Sunday 24 June 2012

Dubai Carpet Shopping

Dubai is one of the best places in the world to buy a Persian carpet. That is because it is located so close to Iran and they have been close trading partners for years. That said make sure you have done your homework before you arrive. Visit your local carpet dealers at home first. That will give you a baseline understanding of what is a good bargain for you. If your local dealer has just gotten in a big shipment he might be offering competitive prices. Many carpet dealers have websites as well. We strongly discourage you from buying a carpet online, but it is a great way to become familiar with the styles and prices. (keep in mind that there may be some deals online that really aren't.)

After arriving in Dubai, take your time and look at as many different styles and shops as necessary to find your perfect one. Refreshments are frequently offered as visitors sit and watch as stack after stack of carpets are pulled out for display. If you love art and design you will quickly discover that Persian Carpet shops are museums. Be sure to take the time to appreciate what is before your eyes. Many of them will represent a year’s work by the artist who created it. Most shops carry a combination of new carpets just like the ones in the shop down the street, as well as antiques that you will never see the likes of again. We don’t mean to suggest that new carpets are inferior, but you are likely to see pretty much the same color and design from shop to shop. Pass up on that special rare carpet and may regret it for a long time.

Some things to think about if you decide to take home a few beautiful Middle Eastern rugs:

Research the shopping areas carefully. Buying from a mall does not guarantee the price or quality of a carpet. There are great deals to be had but take steps that you get what you pay for. You don’t want to pay Cadillac prices for a Volkswagen!

Know what you are willing to spend before going shopping. You may not be able to obtain the best local price but should be able to get a good result if you stick to carpets within your price range. There are so many wonderful high quality expensive carpets that are tempting so keep your budget in mind.

Decide what style of carpet you like before starting to purchase. There are available resources in books and online to help become familiar with the various kinds of carpets from all parts of the world. What do you like and are willing to pay? When shopping ask questions about the price and the quality of each kind of carpet and then test that quality and price against other stores. Also keep in mind what you want a carpet for i.e. floor, wall hanging, etc. Silk carpets are the most expensive as the yarn is expensive and they have significantly more knots per square inch. Consequently they are more likely to be used as wall hangings.

When you have found your favorite carpet then settle down to reach that mutually agreeable price. Remember don’t bid on anything you are not interested in buying offer no more than 30% less than what you are willing to pay. People will always say they got a better price but it’s really about you and that you end up with a carpet you love at a reasonable cost.

Monday 27 February 2012

Dubai - where the West meets the Middle East

If London is where the Middle East meets the West, then Dubai is where the West meets the Middle East. Dubai is a swirling dervish of towering skyscrappers, white thobbed men, black abaya-ed women, and expensive cars. Dubai sets the pace for the Middle East as it races into the future on magic carpets fueled on high oil prices.

Dubai is quintessentially Arab, yet multicultural. Most of its residents are non-citizen Asians, with lots of Europeans thrown in for good measure. Its stylish hotels accomodate over ten million visitors a year, who come to see Dubai's unique attractions. (see our site Dubai Top 10 Attractions,

Dubai is a also a blend of desert and sea. It has a gorgeous coastline with pristine white sand beaches, lined with palm trees and hotel rooms with views of the Gulf. There is shopping galore, golf and nightlife, fine restaurants, state of the art malls, Gold Souks, Persian Carpet Souks and sun, sun, sun.

Photo:Jósa Levente Zoltán