When it comes to jewelry, Dubai has impeccable credentials. This is the historic home of pearl-diving and the seat of the world’s biggest gold souk. Jewelry shopping is also tax free, making it an irresistible bargain. Local and international designers are at the top of their game here. The following is Vogue’s dazzling edit of the ones that made the cut.
The annually held Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF) is the busiest retail season of the year in Dubai and welcomes millions of shoppers and visitors from around the world. In advance of DSF, Vogue has produced a series of five curated guides covering fashion, lifestyle, beauty, culture, and jewelry. Read on for Vogue’s jewelry edit.
Sauce Rocks, the fine jewelry concept store launched in 2015 by the popular and award-winning Sauce boutique, features a high-end edit of both international and regional designers. Located in the Galleria Mall, Sauce Rocks carries a range of both contemporary and fine jewelry, with a special mention for Allah Akbar’s Ayaat, Noor Fares’ “Fly Me to the Moon” earrings, and a striking selection of baroque designs by Juman Pearls.
The Galleria Mall, Al Wasl Road
Tel: +971 4 344 0608
Boom & Mellow
Boom & Mellow is a treasure trove of beautifully sourced international and local brands, with everything from fine to fun jewelry and fashion accessories. It carries celebrity favorite Kismet by Milka (worn by the likes of Beyoncé and Madonna) exclusively within the UAE, Sydney Evan, Zoe Chicco, Selim Mouzannar’s stackable rose gold and diamond or sapphire rings, and local designer Tiba. Also not to be missed is the store’s own brand, Personalize by Boom & Mellow. The brand’s bracelets, necklaces, and rings can be personalized with your initials in Arabic or English in 18k gold with optional jewels (local pearls or diamonds).
Boom & Mellow
Shop 21, Ground Floor, Town Centre Jumeirah, Jumeirah Beach Road
Tel: +971 4 344 4512
It’s not a common sight to see a jewelry store packed out with customers in intense discussion with the salespeople, but then Cara Jewellers is no common store. Founded in 2004 by brothers Anil and Kiran Pethani, who previously spent more than a decade working in Dubai’s Gold Souk, Cara Jewellers has become one of the leading luxury jewelers in Dubai, with a specialization in creating bespoke pieces to clients’ exact requirements, in addition to other readymade pieces on offer.
The Gold & Diamond Park
Building 4, Shop G-R 24 / 57
Tel: +971 4 347 8089
Galleria Mall, Al Wasl Road
Tel: +971 4 385 6567
Founded in 2008 by three Lebanese cousins and housed in a converted villa, O’de Rose is a contemporary boutique with an Arabic twist. Upon entering, guests are greeted with a signature rose water drink, the smell of burning rose incense, and the sounds of a curated playlist. The store offers clothing, accessories, furniture, contemporary art and home decor by designers and artisans such as Nada Debs, Bokja Design, Karen Chekerdjian, Kafka Goes Pink, Sarah’s Bag, Nada Zeineh, Kalimah Brand, Tamer Khalifa, and more. O’de Rose is also the only store in Dubai to stock the complete collection of Lebanese architect turned jewelry designer Karma Salam, whose handcrafted Zewar collection in gold and diamonds takes its inspiration from architectural columns and ornaments from various parts of the Arab world.
Villa 999, Al Wasl Road, Umm Suqeim 2
Tel: +971 4 348 7990
The Jewel Teller
Co-founded by jeweler Suzanna Martins, Hayan Sheikh Othman, and Ahmed Al Quaz, The Jewel Teller is the latest addition to the creative hub at Alserkal Avenue. More than just a boutique, it comprises a gallery, workshop, and integrated design studio. The Jewel Teller’s ambition is to promote a new creative expression for the jewelry-making process by sharing concepts, expertise, and craftsmanship with young designers and emerging brands. The atelier hosts seminars and workshops on design, model-making, CAD and 3D printing, gem cutting, engraving, and stone stetting. The Jewel Teller boutique showcases Suzanna Martins’ assertive creations with large precious and semi-precious stones crafted in the integrated atelier.
The Jewel Teller
Warehouse E49, Alserkal Avenue, Street 8, Al Quoz 1
Tel: +971 4 339 9055
Bil Arabi by Nadine Kanso
Nadine Kanso’s formation in Communication and Advertising Design gave her an appreciation of graphic design, typography, and fashion. In 2006, she was invited to participate in the “Friday Night at the V&A” program at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. Her resulting photographic exhibition was Arabise Me, a series of portraits of Arabs holding cards with positive statements written in gold. This led to the creation of her jewelry brand, Bil Arabi (which means “in Arabic”). Her pieces, all of which are handmade in the UAE, are based on the sensual undulations of Arabic calligraphy, often using an Arabic word or phrase as a foundation. Translated into 18K gold, diamonds, and precious stones, her designs are contemporary pieces of wearable art. Kanso also recently launched a line for men.
Bil Arabi by Nadine Kanso
Dubai Design District, Building 9
Launched by Emirati entrepreneur Salama Alabbar in 2010, the Symphony boutique was the first multi-brand concept boutique in The Dubai Mall. In addition to stocking a tight edit of international brands, Symphony became particularly known as a platform for emerging talent from the region. On the jewelry front, Symphony curates a range of jewels to accessorize any designer outfit to perfection. Dramatic, statement pieces by Alexander McQueen, crystal and pearl necklaces by Joomi Lim, abstract pieces by Paula Mendoza, and sequined necklaces by Shourouk add the perfect finishing touches. Don’t miss local Emirati Shamsa Alabbar’s designs inspired by her love of Arabic calligraphy, sold here exclusively.
Ground Floor, Fashion Avenue, The Dubai Mall, Downtown Dubai
Tel: +971 4 330 8050
The Dubai Mall
No list of shopping in Dubai would be complete without mentioning The Dubai Mall. On the jewelry front, there are more than 75 boutiques from top international watch and jewelry brands including Bulgari, Cartier, Chopard, Graff, Swarovski, and Tiffany. Already one of the world’s largest malls and next to the world’s tallest building (the Burj Khalifa), The Dubai Mall is about to get even bigger, with an expansion to its luxury quarter set to be completed in the second half of 2017 taking the total retail area to a staggering 1 million square feet!
The Dubai Mall
The Gold Souk
Prepare to be dazzled. Dubai’s Gold Souk is the biggest in the world and an unmissable part of any visit to the city. It is also highly reputable (the “Bareeq” certification system ensures high standards and purity of product). Information boards state the day’s rate twice a day and purchases are made by weight. Prices remain amongst the best in the world as jewelry purchases are tax and VAT free. This is a jewelry lovers’ paradise with everything from gold bars to bracelets. Insider’s tip: make your purchases on a Saturday or Sunday, as the international exchange trading price will not move until 2am on Monday.
54 Al Khor Street, Deira
Not so much a concept store as a gallery showcasing wearable art, The cARTel sits easily amongst the hip art galleries in Dubai’s industrial Al Quoz district. Peter Richweisz and May Barber’s finely-curated showroom assembles a broad spectrum of avant-garde designers. The items are presented against a backdrop of fashion-themed art exhibitions and installations.
In keeping with its wearable art concept, The cARTel’s jewelry is predictably esoteric. Slovenian jewelry label OlgafacesRok is inspired by contemporary art, sculpture, painting, and nature. Designs are made using the latest 3D printing technology with metal detailing. The Danish brand Sloan Sable universe is androgynous and contrasts minimalist style with an edgy look. Fun brands include Idonthaveasister’s glass rings and bracelets (handmade in a Murano workshop using 13th century glassblowing techniques) and Vibe Harsloef’s minimalist two-fingered rings with semi-precious stones.
Warehouse 6, Alserkal Avenue, Street 8, Al Quoz 1
Tel: +971 4 388 4341
With its primary location in the Mall of the Emirates, Boutique 1 is a multi-brand boutique carrying a sharply-edited collection of international fashion and jewelry brands. In terms of jewelry, Boutique 1 offers a vast selection of multifaceted pieces from designers including Isabel Marant, Monica Vinader, and Oscar de la Renta, along with a wide range of adorable charms by Loquet.
Mall of the Emirates, Fashion Dome
Tel: +971 4 395 1200
The Walk at Jumeirah Beach Residence (JBR), Dubai Marina
Tel: + 971 4 425 7888
Mall of the Emirates
As one of Dubai’s finest shopping experiences, the Mall of the Emirates is well-stocked on the jewelry front, with upwards of 50 boutiques from top international watch and jewelry brands including Bulgari, Cartier, Chopard, Piaget, Swarovski, Tiffany, and Van Cleef and Arpels.
Mall of the Emirates
Interchange 4, Sheikh Zayed Road
Tel: +971 4 409 9000
A world where customers can discover all things rare and pretty (and sparkly) is how Sophie’s Closet founder Sophie Katirai describes her boutique, which specializes in beautiful costume jewelry. Katirai, whose mother was a gemologist and whose father was an antique collector, hand-picks every item, ranging from hard-to-find vintage Chanel cuffs to Elizabeth Cole earrings, as well as bags, belts, hair accessories, and sunglasses. Other brands that Sophie selects from around the world include House of Harlow, Shourouk, and Mawi.
Tel: +971 4 447 0410
Comptoir 102 was launched in 2012 by Parisians Emma Sawko and Alexandra de Montaudouin. The concept store is surrounded by palm trees in a villa by the sea, with an atmosphere more similar to a private home than a store. The jewelry selection seamlessly echoes the store’s boho-chic vibe, with imminently wearable pieces by Brooke Gregson, Mathilde Danglade, Delphine Pariente, and, exclusively in Dubai, Pascale Monvosin.
102 Beach Road, Jumeirah 1
Tel: +971 4 385 4555
Originally founded in Beirut by Johnny and Soha Farah, If Boutique was Dubai’s first concept store. Johnny’s niece Maya Shehadeh brought the concept to Dubai in 2006, choosing a two-story villa with gardens as the setting for her sharply-edited pieces from designers such as Rick Owens, Simona Tagliaferri, and Damir Doma. The boutique’s signature aesthetic carries over to jewelry, with handmade pieces including Evan Sugerman’s Parts of Four in silver, bone, and other organic materials.
Villa 26, Umm Al Sheif Street, Umm Suqeim 1
Tel: +971 4 394 7260
Events at DSF
During DSF 2017, two notable events will take place for jewelry fans as part of the official DSF calendar of events:
Dhamani Pink Argyle Diamond Exhibition
Hosted at The Dubai Mall and exclusive to Dubai, the Dhamani Pink Argyle Diamond Exhibition will present rare jewels.
Hosted at The Dubai Mall from January 10-16, 2017 from 7-9pm.
Versace Fine Jewellery
The namesake jewelry brand of Gianni Versace (licensed and operated by Dubai-based Samra Jewellery) will have an exclusive DSF product launch during DSF in January 2017.