There’s something about locally sourced products that I just adore. From organic vegetables to skin care to restaurants. It’s such a niche market and buying into it gives me some strange satisfaction. Probably because I’m an expat, so I know people back home don’t have what I have (childish, I know!) And despite what people say, the UAE is bursting with so many homegrown products and services.
I sometimes feel that people only see the side of Dubai and the UAE that they want to see. People will say it’s soulless, and all there is to do is party, shop, and brunch. And while those things are hugely popular in Dubai, that’s not all there is. As someone who actively explores Dubai and all its options, I become very frustrated when people only see what’s on the surface. Which is why I compiled this little post of some of the homegrown products and services I love.
Organic (read about organic products here), vegan, cruelty-free and made in Dubai. This unisex beauty brand makes the best coffee scrubs EVER. The coconut one is my favourite.
Avocado, beeswax, CoQ10, Frankincense and Shea butter are just a few of the ingredients Shirley uses in her products. I came across this brand a while back but didn’t try her products until my trip to Alma Retreat where I fell head over heels in love with them.
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With modern Emirati roots, the food here is phenomenal. And my number one choice for breakfast. I probably wouldn’t take your boyfriend or husband though, everything about it is girly. Which makes me love this place even more.
OJ’s Neighbourhood Eatery
So technically this place still needs to officially launch, but I wanted to give it a mention. It is owned by two Emirati ladies who have a real passion for cooking, and everything is locally sourced, so I know it’s going to be a huge hit and the food is going to be so good.
As one of the finest organic farms in Dubai, Ripe has been leading the way in wellness. Not only are they providing amazing fruit and vegetables, but they developed the Ripe Market, bringing together friends, families and local artisans.
Handmade here in Dubai, these kimonos are the perfect accessory. Ideal for the beach, pool days, and to cover up in the mall. For those living outside of the UAE, it isn’t mandatory for us to cover and I often run around town with my shoulders and knees on show. But certain times of the year, such as Ramadan, I make sure I’m respectful of the culture here. Plus, the air conditioning is so high sometimes, it’s always advised to carry a cardigan or something.
Her jewellery is just to die for! Using antique and modern materials, Hayet Zerelli creates timeless pieces to represent different cultures, generations and continents.
I know my list is short and there are heaps more ‘Made in the UAE’ products and services. But I just wanted to give you a sample of what we have to offer here outside of the malls and hotel resorts. Each year, I find and discover more and more about this city and I look forward to finding more.