Why I love shopping in the UK
I was pestering my mum to come with me to Bluewater mall this week. For those who don’t know it, it’s one of the UK’s bigger (better?) malls, and is reasonably close to my mum’s house.
“Why do you want to go there?” she sighed. “You live in Dubai. You have it all in terms of malls – and more!”
It’s an illusion, though, that the shopping in Dubai is great. It’s probably quite good for electronics and possibly for high-end designer wear from the US, and it’s probably quite good for those who don’t have a lot of money to spend either, in as much as there are a few good places to buy things very, very cheaply.
But for those of us looking for a sort of high-end High Street experience, there are very slim pickings. What shops there are in Dubai pile on the prices so what should be affordable becomes exorbitant for what it is (think LK Bennett and its 40% mark-up); the shops rarely get the full collections; the customer service is pants with bells on; and we don’t even have a John Lewis.
So, come the summer sales, I love to potter around a British mall like Bluewater, sifting through the sale rails of brands such as Joules, Ghost, Jigsaw, Whistles, Jones The Bootmaker and Russell & Bromley, as well as shops such as DVF, MaxMara and Caroline Herrera, the latter of which, on sale, become as affordable as buying something bog standard in Debenhams in Dubai.
Not to mention a lot more stylish.
But it doesn’t stop there. British malls are now getting the hang of being a one-stop shop for the glamour puss. They may not all have the doctor’s surgeries, ice rinks and ski slopes of Dubai’s malls, but not only can you get your eyebrows shaped, eyelash extensions fitted and your teeth whitened on the spot (£99), but you can get a glass of wine and have an on-the-hop massage, too.
So I did.