Dubai’s Giant Treasure Chest

A friend told me about the Antique Museum — a local place to shop for authentic imported goodies. Yesterday, I got Z to take me. So here goes the story of our little shopping discovery adventure….

We look it up and it turns out its right under our noses, just minutes away in Al Quoz. Thankfully, our GPS (speaking with its upper-class English accent) was kind enough to get us in nothing flat — without getting lost.

So we pull right up to the near-empty parking spaces to what looks like a desolate warehouse. We saunter in to find nothing other than a few guys packing merchandise to ship out and some visible rows of large garish statues.

Out comes a salesperson right away, extends his hand, and politely says: This way please. We enter through a tiny medieval looking door about 4 1/2 feet tall and, lo and behold, walk into a 60,000 sq. foot maze of a showroom with a gold mine of antiques, ornaments, furniture, and souvenirs.

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Wowie zowie! I’m talking sedimentary layers of pashmina shawls, table cloths, linens, Moroccan lanterns, African masks & sexy statues, Arabic lamps & daggers, kurthas, exotic jewelry, bigger than life Buddha’s, Indian drums AND snakes in a bottle! I repeat: SNAKES IN A BOTTLE! I’ll just stop here. You just have to go for yourself to see.

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The little piece of shopping heaven should be as sacred as the Tiger’s Nest Monastery. One of Dubai’s best kept shopping secrets, you can only love it and force yourself to leave it. Hours will surely pass once inside this mountainous web of curious things.

There are big things, little things, cheap things, and expensive things. Most are imported, but some are made by artisans and carpenters on site. The most expensive item I saw was 130,000 Dirhams and the cheapest was 5 Dirhams. Hospitality here comes in spades. Our sales guy was patient and forthcoming. He even brought us cold water. One thing, though, the place is hot, dark, and dusty — but that all adds to its character and authenticity.

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Artisan making framed souvenir with the sands from each of the Emirate states.

Prices are fixed, so no haggling mysteries here. Despite that, I asked for a discount on one item and they gave it to me because as he said “You really seem to like it”. 🙂

Our sales guy's business card

Our sales guy’s business card

If you think taking a trip to the mall is a personal hell. You owe it to yourself to check this place out. Off the beaten path and away from the Dubai limelight, it’s very worth the trip there.

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4 thoughts on “Dubai’s Giant Treasure Chest

  1. What is the address please? or is it written somewhere and I’m not looking hard enough?? (sorry if this is the case) we are going to Dubai in May 2015 and I think this should be on our list of places to visit!

  2. This page http://www.fakihcollections.com/shopLocator.php takes you their Google maps locator. It’s the one located in Al Quoz (Central Monitoring Office). It’s an industrial area, so will not look like your ordinary shopping scene. Google maps took us there just fine. You can use that or just call them for better directions. They are very friendly and will be more than willing to help navigate you there. Good luck!

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