There’s more to Dubai Garden Centre than flora.

Meet the new businesses that have opened inside the city’s (surprisingly hipster) hotspot.

The boutique: Beach Hut

The boss: Sarah Twort

Tell us about Beach Hut… Beach Hut sells swim and beachwear for babies, children and adults as well as all sorts of fun beach and pool accessories, games, toys and quirky lifestyle products.

What made you start the company? I have been the regional distributor for Snapper Rock and Oscar’s For Kids shoes since 2015. I had so many requests from other parents at my children’s schools about the swimwear, I decided to take the plunge and start my own online business. Last year I expanded the range to include some really cool lifestyle products, and this year we made the decision to have a permanent shop in Dubai Garden Centre.

Don’t worry, Beach Hut sells inflatables for adults, too!

Where do you get your products from? New Zealand, Australia and South Africa. I am from New Zealand and am keen to support businesses from the Southern Hemisphere and help them expand into the Middle East market. The products I have discovered so far are all great quality, and affordable.

Why did you choose to open here? I have always loved visiting the Garden Centre with my children, as there are always so many interesting things to discover there and there’s a great café to eat at. It seemed like a natural progression to open an outlet after launching my online store and when the space became available, I jumped at the opportunity to move in.

What’s your favourite thing you sell? Obviously, I think everything I sell is fabulous. If I don’t love it then I can’t sell it. Snapper Rock swimwear is really great quality and so cute, plus it has UV protection. The neon lights and pool floats from Sunnylife are fun and quirky, and they are a big hit with our customers too.

The boutique: Sandal Souq

The boss: Emma de Moll

Tell us about Sandal Souq… We started almost four years ago specialising in the sale of traditional Menorcan avarca sandals. The business has grown from a humble table at a market stall to a thriving company, which continues to grow. With an expanding range for women, kids and men, you can expect to see plenty more from us.

What made you start the company? After spending many a childhood holiday in Spain, I had memories of wearing the traditional avarca sandals and just having a great time really. It wasn’t until I’d returned on holiday with my own daughter that I remembered those wonderful sandals, got really excited and decided to bring them back home to the UAE.

Where do you get your sandals made? The sandals are all handmade by local artisans on the Spanish island of Menorca. One of my favourite parts of the year is visiting the factory each summer to choose the forthcoming year’s collection while soaking up the amazing atmosphere the island has to offer.

Why did you open in the Garden Centre? We chose to open our first shop at Dubai Garden Centre as it’s become something of an institution here in Dubai. The location is great, everyone knows it, the Roseleaf café is amazing and you can always find a parking space out front or back.

Who would you love to dress? I’d love to see the founder of Huda beauty, Huda Kattan, and her daughter in one of our signature matching ‘Mummy & Me’ range.

The boutique: Moxilicious

The boss: Alessia 

How would you describe Moxilicious? Moxilicious creates the sweetest moccasins for babies and toddlers. Our Moccs are handmade in Dubai.

What made you start the company? Traditional baby moccasins are very popular in the US. They are perfect for little feet but they weren’t available anywhere in the UAE. With a family background in retail, and a passion for shoes and fashion, I didn’t want to simply import another brand into the UAE but rather handcraft and create a new brand that was made here. High leather quality and quality control is the key to manufacturing in the UAE.

Where do you get your materials from? We source the best non-toxic leather from the biggest tannery in Italy. They also happen to supply to the biggest names in the fashion industry.

Why did you open in the Garden Centre? The Dubai Garden Centre is really family oriented. Plus it is centrally located and easily accessible.

More businesses in bloom

Here are some of the other spots you’ll find in Dubai Garden Centre…


Fill your home with philanthropic plants courtesy of Enable’s range of succulents, created by a team of Emiratis with intellectual disabilities. The initiative employs more than 30 young Emiratis, equipping the young team with the skills needed to go on and create their own businesses in the future. Pick up one of the various succulents and 15 per cent of each product sold goes to the individual staff member who created it.

House Of Prose

This Dubai institution offers a buy back policy, where you can bring back a book you bought at House Of Prose and they will take it off your hands for half the price you paid. Worm your way through libraries of adult and children’s fiction.
Dubai Garden Centre,  daily 9am to 8pm. Tel: (054) 3449021. Metro: First Gulf Bank.

House Of Flowers

Need a florist for your wedding or a great bouquet for the house? You’ve come to the right place. House Of Flowers is a boutique flower design company within Dubai Garden Centre offering a vast selection of flower arrangements, orchards and succulents to suit your tastes.
Dubai Garden Centre, daily 8am to 10pm. Tel: (800) 337978. Metro: First Gulf Bank.

Roseleaf Cafe

To many, Roseleaf’s little nook and conservatory space, where you’ll get a little pocket of sunshine among the flowers, is a quintessentially Dubai expat experience, one that still feels like a hidden gem. Grab a coffee and a house-made treat (like the indulgent chocolate brownies) and enjoy.
Dubai Garden Centre, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai, daily 8am to 8pm. Tel: (056) 6449886. Metro: First Gulf Bank.

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