Affordable fashion. Shoppers check out branded merchandise at factory outlets in Abu Dhabi Image Credit: Ahmed Kutty/XPRESS

Abu Dhabi: Shops selling branded clothes at prices much lower than those at showrooms are becoming the new haunt for bargain hunters in Abu Dhabi.

For shoppers who are brand-conscious but cannot afford showroom prices, these factory outlet stores serve as the perfect stop to satisfy their fashion cravings.

Most of the shops that XPRESS checked out showcased a good selection of clothing for both men and women from popular labels like Ralph Lauren, Gap, American Eagle Outfitters, Mango, Zara, Aeropostale, Tommy Hilfiger and Bershka to name a few.

Killer price tags

A Tommy Hilfiger shirt that will cost between Dh500 and Dh550 is available for Dh55 in some shops near the Tourist Club Area.

Likewise, a shop behind Electra Street is selling Gap and Zara dresses for as low as Dh45 and Dh50. You can also pick tops, cardigans, pullovers, track suits or anything for that matter, for just Dh30 or a little more.

It is no surprise there are enough takers who are willing to abandon shopping malls for bargain deals on brands. “Why would I spend Dh350 or above on a pair of branded jeans when I can buy the same at these shops for Dh50?” asks Juje May, a Filipino expat.

“My jeans are from Zara, top is from H&M. I also have dresses from Mango and Gap. All these would have cost a fortune at a shopping mall. So I would rather come here than go to a mall,” said May.

Lebanese housewife Jeena Mikdach echoes the same thought. “I am getting exactly the same thing but at far lower prices. It is a fantastic deal,” said Mikdach.

The owner of one of the shops who requested anonymity said he opened his first store four years ago. Today he has three branches in the emirate.

“In the UAE, you have super expensive brands at high-end stores as well as cheaper stuff at supermarkets. But my shop offers quality stuff for affordable prices,” said the Arab owner.

Filipino Endriqueta Jove, who runs Diamond Hearts that opened a year ago near Zayed the First Street, said the merchandise in her store are genuine products. “All my clothes are sourced directly from factories in Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, the US or sometimes from local suppliers. We are able to offer cheap prices because these garments have small size or stitching defects,” said Jove. “Everybody loves branded items. That is what makes our business successful,” Said Jove.