Dragon Mart Chronicles

Main entrance

Main entrance

I never imagined I’d wax philosophical on a simple trip to a discount mall, but there is something peculiar, to say the least, about our beloved DragonMart here in Dubai. With over 3,000 discount shops to choose from, if you need something at the eleventh hour and don’t want to spend a whole lot of your hard-earned dirhams — this is the place to go!

Wait, what? Did someone day deeeeeals?

Here’s the catch: if you haven’t honed your horse trading skills, don’t bother! Worse yet, if come off as a Westerner, you’ll get a quick back-of-the-envelope calculation when you ask for a price. So come ready to hammer out a deal with the vendors — otherwise, you might as well go to one of the many posh malls here in the UAE.

Despite that, I’m always tickled to take a little trip there. This time, we just had two things we were in need of – a fire-proof home safety box and some traditional (cone-shaped) Egyptian Kohl. So right off the bat I knew that would be in two different locations (man’s world vs. woman’s world) in this colossal and perplexing maze of zoned-sections.

Luckily, you can plan your trip ahead by visiting the ubiquitously shaped snake on-line. Despite this, you bet your boots you’re gonna get lost, confused, and crazed as soon as you step into big ole’ dragon… twisting, turning and circling everywhere trying to figure out the ebb and flow of the darn thing. The letters begin at the dragon’s head with AB, then G and AA to the left of it, BB to the right then followed by BA. You need a quick Algebra refresher just to get through the doors!

The good news is they’ve got The Buggy! You know — the one you jump on for a few dirhams when you realize you’ve worn the wrong shoes to the mall. Forget the shame of it, when my feet start to burn after two hours of walking with my no-support (but cute) slippers, you bet I’m gonna hop on along with the Seniors. Pain surpasses pride!

When you step into the ‘Mart, it’s no longer like in the outside world of Dubai which is diverse as the grains of sand on a beach. Once inside, everyone is …well, Chinese. And everything sold is well, from China. No foofaraw here for sure!

Their slogan “Where you can find one in a million or a million in one”“ rings true. You’ll find every gizmo imaginable from custom-made curtains, clothes, cosmetics, electronics, furniture, industrial equipment, restaurant supplies, furniture, wigs, pleather bags and shoes, lighting, fixtures, souveniers, diet products, Chinese food (lots), and my favorite — Gelato! For some unexplainable reason, I get an instant craving for it when I get there. Not sure if it’s the near suffering of heat stroke or my body craving a sugar-boost to help get me to the infinite end of the mall.

So did we find what we needed? No. My hapless search for Kohl rendered me eyeliner-less and the safety boxes were not fireproof. So if you ask me if I recommend taking a trip to the land of expensive gelato, sleeping workers dark corners, questionable gold, tired-looking old Chinese ladies slapping Splat Toys on the ground, AC not up to par, crowds, and cheap Chinese food – I’d say sure, why not? Life’s an adventure. 🙂

But wait, it gets even better. They are expanding to DragonMart 2! This time, with about 175,000 sqm of even more fun! It will host a hypermarket, cinema, entertainment AND a hotel. Discount junkies will now have the luxury of camping out right in their midst of their glory.

That’s it. That’s my Dragon Mart story. Like they say back home – Wheel bend and story end! Until next time – inshallah! 🙂

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