WHERE TO SOURCE THE COOLEST RUGS IN DUBAI

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There are things that you take for granted until they prove to be a massive pain in the bum to procure. Exhibit A: RUGS... If you are not based in Dubai, you have probably never really thought of sourcing one or more rugs for your home as a particularly arduous task, because, well it's never really been an issue, right? Usually, there are two simple scenarios. First one: you have a nice big budget, you find a lovely vintage piece from, say, Morocco, Turkey or India, online or in a specialized store. You choose your dimensions, you order it, you receive it, and Bob's your uncle. Scenario number two: your budget is a little more stretched so you turn to the high street or the myriad of local retailers who supply stylish, colorful rugs. You might find a lovely pattern or a design inspired by something more traditional or vintagey (they might be made from less natural materials like synthetic or polypropylene but can still look fabulous and will last a while still). You choose your size, you order it, you receive it. And. Job. Done.

Well, that's what I remember of my old days in London anyways... 

However, just a few weeks after landing in Dubai, it became very apparent that sourcing 'affordable rugs' was going to be a whole new ball game. The first hurdle: finding stuff in general, let alone rugs online is almost mission impossible as only a handful of retailers have e-commerce websites. See my post on the subject for the background. What's left? Good old physical stores and showrooms. You'll have to trek the malls or Al Quoz to find a bargain. And that's where it gets tricky. Sizes... Most villas in Dubai are three times bigger than the average European townhouse but for some mysterious reason, the majority of rugs available in the stores are either 'post-it' size or only suitable for hallways (there is no shortage of runner rugs in Dubai, I'll give you that). And then, the reality of price tags hits you. So it's a kind of save or splurge game, but not much in between. BUT, (there is always a but with me!) it's not all doom and gloom, don't despair. I have done the hard bit for you and have compiled a list of my favourite places to source rugs in Dubai, from the usual suspects to the 'not so usual' ones, from the palpitations-inducing suppliers to the places off the beaten track... 

THE USUAL SUSPECTS

IKEA - You can't really go wrong with IKEA rugs. They're affordable, easy to clean, have a great design. Of course, there is a high chance a few of your neighbours might have the same rug as you (I am looking at you STOCKHOLM!!) but, if that's not a deal-breaker, I think for a starting point it's a great place.

West Elm - Their Distressed Arabesque rug is literally a best seller amongst my own clients and their beautiful designs at reasonable prices make it one of my top choices for sourcing rugs. And they now FINALLY have most of their stock available online so you don’t have to sweat around the Dubai Mall car parking maze... 

THE BARGAIN HEAVENS

Home Centre - I have sourced many bargains at Home Centre and I do love the flabbergasted expression on people's face when they complement a rug in my house and I reveal it's from there... One of the rare places in town where you can find a decent 3m x 2m rug for a thousand dizzies... Their Sienna model is a great little gem. 

Ace Hardware - Find a home bargain while buying screws and super glue? Yes please! Joke aside, there are always a handful of little bargains to be made in stores or online. It's the closest equivalent we get of the home decor section of UK supermarkets here in Dubai...  

Halafurniture - My all-time favourite place to source Persian and Turkish rugs is Al Madaen Carpets in Dubai. They have piles and piles of gorgeous colourful handmade rugs at affordable prices. You just need to haggle (or hire me to haggle on your behalf!). 

H&M Home - There was a general hallelujah feeling when H&M Home finally reopened in not one but two new stores in Dubai... It's a really great place to find home accessories and in particular smallish rugs and mats at ridiculously reasonable prices. Stocks change regularly so it's best to keep an eye on things in store. 

THE BERBER ENABLERS

The People of Sand - A great supplier of vintage Beni Ourain and Boucherouite rugs, from runners to large area rugs. They regularly add new designs so it's a good idea to keep an eye on their site. And they offer free shipping worldwide, which is always nice. 

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