Shopping In Satwa
Ask anyone in Dubai where to get something done; a phone unlocked, a sofa recovered, a picture framed, a copy of a designer dress or a beautiful fresh orchid and they’ll direct you to Satwa. Us Dubai mamas often fantasize about trading in the glitz and glamour of our wonderful malls for something a little more real – somewhere to bag a bargain, barter over beautiful fabrics and deal with some very talented craftsmen. We went on a little shopping spree with our lovely Sassy Mama contributor Kathryn Hawkes from House of Hawkes to check out the hidden gems of Satwa. From plants to upholsterers and everything in between, this place has it all and we’ve put together our top picks just for you mamas!
Al Hudaiba Street (or ‘plant street’) behind the Iranian Hospital
From suits to dresses, Deepak’s is THE place to go for fabulous fabrics with which to hit the tailors. There are rolls upon rolls to choose from and plenty of lovely smiley faces to help you in the process. Among the great selection of materials there is pure English wool, Irish linen, Japanese crepes, pure silks, raw silks, georgettes and patterns from floral to polka dots. China silk costs only AED 3 per yard while pure silk costs AED 45 (mama went for a stunning royal blue to use for a blouse – heavenly!).
Telephone: (+971) (0) 4 3443536 / 3443537
Tiles & Flooring
Floor tiles, wall tiles, plumbing items and kitchen and bathroom accessories from sinks to tubs – if you’re doing up a house or modernizing your place, chances are that Ambience Trading will have what you need. We spotted some seriously gorgeous granite tiles for an absolute steal… now all we need is a villa to put them in.
Telephone: (+971) (0) 4349 3475
Hardware and Household Odds and Ends
Al Sufsaf Hardware Store
Blink and you might miss it, this little shop literally looks like a cupboard but enter through the tiny door and you’ll find a treasure trove of stuff and floor to ceiling shelves packed with everything from to shower heads to rope, extension cords to light-bulbs (at only AED 15 a pop – beat that Spinneys!)
Have a family photo or piece of art by your budding little Picasso that needs framing? Head here and speak to Rachel who’ll guide you through a huge range of frames and mounts – and for a super quick turnaround (only 3 days for most framing – up to 6 days for big orders). Prices are really reasonable (start at approximately AED 40 for A4 size. There are also some beautiful old artefacts for sale in store – antique Iranian pots, bowls and plates that we would love to consider (once the littles are less likely to touch and break!)
Telephone: (+971) (0) 4 349 1181
Soft Furnishings & Upholstery
Al Sharafi upholstery
Stocking high-end soft furnishings and fabrics for curtains, blinds, cushions plus a super upholstery service – ask Mohamed to breathe new life into your sofa or chair – he will diagnose and make-over based on your budget and taste. These pros have a giant stock of globally sourced fabrics and can also order in anything you want. The fabrics and the service can come to your home – and they’ll take away any furniture that needs a facelift and deliver again within a really reasonable timeframe. Not mega cheap but you get what you pay for here.
Telephone: (+971) (0) 4 349 6220
Don’t be fooled by the basic interior, this store might look less flash than Al Sharafi but stocks almost all of the same fabric books plus some gorgeous wallpapers – ooh and they make fabulous loose sofa covers if you’re looking to revamp a tired old couch. Ask for Asif or Faisal, both are brilliant at sorting your curtains, carpets, blinds and upholstery needs.
Telephone: (+971) (0) 4 394 877
Plants & Flowers
Dreaming of an orchid filled space mamas but just not that keen to spend a fortune on the supermarket options that really don’t last very long anyway? The plant shops on Hudaiba Street are blooming with all sorts of beautiful flowers and plants at incredibly reasonable prices. Go to National Flowers (04 344 2217)for single stem orchids from AED 65, 2 stems for AED 75 and 3 for AED 100 – bargain right mamas?! At Christmas time this is the place to head to if you’re hankering after the smell of fresh pine needles – a magical outing for the kids as you wander through the trees choosing which to take home.
Al Satwa Road (look for the Emarat Petrol Station, Satwa Clinic and Municipality Office as landmarks)
Mobile Phone Care & Repair
Khaled Jamshidy Branch
Remember the time that your precious little darling dropped your iphone, shattering the screen and leaving you un-contactable? Yes mamas, unfortunately so do we. A common occurrence in any household, our mobile phones take a regular battering and quite often need a little bit of a fix up. True to their ‘it will work’ motto, the lovely chaps at Khaled Jamshidy will fix your iphone screen for AED 180 in maximum 1 hour and get your phone back on track whatever the problem. Need a new phone cover/charger/accessory? You’ll find it here mamas.
Telephone: (+971) (0) 4 344 0220
Al Mirkhaniyah Trading
Mamas with little girls – this general store has a particularly fab selection of hair bobbles and other accessories for your tots tresses starting at only AED 3. We also spotted some lovely little backpacks for nursery or school goers and plenty of cute trinkets that would make ideal party favours.
Aalam Al Khayart Trading
Sewing, knitting – making do and mending –it’s all having a bit of a come-back and many of us are reaching for the needle and thread and enrolling in some of Dubai’s awesome craft classes. Whether you’re a skilled seamstress or you’re looking for some cute supplies for kids projects or to take over to a tailor, chances are that this little gem of a store will have what you need. From essentials like thimbles and thread to ribbon, knitting wool, sequins, beads, buttons, feather boas and a huge selection of the best tools of the trade from sewing machines to knitting needles – this is a real treasure trove and a magpie mamas dream – we LOVE all the sparkly stuff.
Telephone: (+971) (0) 50 678 5027
A Haberdashery/textiles store with so much more – from rolls of beads, fake pearls, ribbon and diamante to glittering tiaras, wigs, silk butterflies and feathers. If you have the kiddos with you they’ll be enthralled by the strings of funky rubber beads, turquoise stones, ceramic lady bugs and colourful Buddha heads (we know one stylish mama whose outfits are regularly complimented by a necklace from here.) We also spotted mini firefighter and police officer dressing up outfits for only AED 100 and fairy wings galore – perfect for dress up day at nursery.
Telephone: (+971) (0) 4 349 2446
We all have our favourites – from Bur Dubai to Satwa and all around Dubai there are some very talented tailors busy at work creating and copying for our wardrobes. Very professional and super fast – take your fabrics to Stitch in Time Tailors (Opposite the Municipality Office, Telephone: (+971) (0) 4 344 9822) if you want something copied or made from scratch – they are absolute geniuses at creating gorgeous little baby clothes. Or, for a slightly higher price, if you are after evening wear, an outfit for a special occasion or even a bridal gown – head for Montexa Tailoring (shop no. 33 near Emirates NBD bank, Telephone: (+971) (0) 4 3494037) where British owner Anne will take great care over any of your tailoring requirements.
Hussain Habeeb General Trading
A home-maker (and bargain hunters) paradise, this tiny little store spills its wares onto the pavement, enticing shoppers with pots & pans, brooms, measuring cups, storage solutions and other daily essentials that we just can’t do without.
Babyl Quds Textiles
Don’t be put off by the very old fashioned underwear on display – it’s worth digging around in this store if you’re looking for a cheap beach maxi dress or a beaded kaftan. We tried a missoni print maxi that would look great thrown over a bikini – the guys in the shop convinced us to buy (at only AED 75) despite it being a little short – we were won over by their ‘it becomes longer as you wear it’ argument – gotta love a determined salesman right mamas?!
Telephone: (+971) (0) 50 695 0805