From cheap carpets to royal-worthy rugs, your floors will thank you for this.

When the mercury hits 40°C and over (groan), your home’s cool tiled or laminated floors are marvellous. But sometimes it can feel a touch sterile and in need of a little warming up, decoratively speaking – that’s where a classic and colourful rug comes in.

Not only do they add a cosy edge to any room, they also serve as a vibrant nod to the Middle East’s culture.

The UAE is one of the world’s hotspots for snapping up textiles, but it’s a saturated market. So where to start? We’ve got six suggestions…

The Rug Company

Here you’ll find every type of rug imaginable, from customary Indian dhurries to high-end designers, such as Alexander McQueen and Vivienne Westwood. The Rug Company imports lots of its pieces from Nepal as part of the Goodweave scheme, a non-profit that guarantees no child labour is used so if ethically-sourced interiors are your thing, definitely check this out.

Unit 65, Alserkal Avenue, Dubai, Sat to Thur 10am to 7pm. Tel: (04) 3791217. Taxi: Alserkal Avenue.

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Al Madaen

If you prefer going a little off the beaten track try Al Madaen, which mostly plies its trade as a carpet cleaning company. Its Satwa store is crammed with Persian rugs of all sizes and prices – and you can pick from both brand-new and vintage at this secret treasure trove. Al Madaen also performs all kinds of craftsmanship magic, so if you later need a spot of refringing or reweaving, these are your guys.

8a-8 Al Hudaiba Street, Satwa, Dubai, Sat to Thur 9am to 5pm. Tel: (04) 3454488. Taxi: Hudaiba Street.


Look, if you just want something to fill a blank space that won’t break the bank, this Swedish interiors giant should be on your list. If you’re not bothered about authenticity, flatwoven runners in multi-coloured threads will set you back as little as Dhs19, while you can get Art Deco-style floral low pile carpets for around Dhs145. Ikea also does a line of Oriental hand-knotted rugs from Dhs900 to Dhs4,800.

Dubai Festival City, Dubai, Sun to Wed 10am to 11pm, Thur to Sat at 10am to midnight. Tel: (04) 2037555. Taxi: Dubai Festival City.

Sheba Iranian Carpets

Sheba Iranian Carpets

If a spot of haggling doesn’t scare you, try Sharjah’s Blue Souk – it’s probably the best place to get a genuine Persian rug without a mall mark-up. There are dozens of carpet sellers here, so we recommend starting at Sheba’s – owner Rashad Al Ghazali has been selecting handmade pieces for the store since 1980. You’ll snap up a beauty from here for under Dhs5,000. If you can’t face the drive out to Sharjah, Sheba will bring any piece on their website to you, so you can see what it looks like in your home first.

Sharjah Central Market, Block 4, Sharjah, Mon to Thur 10am to 1pm, 4pm to 10pm, Fri 4pm to 10pm, Sat and Sun 10am to 1pm, 4pm to 10pm. Tel: (06) 5727489. Taxi: Sharjah Central Market.



If shopping from the sofa is your thing, you might want to bookmark this online-only interiors store. Contemporary homemakers will be won over by the brand’s extensive range of repurposed Burza rugs – they’re made by neutralising vintage hand-woven Turkish carpets, then over-dying them with a fresh burst of colour. You get the traditional patterns but with a much more modern palette – think hot pinks, turquoises and marigolds – so if you’re seeking something out of the norm, look no further.

The Red Carpet

The Red Carpet

When you still can’t find what you’re looking for, why not get something custom-made? This mall-based store works with customers to craft carpets that fit the colour, pattern and size they need, but there’s also plenty of ready-made ones on offer if you need some inspiration. You’ll find hand-knotted New Zealand wools, finely spun Tibetan silks and an intriguingly different line of matte leather rugs. 

Mall Of The Emirates, Dubai, Sun to Wed 10am to 10pm, Thur to Sat 10am to midnight. Tel: (04) 3409924. Metro: Mall Of The Emirates.


Set a budget and stick to it

You can easily get a budget chain-brand carpet for around Dhs400, but a quality woollen number from a specialist shop can ring in around Dhs3,000 to Dhs4,000. For a luxurious silk rug, you could be looking at upwards of Dhs50,000.

Save or splurge?

To help you decided what you’re willing to pay, think about what purpose it will serve. Is it going to get a lot of foot traffic? Then don’t bother blowing thousands of dirhams. However, if you want a handcrafted heirloom piece, spend some time familiarising yourself with the different types, and the price tags they attract. Silken Iranian rugs, for example, tend to dominate the pricier side of the spectrum, whereas imported Turkish wool rugs are more affordable.

Know what to look for

Make sure you inspect the tapestries thoroughly before you buy. Turn carpets over to check the knot count – the more the better, and if the pattern is clear on the back then you’ve got a quality rug.

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Images: Supplied