screen guards,” said Marianne, a salesperson at the Karama pop-up market.

And for visitors, it’s a bargain. “I reside in Al Barsha. One of my friends requested me to accompany him to Karama for some work. While he was busy, I visited this market. I was amazed to get my smartphone protected with tempered glass at just Dh15. It's far more expensive near my house. I could save Dh45,” said Friedo.

“I purchased an earphone, a phone cover, and had dinner, all for a total expenditure of just Dh55,” added Friedo.

Your aquatic pet at Dh 5

If you really like fish and want some for your aquarium, you can get them at a good price. There are different types: goldfish for Dh25, black oranda for Dh20, red cap oranda starting at Dh20, black ranchu starting at Dh30, and black moor fish starting at Dh5. So, if you enjoy having fish in your aquarium, you can start with just Dh5.

Entertainment and beyond

For those seeking entertainment beyond shopping and eating, the open spaces offer a variety of games. Carrom boards are available for a friendly match starting at Dh10 per hour, while billiards players can enjoy a game for Dh15 per hour. The open-air setting adds a unique charm to the gaming experience, making it a memorable time for participants.

Relaxing massage

After all the shopping and dining makes you tired and leaves you needing a break, there's massage chairs. For only Dh5, you can treat yourself to a 20-minute massage. It will make you feel refreshed and ready for more shopping and adventures.

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