Dragon Mart is a long time favorite among locals and expats looking for cheap Chinese goods and all the stuff you cannot find anywhere else. Dragon Mart is gigantic, chaotic and overwhelming, and there’s a big chance you’ll hate it. Don’t worry, the cheap goods will make you come back for more, whether you like it or not.
I wasn’t sure whether to add Dragon Mart to my guides, as it’s mostly a place for people living in Dubai. Even though there are clothes shops and jewelry shops, I think most people go there to buy stuff for their home such as curtains, chandeliers, carpets and other things that don’t easily fit in a cabin-sized bag. However, those of my visiting friends who’ve been there have all found it quite enjoyable.
Dragon Mart is located in International City, which is a bit far from Downtown Dubai and the Marina Area. There are busses servicing this area, but taxis are cheap, and you’ll probably buy a lot of stuff that you’ll need to bring back to the city, so take a cab for a quicker, more convenient ride.
Dragon Mart is more like an indoor market than a mall, and even though the stores are clustered according to what kind of goods they’re selling, you may still find it rather difficult to navigate. Fortunately, there are plenty of information counters with staff who can point you in the right direction.
Some places may offer you a discount, but if you only buy a few items, and you don’t look like you could be turned into a regular customer, don’t expect any significant price reductions. All the goods sold in Dragon Mart are made in China. It’s really cheap so don’t expect top-notch quality. You get what you pay for, and personally, I would hesitate to buy electronics or toys for kids, as I’m not sure whether the goods adhere to the standards, we’re used to in Scandinavia.
There’s a food court and several inexpensive restaurants and fast food chains, but compared to other malls in Dubai, Dragon Mart’s food outlets don’t impress.
• It can get rather hot inside Dragon Mart during the summer, so bring a bottle of water.
• Dragon Mart is huge, so wear some comfortable shoes.