Mamas have you ever driven past the Mazaya Center (Sheikh Zayed Road Abu Dhabi bound – opposite Business Bay) and wondered what’s inside? Well I have – in fact there are so many places in this wonderful city of ours that remain a complete mystery to me that I’m determined to get to know them and unearth some hidden gems. A recent visit to the Mazaya Center found that it houses stores including Homes R Us, Pier Import and Reems Closet as well as a soft play area, restaurants and lots more.
Mazaya means unique in Arabic – and this place is certainly that –with its eclectic mix of shops and facilities (plus some rather bizarre clown themed décor in the parking lot) – there are plenty of treasures to be found here!
Najeeb Games Play Area
This must be one of Dubai’s best kept secrets – an impressive (albeit fairly old) four-story play structure in the mall atrium – a maze of tubes, slides, climbing frames and more for the kiddos to explore. Set inside a gated play zone complete with padded play strewn with ride on plastic cars and a little ball pit – perfect for the 5 and under crowd. The play area is bright and colourful with a clown/circus theme – and was a complete hit with my 3 who were not happy about being dragged around shops!
1 hour of play costs AED 30 per child
Opening hours 11.30am – 10pm daily according to the friendly attendant
Homes R Us
I’ve always slightly avoided this place – I think the tacky orange logo has put me off – but let me tell you this home store is full to the brim with some really fab items. Looking to fill your home with fake flowers? This is the place to go, there’s an entire fake flower section of very reasonably priced and real looking blooms that are much cheaper than some of the higher end stores in Dubai. The outdoor section also offered gorgeous storm lanterns and a sweet wrought iron dining table and chairs for 2 (would look great on a little patio or balcony).
Our top find was in the bedding department where organic cotton sheets in cream or white cost only AED 299 for a king size set with 2 pillow cases – yes please! I also stocked up on vibrantly coloured hand-embroidered bolsters and cushions in super cute shapes (butterfly, chicken, elephant) for my kids playroom. If you’re a home maker and love to spend on nick-nacks then pretty home accessories from glass jars to marble cheese boards will make your heart flutter – I also spotted some Typhoon kitchenware at incredible prices (gotta love a bargain right mamas?!)
I only managed a peek inside the window of this teeny tiny café/restaurant but spotted a pizza oven and a fairly authentic Italian interior (complete with plastic fruit and veg dangling from the ceiling). Possibly a good kids supper option after the soft play!
A real treasure trove, this store is a fantastic mix of old and new with a similar feel to Marina or The One. Items range from custom made pieces (loved the cupboard made to look like an English telephone box), investment pieces including beautiful wall clocks, shabby chic style chairs and tables and everyday essentials with a difference – the gardening tools had a touch of old world glamour about them. An eclectic antiques section is a labyrinth of vintage luggage, traditional old wooden skis, typewriters from pre-computer days, wonderful cameras and much more. When the time comes (and it’s not that far away mamas!) the Christmas decorations are beautiful.
pssst…..Pier Import also offer an interior design service if you want help with redoing your pad
My credit card is thanking me for not finding Reems Closet sooner. This British owned pre-loved clothing store proves that old is gold, stocking a whole heap of designer gear for a fraction of its original price. Set inside two adjoining stores, Reems Closet sells an extraordinary range of coveted labels – from Pucci to Gucci and everything in between. I spied a pair of yellow jimmy choos in my size for only AED 480. Bored of your designer clothes and accessories? The store will sell on your behalf for a percentage – allowing you to spend on some new (or old) threads
A kind of condensed department store in which you can probably find something you love if you hunt around enough – the ray bans definitely made it onto my wishlist. Walk through a fairly huge mens section selling shirts, suits, socks and more into a fairly sparse shoe collection offering a mix of casual footwear from imitation crocs (which should never, in my opinion, be worn by anyone over the age of 6) and TOGA flats which looked remarkably like Tods.
Cappuccino Grand Café
Mamas this is a seriously good little find – a Spanish Café (with outlets across Spain) focusing on food, art and music with a lovely interior and a little deck for cooler times. By the time I found this I was in need of a coffee but the rugrats had had enough and it was time for home – but I shall return!
pssst…mamas check out the website for their own radio station and a cool blog with gorgeous pics of Spain (and of a rather handsome young man!)
The Mazaya Center is definitely worth a little stop – and it seems that lots more stores will open (there were plenty of empty slots just waiting to be taken). If you’re a local mama then a Fitness 360 on the upper level might be of interest – there’s also an Aster Pharmacy, LIFE pharmacy, Danial Indian Restaurant and little independent hair salons, real estate companies, jewelers and much more all under one roof. Oh and if you’re looking to rent a supercar (Ferrari anyone?) then Queens Cars Rent A Car is the place for you. Don’t you just love Dubai?!