A few months ago, I was was looking for Christmas cards to send back to New Zealand with my mum when she visited. I couldn’t find a thing. In the end, we found Christmas cards, at all places, at Emirates Headquarters. Little did I know that a veritable sea of Christmas stuff would soon flood in – I just needed to wait for Halloween to pass!
Oddly enough, Christmas seems to be a bigger deal here than in New Zealand. Most of the malls are decorated – beautifully – and the hotels are looking amazing. My fears of not being able to locate any decorations was unfounded. Here are some of the best places I have found to stock up on your festive decorations!
ACE Hardware seems to be the place to go for Christmas decorations in Dubai. It reminds me a bit of Mitre 10 MEGA in New Zealand… in fact, walking into ACE Hardware made me feel more at home than I have felt in Dubai! It has a massive selection of trees, decorations, lights and other supplies. You can even hire someone to decorate your tree for you – but where is the fun in that?!
While most of it is pretty cheap looking, I’ve picked up lots of baubles and other simple decorations from various Choithrams stores around the UAE. The selection ranges from store to store, so if at first you don’t succeed, just keep looking!
Daiso has a massive amount of decorations. I got some of my Christmas lights from here, and they were well priced and of a good quality. If you need a cheap tree, Daiso is the place to go. It also has lots of cheap gift wrap, tags and gift bags.
It always makes me laugh that Clas Ohlson advertises itself as Sweden’s favorite store. I feel like IKEA might just have that covered. However, it does have a good selection of trees, and lights. It also has some really nice general lights for your balcony or patio for the rest of the year.
What is a list without IKEA? Better yet, IKEA Family Members can currently get 50% off all decorations. Heck, you an even order yourself a 4kg turkey, if you are so inclined.
My love for Tchibo knows no bounds. Pick up festive table decorations, lights and other European style decorations from your local store.
True to form, M&S has a massive range of decorations and homewares for the festive season. Every few days, they seem to be having sales on festive goods, so keep an eye in store for bargains. Their food shop is also great for stocking up on treats.
Really want to outdo your neighbours? Build yourself a fake-snow snowman for the backyard… or the living room. It’s safe and biodegradable, and while a bit on the pricy side, there is no denying you will have the coolest decorations on the block. No pun intended.
If you are going all out on the Christmas decorations, why not visit Irony Home? With most decorations costing around the 25-50AED mark, your credit card will take a hammering. But hey, the tree will be gorgeous!
Carrefour, like ACE Hardware, is a treasure trove of Christmas treats. Okay, its an absolute zoo, whenever you visit. Stuff is everywhere. But if you are looking for cheap and cheerful, its your best bet. Mall of the Emirates has a good range, but if you want to retain your sanity, try shopping at Mirdif or Festival City.
With its typical minimalist aesthetic, Zara Home has a range of high quality goods to decorate your home this Christmas.
Okay, I wouldn’t really recommend shopping here, unless you want to get a second mortgage on your home. However, if you are looking for something extra special, it might be worth checking out Pottery Barn. Expensive, but beautiful.
The cheaper cousin of Pottery Barn, Crate and Barrel currently has buy two, get one free on festive decorations. They also discount items quite heavily after Christmas… I know this because I got decorations last April for 3AED each!
Home Centre is having specials all the time, and they have a great range of festive decorations. The little seal sitting on top of the tree (well, spiked on the star, really) came from Home Centre for a mere 7AED.
Throwing a Christmas party? Look no further. My Party Centre has a massive range of party decorations and favors, and the biggest collection of Christmas stockings I have ever seen!
Trees are quite expensive here. I was very lucky to snaffle a lovely fake tree second hand, from an expat who was going home. If you don’t want to buy new, have a look on Facebook or Dubizzle for second hand options.
MAKE YOUR OWN FESTIVE BELL JAR
Lastly, I’ve seen a few bell jar decorations out and about in Dubai, and they are very pricy. It is very easy to make your own! I’ve included a little bit of information below on how you can create your own festive decoration.
- Find yourself a bell jar. A few places in the UAE stock these, including IKEA (35AED), Maison du Monde (around 40AED) and Desert Cart (113AED).
- Get some lights. Seed lights are best, and ones with batteries that can be replaced. The smaller the battery pack, the better, as it might need to sit inside your bell jar. DAISO sells seed lights for around 20AED a pack.
- Decide what you want to put inside your bell jar. This year, I have baubles and lights only. In New Zealand, I had a big old sparkly reindeer wrapped in ivy and lights. Just make sure you have something to cover the battery pack. Carrefour is your best bet for cheap decorations, including reindeers – I’ve seen them for about 30 AED.
- Put it all together! It’s not hard. One handy hint is to turn the bell jar upside down and put the lights in first, to make sure they reach to the top of the bell jar once you put it the right side up. This is particularly helpful if you are filling it with baubles.
- Enjoy your new creation!