Dubai: Community markets offer people the opportunity to not only pick up great bargains but also make friends.
This weekend, Dubai will play host to the Uptown Mirdiff Second-Hand Bazaar and Art & Craft Soukh (Arte) tomorrow and the Dubai Flea Market on Saturday.
Organisers told Gulf News that the number of visitors is soaring.
Melanie Beese, who organises the Dubai Flea Market at Al Safa Park, said she saw an "increase from 1,500 to 6,000" in two years.
"You never really know what you can get at a flea market," she said. "It is more exciting."
Mohammad Tabishat, an assistant professor of anthropology at UAE University, said since the bazaars are established by communities, "relationships may be formed along the lines of kinship".
"Also, these spaces open the way for more intimate social relationships."
The pleasant weather and the opportunity to mingle while scouring for treasures are tempting many.
Conny Boettger, who has rented a table three times at the Uptown Mirdiff Second-Hand Bazaar, said the event offers a great opportunity for people of different cultures to get together.
"It's not just about the goods that are being sold, this is a community event," she said. "We go to sell, but we also go to enjoy the atmosphere."
Beese has made a number of friends at Al Safa Park event. She said the flea market draws regular customers and vendors: "They come and have a chat, because this is a social platform.
"It has been a huge success."
Mall fatigue has also played a big role. In economic terms, not everyone in Dubai is able to purchase new commodities all the time, Tabishat said. At Alessia Jakouch's Second-Hand Bazaar, everything from electronics, clothes, books, jewellery to used cosmetics are sold. "Sales are up because of tougher times," she said.
Jakouch rented out 30 tables to sellers when her event began in October last year. Now, that number has risen to 70, with business peaking around Christmas.
Boettger, who is one such vendor at the second-hand bazaar, has taken home around Dh500-Dh1,000 per session.
She said: "This is a good place to sell things that you don't want thrown away ... a good way to get rid of half your wardrobe!"
- WHAT: The Uptown Mirdiff Second-Hand Bazaar
- WHEN: Starts at 4pm. Tomorrow (first Friday of every month)
- WHERE: Pedestrian area, Uptown Mirdiff
- ENTRANCE FEE: None
- MORE DETAILS: www.2ndhand-bazaar.com
- WHAT: Art & Craft Soukh (Arte) (Handmade goods)
- WHEN: 2.00pm-9.00pm, Tomorrow
- WHERE: Dubai Festival City
- MORE DETAILS: www.arte.ae
- WHAT: Dubai Flea Market
- WHEN: 8.00am-3.00pm, Saturday (first Saturday of every month)
- WHERE: Al Safa Park, Gate 5
- ENTRANCE FEE: Dh3 to be paid at Gate 5
- MORE DETAILS: www.dubai-fleamarket.com
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