I live in Dubai, UAE, and we are lucky enough to have brands and restaurants from the US, UK, Europe, South Asia, the Sub Continent available here. For my day-to-day beauty fix, and a lot of the products I will be covering on my blog, I usually rely on local stores (of international brands) such as Sephora, Harvey Nichols, Areej, Wojooh (previously Faces), or my favourite – the Dubai Duty Free (detailed post on that later!).
Some international stores deliver directly to Dubai (and worldwide), such as Space.NK, Feel Unique, and even Selfridges. They have great brand selection, excellent deals, and good customer service; however, some brands place restrictions on shipping to Dubai (boo-hoo!), while some stores just get confused with the lack of P.O.Box/ZIP codes here and take a minimum of 15 days to arrive, and others are simply too costly (Selfridges, I’m looking at you!).
However, while we are in shopping heaven, home to the world’s largest malls and stores, there are either some brands that we still don’t have (calling: Charlotte Tilbury, Tarte, Suqqu…), or the prices/deals are just not as competitive. Here are a few options for all you fellow makeup junkies to get your hands on the latest and greatest products:
Aramex Shop and Ship
A great service from Aramex, once registered (usually a USD10 lifetime membership), you get 15 personalized physical addresses in New York, London, Shanghai, Istanbul, Dubai, Mumbai, Hong Kong, Johannesburg, Frankfurt, Milan, Barcelona, Paris, Singapore, Ontario and Malaysia. When you shop online, simply add this local address as the ‘Shipping Address’, your package gets delivered to this address locally (usually free shipping within UK/US), and then Aramex further delivers them to where you live reasonable shipping rates. Overall, I would say the products reach you within 3-4 working days once they are delivered to your local address.
I have been using this service extensively for the last year or so – not just for beauty supplies, but also for clothes, books, home supplies, and others. Just be careful not to get too carried away, because you could end up paying as much as AED 250 (USD70) for a shipment. Also, there are some restrictions such as nail polishes, perfumes, etc. that you can read up on more.
Relatives and Friends who live abroad
For those of us blessed with wonderful friends and family willing to enable our beauty obsession, just go online, pick your products, be nice and pay for them using your own credit card and have them shipped to aforementioned friend/relative’s place. If you are anything like me, next you will have to try (and fail) to be patient, while obsessively tracking your package online, controlling the urge to enquire if your package has arrived, and wondering when they are making a trip back home (because you are hospitable and a good host, ofcourse!).
Any other ideas on how to get products here quick and cheap?
Happy Shopping! x