Enough with the usual fridge magnets, T-shirts and mugs. We tell you what to really bring home with you from Dubai.
1. This Niqab iPhone cover
FMM is a UAE lable that began as a conceptual insight into Arab culture, reflected through tongue-in-cheek illustrations of cultural stereotypes and societal obsessions that won the hearts of the young, trend focused and vibrant audience of the UAE. It's a very unique accessory.
Cost Dh150 from fmmdubai.com
2. A bag of Chips Oman
Head down to any supermarket and buy yourself the UAE's most famous import from Oman. Although technically it belongs to our neighbouring country, Chips Oman has been a staple to the diet of many living in the UAE. This is a nice one to take home with you and snack on to remember your trip.
Cost Dh1 from most supermarkets in the UAE
3. The Arabic calligraphy necklace
The Deira Gold Souk is must visit on your trip to Dubai. When you go there, look for the shops that will create customised necklaces with your name in Arabic calligraphy. Usually you can pick it up on the same day. It is encouraged that you bargain in order to get the best deal. The cost of the necklace will depend on the quality of metal you use and the size of the name.
Cost varies but expect to pay Dh140 or more
4. Bills and coins
Keep aside a Dh10 bill and a Dh1 coin to remember Dubai by. Frame them nicely or add them to your memory box at home.
5. Small perfume bottles
Arabic scents are usually very difficult to find outside of the Middle East. The perfume souk is the ideal location for a vast range of Arabic oud perfumes and oils. If Arabic scents aren’t your thing, then you can find similar variations of familiar scents that you buy at home. You could even bring your own perfumes along, and ask the perfumer to re-create it for you.
Cost: Dh25 for one small bottle
6. Arabic coffee beans
While visiting the UAE, check out any of the local coffee roasters for some proper Arabic coffee. Get yourself a bag of Arabic coffee beans to brew at home for a scented memory of your time in Dubai.
Cost: Approximately Dh40 per packet
7. A local UAE plant seed
Why not take a piece of the UAE home by visiting the Garden Centre on Shaikh Zayed Road and choosing a packet of seeds that you can grow in your home country to remember the UAE by. A very common flower over here is the brightly coloured Bougainvillea.
Cost: Seeds start from Dh8 per packet
8. The Emirati Collection Chocolate
Mirzam is a local chocolate brand that makes their chocolate in house with fresh and unique local flavours. Check out their Emirati collection for chocolates made with loqaimat, halawa and cardamom. My personal favourite is the white chocolate with saffron. If you want to splurge, go for the full Emirati collection, which also includes some of the lesser known traditional favourites that were created by the nomadic residents of the region, at a time when the Spice Route was just starting to influence flavours.
Check out Mirzam at Al Serkal Avenue Cost: Chocolate bars start from Dh35
9. Shisha pipes
We don’t like to encourage smoking, in fact, we hate smoking. However shisha pipes alone (without the actual shisha base) are so colourful and quintessentially Dubai that we had to include them on the list. You don't have use it to smoke, you can just have them in your home for decorative purposes. Buy a colourful one and display it in a corner. They even come in mini sizes. The best place to find affordable shisha pipes is in Karama, where they also sell tonnes of other UAE souvenirs for less.
Cost Dh50 onwards
10. The coolest Dubai keychain
You can customise your car license plate on a Dubai key chain.
Cost: Dh40 from designandown.com