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Dubai Fruit and Vegetable Market

March 12, 2013
What a lot she got!

What a lot she got!

Now that I’ve started eating foods, Mum’s weekly supermarket bill has gone through the roof with all the fresh fruit and veg I am throwing on the floor devouring, so she has decided to make a regular trip to the Fruit and Vegetable Market in Dubai. She paid about AED 140 (without much bartering) for all that lot in the picture above which would easily have cost AED 350 – 400 in Spinneys and this lasted Mum, Dad and me about two weeks.

Dubai Fruit and Vegetable Market

Dubai Fruit and Vegetable Market

Admittedly it’s not quite as convenient as picking up our fruit and veg during our supermarket shop, but it’s easily accessible with a car and I find it a fascinating trip out with lots of new things to look at.

At this market you tend to have to buy in bulk but you can buy huge quantities and it still be substantially cheaper and often much fresher than the tiny packet you would buy in Spinneys. You could split your purchases with a friend or neighbour, or like Mum you could freeze some of it. If you buy carefully you can get away with going just twice a month and still save heaps of money.

The market is well signposted off either the Al Khail Road (E44) or the Emirates / Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Road (E111) and there is plenty of parking but it’s much better to park in the Union Co-op car park and walk the short distance across the road. If you pull up directly outside the market you are likely to get surrounded by irritating guys trying to get you to buy a punnet of peaches they have been carrying around in the sun for several hours.

Barrow boys at the Dubai Fruit and Vegetable Market

Barrow boys at the Dubai Fruit and Vegetable Market

Being Dubai, you don’t have to worry about carrying your purchases. As you enter the market there is a group of guys with wheelbarrows and one of them will follow you round and carry your shopping back to your car. Mum usually pays the guy AED 10 and he seems happy with that.

I like to peruse the market from my Ergo baby carrier but you could probably just about take a stroller if you needed to. We don’t see many other babies or children around but we don’t get any hassle. In fact last time I was there I was given a banana by one friendly stall holder (perhaps he thought I was a little monkey).

After a few visits Mum quickly realised that if you’re going to buy in bulk then it’s best to buy things that keep a week or so or that freeze nicely. Pumpkin and watermelon are particularly good just to keep in the fridge for a week or even longer. Mangoes and pineapples, simply cut into chunks with or without the skin freeze beautifully without faff and defrost quickly for my snacks.

My top tips for things to buy are as follows with the average price Mum usually pays in brackets next to them:

Watermelon (AED 10 – 12)

Pumpkin (AED 6.50 – 8)

Cauliflower, huge (AED 5)

Broccoli, 4 pieces (AED 10)

Mangoes, large, 9 pieces (AED 30)

Pineapple, large (AED 5)

Nectarines, around 15 (AED 9)

Sweet potato, 3 pieces (AED 8)

Large box of kiwis, around 20 (AED 10)

You can also get large boxes or even sacks of things like tomatoes, onions, carrots, potatoes and courgettes for AED 5 – 10 each. If you’re good at bartering you can probably get these for even less.

The market is open 24 hours a day 7 days a week but the earlier you go in the day, the fresher the produce.

Directions: From the E111 (formerly Emirates Road, now known as Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Rd) heading towards Sharjah, come off at Manama St. It’s well signposted from this road. It’s also well signposted from the E44. The market is under cover and next to a large Union Co-op supermarket.

 

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2 Comments
  1. Lovely blog! Have just sent a link to my sister in law & husband who are over in Abu Dhabi with their baby 🙂

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