Despite all its glitzy shopping malls, Dubai just wouldn’t be Dubai without its monthly flea markets. And due to demand, the second-hand concept will soon be available in Sharjah and Abu Dhabi.
Your flea markets have been operating since 2008. How are they going?
2012 has been our busiest year. They are so popular that I am expanding across the Emirates – next season will see markets in both Sharjah and Abu Dhabi.
What gave you the inspiration?
When I first came to the UAE, I loved the shopping malls. But after a while I got so fed up and longed for something different. What could be more different than a second-hand, outside flea market?
How were they first received here?
Although many thought Dubai was too glitzy for such a concept, the idea was not new to Dubai’s European community, so they were a big support. Initially, organising the flea market was just my hobby. But then the economic crisis struck. Many people had to leave the country and the flea market was the only platform to get rid of things fast. From those days, their popularity has continuously grown.
What is the best bargain you have bought at the Dubai Flea Market?
A beautiful antique painting. I paid just Dhs80 for it but if I sold it in Europe I’d get more than Dhs600!
Remind us: where are your markets each month?
They take place on the first Saturday of each month in Safa Park and on the second Friday of each month in Uptown Mirdif.