Friday, September 25, 2009

So About Shopping Here IN UAE...

So of course on to the subject of shopping here in UAE... Every hundred Dirhams is worth roughly 30 Canadian dollars so I keep this in mind as I shop.

Our first shopping experience is the Souq, where one can buy lower end quality abayaat and sheila, underscarves, elastic half-niqabs, and Emirati accessories like perfumes, hair clips, and the notorious poufs (small ones should cost 5 dirhams and medium good quality ones 10-15, while large ones can run from 5-20 dirhams depending on quality). For everyday abayaat spend no more than 300-400 dirhams. Party ones---try not to part with more than 600 dirhams. Fancy party jalabiyia are a good deal if they cost 140-300 depending on the design. Don't spend no more than 10 dirhams one house jalibiyia and Emirati lounging dresses. As for abayaat, you are expected to barter. If the swarowski crystals are just glued on (they are not real swarowski crystals then) get a lower price. If the abaya is machine embroidered, get a lower price. If the quality on anything is lacking, get a lower price. DON'T GO ON THURSDAY AND FRIDAY NIGHT, as there is too much chance of being followed, stared at, and rubbed, lol. On Thursay and Friday the workers are banned from the malls by law due (fair or not) to some disturbances, so if you want to, visit the malls.

A warning about the malls, if you want to see a beautiful display of local abayaat and sheila and Arabic make-up but also alot of fitna, the locals (including guys on the hunt for girls, married or not---even with their poor wife in tow) come out in full force in the evenings in the malls. So Aalia prefers to go in the days (before Magraib). Even then, it is best to cover one's face. I was at Al Marina mall with Aalia and Boxie and my cheap souq abaya started to fall apart (I went really really cheap--Boxie's is still in one peice lol) and I ended up having to pin my niqab to my abaya to hold it together (yeah, it looked ugly) and we decided to go skating, and a bunch of locals were so lame as to try and get on the ice to skate to try and flirt. LOL, thankfully Kareem (the Moroccan manager of the ice rink) said their kandooras (aka dishdashes aka thobes) were too long. Our abayas were too, and it is against the rules there to wear abaya or thobe and skate but they let us hike our abayas up and pin them (because Aalia convinced them we were expert Canadian figue skaters). Only one guy kept trying and was actually go to hike his thobe up but a. our skat time finished (awww, I wanted to see him fall), and b. we pretended Abdullah was my son and my husband was upstair (uh, shopping for sandals cuz I couldn't come up with a lie very well, lol). Anyways, their skates were kinda sad in quality, and the ice was worn, so if skating, go in the morning. The ice would be fresh.
Back to shopping, Al Marina mall has alot of the higher end abaya shops. Aalia reccomends First Lady, which has good quality and some unique and pretty shaylas. This is also the place (the mall) to buy niqab and gashwa as you can find light non-see through quality ones here. Also Al Motahajiba is in Al Marina mall, Mouzan, and Habayeb abayaat. I have yet to visit a Hanayen store yet but will, inshaAllah. I didn't get a chance to check out the jalibiyias so stay tuned. But if you love maxi dresses and long skirts, this is the mall for you.Yesturday we went to Abu Dhabi mall, home to stores like La Reine (overpriced for the lack of uniqueness in design---I mean like 3000-4000 dirhams an abaya), Abu Haleeqa (I liked a shayla with a swarowski kiwi on it but they'd sold the matching abaya already and it was very expensive---equivelent to 120$ CAD for one shayla), and Arabesque. Arabesque is the only upscale boutique so far besides First Lady that designs I liked for abaya (and I MAINLY loved the shaylas in First Lady). In Arabesuqe I would wear every third abaya. They are expensive and might be my splurge before I come home. I also found a deal on jalibyias at the bedding store across from a perfume shop whose name I forget and bought a yellow house party dress for 140 dirhams---which is around $46.00 CAD. I liked more of them, but they were 240 dirhams. So I resisted.
That is my review of the shopping in Abu Dhabi for now.


Gidds said...

That is awful that men anywhere would act that way but I didn't expect to hear it about a Muslim country. Here in the US you don't have to worry about getting groped, leered at maybe but groped? Ewww! How would those guys act here?

Pixie said...

Gidds: Yeah, it is, but sometimes I understand it too. The guys are suppressed in a way. They have expensive wives their families mainly choose to look forward too, and that sucks too.

And that isn't true. In the USA and in Canada I've been groped, AND stalked by so-called Muslim men. At least here it is against the law to be photographed and stalked. In North America, only the groping is, lol.

YarnCoture said...

Wow, interesting collection of abayas here! Here in the states I usually don't have problems being groped or stalked but many stares. It seems like simple plain abayas are impossible to find nowadays. Do they have Al-Helwah there? What do you think about their quality?

Anonymous said...

salam alakum
lol at the canadian pro-skaters!!!
too funny!
em canadian myself :D

Anonymous said...

salaam dear sis ! love ur writing style and sense of humour :) however i was quite s'prised to hear about ur encounter with the hooligans. i've been living in abu dhabi all my life and have never come across them.this is one of the safest places on earth to be! flirting or the like in public places = prison 4 locals and deporttion 4 foreigners, did u know ? and the teens are much more open minded and educated now than they were b4, tho' rather extravagant.i wont say the bad side dont exist, its just that u hardly c them, and the women out there who go to malls dressed like they wanted 2 get attention deserve it if s'thing bad comes out of it :(