Pick up local produce, hard-to-find home comforts, and other epicurean goods at Dubai’s specialty minimarts.
1. Ripe Organic Farm Shop
As well as organic fruit and vegetables, local eggs, raw honey and superfood, you can also stock your pantry with healthy ingredients and eco-friendly brands from Ripe’s new store in Town Centre Jumeirah. Some of the things on our wishlist: chocolate paleo granola, organic cocoa powder for smoothies, gluten-free crackers and vegan cheese. It’s a must-visit if you have any dietary requirements, food allergies, or just want to make healthier choices. The Ripe Organic Farm Shop also offers a selection of locally made artisan products, including fresh bread and olives.
Town Centre Jumeirah, Jumeirah 1, Dubai, daily 10am to 10pm. Tel: (04) 267 2123. Taxi: Town Centre Jumeirah. ripeme.com
2. New Safestway
This Sheikh Zayed Road classic has been open for 22 years , and inside you’ll find a treasure trove of products from the US of A. North American customers get particularly excited when they see Tide washing liquid, Apple Jacks and Bounce dryer sheets.
Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai, daily 7am to midnight. Tel: (04) 343 4590. Taxi: Near Mazaya Centre. giantuae.com
3. Milk and Honey
This gourmet grocer has three outlets in Dubai where you’ll find an extensive selection of fine foods from around the world, including Italian olive oils, organic coffee from Byron Bay in Australia, and a variety of cheeses from around the world.
Town Centre, Emirates Hills, Dubai, daily 6am to midnight. Tel (04) 435 6363. Taxi: Town Centre. milkandhoney.ae
4. Jones the Grocer
Australia’s gourmet grocer is part cafe, part supermarket, where you’ll find a dedicated cheese fridge, niche artisanal products and fridges stocked with hard-to-find ice cream brands. Look out for the brand new outlet opening at Emirates Golf Club at the end of the year.
Al Manara, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai, Sun to Thur 7.30am to 11pm, Fri and Sat 8am to 11pm. Tel: (04) 346 6886. Taxi: Opposite Times Square. jonesthegrocer.com
5. QKO Asian Market
Fans of Korean food are likely to be thrilled by the arrival of QKO Asian Market, a new store in Emaar Building Park that’s well stocked with staples, from kimchi to gochujang (hot pepper paste). There are frozen goods, such as veggies and dumplings, and the store is dotted with a few Japanese items, too, including instant noodles and the ubiquitous Pocky candy. A big highlight is the homeware and stationery section – anyone who’s visited Japan or South Korea will know that one thing those countries do extremely well (aside from food) is cute and quirky stationery, and QKO offers an authentic collection of notebooks, pencil cases and more.
Emaar Business Park Building 1, The Greens, Dubai, Sat to Thur 8am to 8pm, Fri 10am to 8pm. Tel: (052) 481 4897. Metro: Dubai Internet City. facebook.com/qkoasianmarket
6. 1004 Mart
Another Korean-focused supermarket, 1004 Mart isn’t easy to find (tucked away in Al Barsha) or as cute as QKO. But it does stock high-quality, imported Korean cuisine – in fact, it’s the go-to supermarket for some of our favourite Korean restaurants in the city. They stock loads of fresh products, pantry items, snacks and homewares. Plus, if you don’t have time to make the trip to the store, you can also order online (provided you have someone who can help you translate some of the trickier parts of the site).
Coral Hotel Apartments, Al Barsha, Dubai, daily Sat to Thur 9am to 9pm, Fri 11am to 9pm. Tel: (04) 323 4536. Metro: Mall of the Emirates. facebook.com/1004mart
7. Greenheart Organic
All the Netflix documentaries about the food industry (What The Health, anyone?) have us putting a lot more thought into what we eat and where it comes from. Shop at Greenheart Organic and you can trust that all the fruit and veges you buy are truly organic. Most of the items are grown in the UAE, and what they need to import is sourced directly from farmers they trust.
The Light Building, Arjan, Al Barsha 2, Dubai, Sat to Thur 10am to 6pm. Tel: (04) 361 7010. Taxi: Al Barsha. greenheartuae.com