In Dubai, second to the car you drive is the home you own. Or rather in this city, the one you rent and furnish. For even during our infamous property boom, where quick-rich tycoons made billions selling luxury apartments overlooking the Gulf, most residents, even the wealthiest expats continued to keep things simple, and avoid the commitment of owning.
With prices now posing an opportunity to clean up in real estate, cash buyers are snapping up the priciest penthouses at a fraction of their peak price. So while the recession bites retailers in Dubai’s luxury malls, new homeowners and property investors are enjoying the price privileges to be found in the swankiest interior stores in the city.
Mall of the Emirates,
Tel. +971 (0)4 340 5797
B&B Italia is a hotspot for contemporary pieces. Located at the Mall of the Emirates, style-hunters gather to gorge on masterpieces of modern design. The family-run firm, who have turned their small Italian business into a company with more than 60 stores across the globe, has established a reputation for innovative and technically advanced, creative furnishings, even turning to prestigious designers such as Marc Newson to create signature pieces for the store. Now you can snap up Zaha Hadid’s Moon System sofa.
Jumeirah Beach Road,
Tel. +971 (0)4 348 8169
If the name of this store doesn’t ring a bell, the mere mention of Philippe Starck’s Ghost Chairs certainly will. Crammed with covetable modern classics in brightly coloured Perspex, with sculptural sofas, futuristic plastic tables and devastatingly desirable home accessories, you will be hard-pressed to leave empty handed.
Tel. +971 (0)4 341 8494
Set out over 7,000 square feet in an unassuming side street in the Barsha district, Traffic is both avant-garde showroom and design museum, integrated with a function space, gift shop and library. Established by UAE national Rami Farook, Traffic translates his passion for design into Dubai’s most unconventional public space. Browse for one-offs by Arabic design stars; Zaha Hadid, Marcel Wanders and Karim Rashid.
Sheikh Zayed Road,
Tel. +971 (0)4 337 7825
You can’t miss this vast furniture haven tucked into the bottom two levels of the Nestle building on the Sheikh Zayed Road. Opened in 1982 almost renders it vintage in Dubai terms, but the stock definitely is not. Lovingly merchandised, it includes bold sofas from Ligne Roset, sought-after printed wallpapers from Osborne and Little and futuristic fitted kitchens from Bulthaup. And if you really can’t be bothered to do it all yourself, then seek help from their bespoke interior design division.
The Walk, Jumeirah Beach Residence,
Tel. +971 (0)4 341 9116
For quick fix style staples to transform your empty space, Singways specialize in easy design pieces in modern fabrics and materials. While the quality is good, and pieces strongly reminiscent of design originals, the prices are reflective of the times, allowing you to fill a room in your luxury loft apartment for the price of a designer three-piece suite.
Andrée, Cyrille and Olivia and luxury design
Minister of the Interior