Saturday, March 15, 2014

Adventures in Dragon Mart - Part I

One not so great thing about the new villa is that it didn't come with any light fixtures. there were enough recessed lights to get by for  a few days, but we had an urgent need to go light shopping. Like any big city, there are loads of places to buy lights, but as is our custom, we wanted something decent but cheap (hey, it's a rental!) And when you want cheap, you go to Dragon Mart in Dubai.

Dragon Mart has been described as "Chinatown on steroids". Located on the outskirts of Dubai, the place is a series of warehouses that carry every conceivable item you can imagine. For those of you back home, think of a combination of the state fair, a Saturday flea market, Wal Mart and Delaney's all in one!

You can see why it's called the Dragon Mart when you look at this aerial view. The photos in this post are actually taken from the internet as I didn't even think to grab some photos of the crazy place (too busy dodging the crowds and gawking at the wares, I guess).

The first challenge is finding parking. We went on Friday early afternoon so that helped slightly, but we still drove around a bit to find a spot. The next challenge is to remember where you parked. The place is huge and there are many doors in and out of the mart so you have to pay close attention or risk wandering around for hours looking for your car. Luckily, all the entrances are marked. The third challenge is to find what you're looking for.

Items are roughly organized into sections, but I do mean roughly. For example, we entered in the hardware/plumbing/tile and flooring section ... we think. But then we'd find a random flower shop or rug shop which threw things off. And, unfortunately, there is no mall directory - you just have to walk around and find what you're looking for. And that's what we did - for about 15 minutes before we finally found the light fixture area.

Inside the mart, each store is very small, packed to the gills with merchandise, and they are all right next to each other so even when you find something, the chances of you finding the store again are slim. And this became a problem because we were shopping around for light fixtures. We wanted to browse what was on offer and then swing back around for a closer look. This was much more challenging than you would imagine.

Despite the challenges and the crowds and the really gaudy stuff in most shops, we managed to find a few things we liked and get everything eventually purchased and stuffed into the car. And like any good trip to "China town on steroids" in addition to what we came for, we also walked out with a lamp, a rug, shower rod and of course, lightbulbs.

No comments:

Post a Comment