Market OTB
Returning for its 6th year, Market OTB will feature designer pop ups, live entertainment and street food trucks. Image Credit: Supplied

Shopping Markets have existed for as long as humans have been trading. It is believed that the first market bazaars have originated in Persia, where they spread to the rest of the Middle East and Europe. In recent years, the concept of markets has been revived, after the boom in malls and supermarkets dented their popularity in the past few decades. Today, thanks to an aura of cool hipster vibes being injected into the ‘Market Scene’ they are some of the most popular events to take place in Dubai.

If you love shopping, but you are over being stuck inside a mall, then Market Outside the Box is the place to relish in some retail therapy, while being out in the fresh air. Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF) is bringing back one of its most popular events, Market OTB. It kicks off on January 24 and runs until February 2 on the lawns of Burj Park. Returning for its 6th year, Market OTB will feature designer pop ups, live entertainment and street food trucks. The grass roots-led initiative will host some pretty cool vendors across the 10-day showcase.

Last year, I got to enjoy some street food, while browsing the shops for some accessories and clothing. The weather was fantastic, the vibe was cool and the live music set the scene.

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The free-to-enter market will include a range of activities for the whole family to participate in such as arts and crafts workshops, cap customisation, jewellery making and shoe art sessions.

The market will feature emerging designers and give them a platform to showcase and sell their products. Market OTB caters to a large customer base during Dubai’s famous retail season, showcasing independent local labels in addition to well-known names. Visitors and residents can shop one of a kind jewellery designs and accessories, home decor and fashion for all.

Participating brands include Outside Air, whose T-shirts are decorated by airbrush, Turkish Kaftan makers Nesli&Han, Cap crafters B180 and new joiners making their debut at this year’s MOTB; Abaya curators OC Design and Luna & Sol. Back by popular demand are fitness apparel company yApparel, children’s’ clothing brands BIRDSN’BEES Dubai and Bebe Coco Organic, in addition to jewellers High Street Jewelry, Aishas Charms, Chillout Accessories, Maggie Baroud and VICE, showcasing their handmade, individual items made from metals and precious stones. Homemakers can also shop original and iconic items at The Bowery Company, NOW WAY, Mangobeat and Niyala House where nesters can snap up curated collections of furniture and accessories from the homeware brands’ stalls.

On Thursday, starting from 4pm, the 10-day event kicks off with performing acts on stage including DJs, musicians, singers, bands, performing arts and school talent shows. On Friday, the stage activities will start from 10am with tonnes of performances and themed shows keeping the crowds going until 10pm. Everyday you’ll have something new to see.

Foodies can tuck into a feast of cuisines at this year’s pop-up with debut vendors including Raclette Corner, Cestcheesee, Popcity and Absolute Zero, whilst returning favourites Project Chaiwala, Roux and Mini Pancakes will keep you full throughout the day.

The details

Location: Burj Park, Downtown Dubai
Parking: P2 of Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Boulevard, or park at Dubai Mall and walk across
Cost: Free
Timings: Weekdays from 4pm to 10pm on weekdays, and weekends from 10am to 10pm