6 Incredibly Sweet Gift Ideas

Looking for a really sweet gift for a girlfriend or that special woman in your life, but do not want to add any calories to her diet? Throw out the cupcakes and chocolates and try these gifts that may just be sweeter than candy.

1.     Petit Bon Bon Fragrances from Bond No.9 New York

They are gorgeous to look at and almost make you want to eat one! Bond No.9’s chic and sleek perfume spray vials are individually wrapped in their signature colourful foils and are about the nicest smelling things you’ve ever laid eyes on.

Petit Bon Bons

Petit bon bon fragrances

Get a full Bon Bon Box with 18 delicious scents or a Mini Bon Bon Box with 9 scents or just grab a handful of their sample sized petit bon bons (shown in pic) which you can get free from Bond No.9 stores or purchase additional with any online purchase.

Available at: www.bondno9.com

(more…)

June 3, 2011 at 9:59 pm 2 comments

Jones the Grocer

Grocery shopping, did you ask? Well, why not? If it’s as chic as Jones the Grocer! For those who may not know, Jones the Grocer is not your regular grocery store. It’s not really even a grocery store. It’s actually one of my favourite restaurants in Abu Dhabi. Serving top quality food that is unpretentious yet delicious, it’s not difficult to see why it has become one of the best places to eat in this city. So are we here to eat or shop? Let’s try to do both (you can see why I am loving this already).

First, the shopping. Besides serving up some mean dishes, the shelves at Jones the Grocer are filled with a amazing selection of food products like olive and truffle oils, cheeses, home made sauces, pasta, tea, chocolates, marmalades etc.  I think the concept of incorporating a restaurant with a finefoods section is rather a smart one – if you’re going to use top notch ingredients for the food you cook, why not sell them too to customers who appreciate them and want to have a try at cooking at home with those ingredients. After all, the flavour of food depends so much upon the quality of the ingredients that go into them.

Home made sauces

Jars of home made sauces to delight the after meal shopper

It is somewhat similar in concept and is perhaps the Australian answer to the Italian Carluccio’s restaurants and the American Dean & Deluca cafes that are in Dubai. All have a finefoods shopping area that allows customers to enjoy not just a gourmet dining experience but a shopping one as well. But only Jones the Grocer has its own walk-in cheese room that is impressively stocked with cheeses of all sorts! (more…)

May 29, 2011 at 4:48 pm Leave a comment

The Souk at Central Market, Abu Dhabi

This week, Kate’s exploring a chic new shopping location in Abu Dhabi. A 21st century version of the bazaar in the Sex and the City 2 movie! Is the real thing anything like the one shown in the Hollywood movie? Read to find out more. 

I had the opportunity to be in the downtown area of Abu Dhabi last week, so I decided to visit the latest development there called Central Market, in particular The Souk. If I had thought that The Souk at Central Market in Abu Dhabi was one of those tradional souqs (souq – Arabic word for bazaar or marketplace) in the UAE – which I actually did – then I couldn’t have been more wrong. For anyone hoping to find a place that resembles the open bazaar from the movie Sex and the City 2, let it be known that the place was made up by the movie producers and doesn’t actually exist in Abu Dhabi but The Souk at Central Market would be a place I can actually imagine Carrie, Charlotte, Miranda and Samantha buying their shoes from rather than the version in the movie.

Before I go into details about The Souk, let’s just say that the inital idea of walking around a traditional open marketplace in 45 degrees Celsius of noon time desert heat didn’t appeal to me very much, but I couldn’t miss out on this opportunity while I was in Abu Dhabi. So I was relieved and grateful that The Souk turned out to be an absolutely modern and chic place that was fully air-conditioned, with soothing lighting, relaxing ambience and a classy upmarket feel to it.

The Souk Central Market, Abu Dhabi

Modern architecture inspired by traditional elements

This seems to be the latest addition to the new-age souqs that have been appearing in Dubai and Abu Dhabi over the recent years, in the likes of Souk Madinat Jumeirah and Souk al Bahar in Dubai and The Souq at Qaryat al Beri in Abu Dhabi. These souqs are stylishly built based on old arabic architecture elements and are filled with restaurants, little shops (no, you will not find a hypermarket operating from within), souvenir stalls and even a few bars and night clubs in some of them. They are really places for people to mingle, hang out for lunch and dinner or take rich visitor friends to buy some souvenirs (at a higher price, no doubt) while wowing them with  a little culture, traditional arabic design and middle eastern luxury.

I must say that this souq is somewhat different from the other modern souqs. (more…)

May 16, 2011 at 2:48 pm 1 comment

Kate’s off to Bloomie’s!

Kate’s off to the Bloomingdale’s home store in the famous Dubai Mall, near the iconic Burj Khalifa (Khalifa Tower – tallest building in the world), to visit the first and only Bloomingdale’s store outside of the United States!

What I love about the Bloomingdale’s home store in Dubai Mall is it’s not another upscale home store that sells modern, beautiful and overpriced items. Walking through the store is an experience in itself. There is a blend of chic, sophistication, character and quirkiness to it.

Amidst the sleek designer kitchenware, fine crystal and Ralph Lauren tableware, I found lovely retro-inspired tin biscuit boxes, Parisian-style fragranced soap bars and scented candles, wood decorations that reminded me of crafts from Prague markets and furniture pieces and collectibles that looked like they had at one time belonged somewhere in south east Asia. Not to forget a good dose of New York memorabilia, souvenirs and stationery.

Bloomingdales Home

Entrance to Bloomingdale's Home

From its posh environment and absence of shopping baskets (yes, there are none, because the staff will actually take whatever you wish to purchase to the checkout counter for you as you shop), you might think that things here are expensive but surprisingly I found so many items that are pretty, thoughtful and inexpensive. (more…)

May 10, 2011 at 12:59 pm 9 comments


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About this blog

Join Kate, shopping editor and co-founder of chicgiftsonline.com, as she explores the stores, souqs and malls in and around Dubai to find the best places in town to shop for gifts. Combining her passion for shopping, giving and exploring places, she writes of her new shopping adventures in this land of deserts, camels and skyscrapers.

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