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  • Dubai is the hub for luxury and high-end fashion brands
  • Where to buy luxurious items from Chanel, Chopard, Dior, Dolce and Gabbana, Hermes, Louis Vuitton
  • Watch out for their flash sale every time for further reductions

How much are you worth?

Looking at me from head to toe, one of the editors would try and place a value on my ensemble, and where I picked it up.

He would then appraise and mention the brands of my Burberry shirt, Alexander Mc Queen shoes, Emporio Armani pants, Versace watch, and other accessories, and guesstimate it to totalling to Dh10,000 plus.

This, on a normal work day. I just smiled and said, those are just material things that don’t matter much, as my most precious asset is intangible — my heart.

Having a good heart is invaluable. Then he remarked, your smile is worth a million. It’s a heart-warming validation since Filipinos are considered one of the happiest people on the planet.

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And so, during one of the editorial meetings, where we discuss story ideas, he asked me to do a feature on where to get designer clothes for less in the UAE. It’s tough to pen down this without bragging and branding but for the benefits of our readers, here it goes....

Modesty aside, I wear designer clothes, shoes and accessories, simply because I feel good and look good.

I patronise Bvlgari, Dior, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Versace — to name a few.

They normally last longer due to their top-notch material, and knowing that best designers don’t compromise on quality and comfort, I guess the price is worth it.

Plus, I got style and class. But it should not burn a hole in one’s pocket. I’m not some "crazy rich Asian" who will splurge on impulse.

I am brand conscious but a smart buyer, in the sense that I know where to find the best deals in town.

So here are my top five shopping destinations where I can buy luxury fashion labels for less:

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1. Dubai Shopping Festival

Dubai is the hub for luxury and high-end fashion brands. It is best to visit Dubai and buy branded items for less during the Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF), happening around December to February every year. Usually 700 brands participate in more than 3,000 outlets that offer massive discounts — up to 90 per cent — during DSF.

Lots of entertainment, fireworks displays, fashion shows and mega sales that will surely allure tourists to come visit Dubai during this season and enjoy pleasant weather and mild winters.

Don’t fret, if you can’t wait for DSF. A myriad of malls offer great bargains from time to time.

There are also a lot of factory outlets and online shopping stores, which offer huge sales, just take your time to browse these e-commerce sites and compare the prices before you make a purchase.

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2. Brands for Less

It offers a wide variety of apparels presented by famous commercial brands such as Ralph Lauren, Calvin Klein, Kenneth Cole, Dockers, DKNY to name a few at an unbelievable prices that will leave you spoilt for choice.

They also have sportswear from Adidas, Puma and Reebok at throwaway prices from Dh29 to Dh59 for a pair of shirt and shorts. There are amazing deals available on home décor, perfumes, cosmetics, electronics as well.

They have so many branches across the country, but I prefer to just check their app and compare the items and prices before buying. And the good thing is they deliver it to your doorstep fast.

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3. MarkaVIP

My leisure time is almost completely consumed browsing MarkaVIP app as it offers classic and modern timepieces from Burberry to Gucci, Tag Heuer to Versace watches. Imagine a brand new Gucci Chronograph Waterproof watch that costs around Dh4,500 in a store is only Dh2,250 from this app.

You can get hold of this watch at 50 per cent discount, but watch out for their flash sale every time for further reductions. You can pre-select the items that you wanted and save them for future purchase. So you can save or grab a Coach bag or a Gucci belt or whatever you fancy at a massive discount.

At times they have great deals for three hours only — up to 80 per cent discount — so be patient and wait for that flash sale before making a splurge.

Read more on shopping for bargains

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4. The Luxury Closet

It sells mostly luxurious pre-loved items from Chanel to Chopard, Dior to Dolce and Gabbana, Hermes to Louis Vuitton. They have massive selection of branded clothes, shoes, accessories and high-end watches from Cartier to Omega, Rolex to Hublot.

Unbelievably, a Saint Laurent Paris, Black Tailor wool Blazer, which is originally priced at Dh5,031, you can get that gently used item here for Dh537 only, a massive discount of 89 per cent.

Jimmy Choo Metallic silver slip on sneakers usually costs Dh2,300 from the store, but here you can have a slightly used pair for Dh549, that's a whopping 75 per cent discount.

Yes, some people prefer pre-loved items due to their vintage look or unique appeal at a very affordable price, thus Luxury Closet is their treasured trove.

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5. The Outlet Village

Wear comfy sneakers to The Outlet Village as you might spend your entire day shopping, as they offer countless high-end retail brands under one roof.

From designer clothes to cosmetics, perfumes to shoes, belts to watches, electronics to household products, they have everything in store at value prices. I always shop at Priceless as they have great collections of Emporio Armani shirts and pants, Alexander Mc Queen shoes, Dolce and Gabbana bags and a lot more.

I got the best deal on my Lacoste shirt and Gucci sneakers at 70 per cent discount at The Deals. You will also find the perfect fit for your feet at Roberto Cavalli, Hugo Boss, Carolina Herrera and other renowned labels offering massive discounts.

Although The Outlet Village is far from the city’s centre, it is worth your while with its amazing deals. So spend time checking out these branded retail outlets and online shopping stores and get good value for money.

Do you have any secret tips to share? Tell us at readers@gulfnews.com