Dubai's Top Local Artisans

By: Abby Blanton

Dubai has a number of well known destinations, ranging from delectable nibbles to their renowned skyline - all of which shouldn’t be missed by resident and tourist alike! But with thousands upon thousands of stores (and how can we forget the largest mall in the world, based on total area?), navigating shops and finding unique items can be tough.

Given this, I’ve put together my top list of local artisans in Dubai, both Emirati and international, to give you a little taste of the wonderful shops and artists that are “off the beaten path”, providing you with a true feel of the amazing melting pot that is Dubai.

So, when you are taking in those breathtaking skylines, noshing on a new dish, and of course, navigating the endless shops of Dubai, don’t forget that only about 10% of the population of the UAE is a true Emirati citizen, meaning that the rest of the 90% are comprised of expats like you and me! This makes for an incredible mix of food, culture and of course, shopping.

Viva Style Lounge

- What do they have/do? Lustrous fabrics from Italy, the UK, India & Pakistan, in-house tailoring for men and women
- Command of English? Excellent
- Tips/tricks? Regular customers can enjoy a discount of 10%
- Where are they located? Opposite Jumma Masjid Mosque, Satwa, Dubai

Ahmed Ali Shamsi Trading

- What do they have/do? Suit material, saris, dress material, kashmiri shawls, with stock from India, Pakistan, Korea, and Italy
- Command of English? Average
- Where are they located? Shop #12 in the Hassan Abdulla Building, between Jumma Masjid Mosque & Emirates Bank Satwa Dubai

Right Star Events

- What do they have/do? Indian novelties and handicrafts such as gift bags, ribbons, scrapbook materials. All stock is from India
- Command of English? Good
- Where are they located? Al Hudaiba Street, behind Iranian Hospital, Satwa, Dubai

Al Qamzi Trading

- What do they have/do? All kinds of crafting materials: studs, wool, knitting needles & loom, glue guns, zippers & elastic, needles & threads, lace & trimmings, sequins & buttons, ribbons, pinking sheers, fabric scissors, laser engraving and fabric printing. They’re stock is from Korea, Indonesia and Japan.
- Command of English? Good 
- Tips/Tricks? Bargain away!
- Where are they located? Opposite Jumma Masjid Mosque, Satwa, Dubai

Al Sabbar Novelties

- What do they have/do? Framing services and frames, with much of their stock from the UAE!
- Command of English? Good
- Tips/Tricks? Customers can enjoy a minimum discount of 5% - just make sure you ask!
- Where are they located? Al Hudaiba Street, opposite the Al Maya grocery store

Al Eitfaq Tailoring and Embroidery

- What do they have/do? Tailoring and embroidery (as the name would indicate), including Western outfits
- Command of English? Excellent
- Tips/Tricks? Make sure to call ahead before going to pick up any items
- Where are they located? Next to Regal Fabrics in Satwa, Dubai

O’de Rose

- What do they have/do? The brain child of three cousins, O’de Rose sells a number of unique items sourced from around the region that you won’t find anywhere else: funky jewelry, chic furniture (think seating poufs, mirrors, dazzling chairs, etc), tea cups and pots, coffee mugs, embellished clothing, funky t-shirts - the list goes on!
- Command of English? Excellent 
- Where are they located? 999 Al Wasl Road, Umm Suqeim 2, Dubai

Aina

- What do they have/do? Sidrah recently launched this fabulous “accessories and lifestyle brand”, selling pillows, passport covers, clutches, and lap top covers, embroidered with local/regional symbols, such as the dalla (UAE coffee pot), Arabic calligraphy, Khussa sandals, and so much more. 
- Command of English? Excellent 
- Where are they located? Orders available via email only ([email protected]

Majilis Gallery

- What do they have/do? This gallery has both exhibitions and pieces for sale. From glass to calligraphy to ceramics to acrylics, Majilis Gallery boasts a number of different art mediums and over 40 artists from around the world
- Command of English? Excellent 
- Where are they located? Al Musalla Roundabout, Al Fahidi Neighborhood, Bur Dubai

See what I mean? There is a treasure trove of shops, items and artists from all over the world, consolidating here in the UAE - all of which you wouldn't be able to find anywhere else! Impressive, no?

Oh, and for even more ideas and local artisans, head on over to Artisans of the Emirates (ARTE) at www.arte.ae - they provide a great local market that holds two shows a month, displaying the wares of local artisans - they’re network has over 2,000 artisans from over 30 countries, so definitely check it out for a slew of great items and folks living and from Dubai! Happy Shopping!

About the author

Expat Blog ListingAbby Blanton is an American expat living in United Arab Emirates. Blog description: I hope to document the experience of living in Dubai and beyond for myself, my friends, my family and anyone else who happens to stumble upon this little blog.
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Contest Comments » There are 2 comments

Safia Moore wrote 6 years ago:

This was such an informative read. I love searching in fabric souks for something special and although I know Satwa/Jumeirah/Wasl Road well, I would never have come across these places without Abby's directions and advice. We all get sick of malls in the UAE and this is a super list for those who want to try something different. I'm off to check out the main blog now.

Iris Harmon wrote 6 years ago:

Gosh, I've never dared go into Satwa before, but it might be on my list next time I travel from Sharjah to Dubai for a day out. Very informative and entertaining post - well done.

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