Online shopping in Dubai clothing
UAE is a melting pot of cultures and brands. People here understand different aspects of fashion and know well what is trending. You may find someone who wants to cover themselves from head to toe (for religious or cultural reasons), and there may be someone who is looking for the shortest attire possible (believing in the “less is more” mantra).
Today more and more clothing brands are investing in ecommerce and putting their clothes online. I was always apprehensive about shopping for clothes online until I tried it once and am a fan ever since. If you are flexible towards this practice, you may be surprised how much it saves your time and energy.
Would you go for an online shopping experience or stay for an offline one? Let’s dig into it and see if online clothes’ shopping in the UAE is for you (hint: it could very well be!).
Why should I shop for my clothes online?
Yes, why would you, when you can go to a mall, try out different clothing items till you find the one you were looking for. But then, ever wonder why the last time you went to a mall in Dubai to shop for some trousers resulted in four hours and returning home with some shoes instead? Well, you cannot really blame the clothing outlets or yourself for this unaccomplished mission – UAE spoils you for choices and it becomes even harder with all the other brand distractions when you are in a mall. Running from one outlet to the other – not to mention UAE doesn’t just have the largest mall in the world (The Dubai Mall), but some of the larger ones in the world are here as well (like Mall of the Emirates) which stresses you out and tires you up while finding “the one perfect” dress for you.
Now imagine this: all the brands and all sorts of varieties of the world just a finger click away. Whether it’s an American chain or a French haute couture, Spanish brand or an English designer outlet everything is available online for you to order and get delivered at your home in a few days’ time. How can you say no to purchasing the perfect jeans from an American Eagle store and a perfect Zara shirt to go with it, while sitting comfortably in your home? You have almost all prominent (and even less prominent) brands of the world ready to be delivered to your doorstep when you go for online clothes’ shopping in the UAE.
No more queues, no more parking tickets!
You don’t really have to change your pajamas to go buy a certain clothing item. Instead, stay at home, make yourself a delicious cup of tea, turn on our computer, and viola! The clothing world is yours to invade! No need to drive all the way to the shops, no traffic jams and no parking tickets.
How can I pay?
Most of the online shops offer you two options: either pay online using your debit/ credit card or go for the ‘cash on delivery’ option. A large number of international clothing brands follow this rule so you do not have to worry about the credibility of these sites (provided you are purchasing from their original site and not from a third-party).
However, you need to understand that where there is good, there is bad. Make sure the online clothing website you are making your purchase from has been recommended by a friend who has tried it before. If you are the first one, or if the name is new to you, you should rather buy the same item from the official website of that brand or any genuinely reputable website.
Why are a lot of online clothes on discount? Is it a scam?
In the UAE, if you shop from credible websites or their apps like Souq (souq.com) or Namshi (en-ae.namshi.com), you know you are in good hands. You may find that a lot of clothing items are relatively cheaper but there is a reason for that. Malls charge heavy fees to the clothing shops (whether it is branded or unbranded), plus they need salesmen and saleswomen along with bearing the cost of other utilities. When you order any product online, there is no mall, salesperson or extra utilities involved. The clothing item is shipped from the inventory to your doorstep. This saves them money and they share the profit with you by slashing the cost of certain items.
The WYSIWYG question
You may have often heard of the term WYSIWYG (pronounced “wiz-ee-wig”) which refers to “what you see is what you get”. Unfortunately, in an online purchase what you see is not always what you get. Once when I ordered a jacket online, the shade of the jacket turned out to be slightly darker than the image displayed on the website. Well, you cannot always blame them as often the on-screen colour doesn’t translate in the same way when we look at it directly.
While you do not want your item to be delivered in a different hue than expected, you always have the option to return or exchange it by informing the company about it. Some online clothing websites only allow exchange and not refund, so you need to be mindful of these details before making a purchase. Otherwise you will have only two options: bear and wear (that is, cannot do anything about it so have to wear it with a heavy heart) or gift it to someone (hey, don’t judge me, everyone has re-gifted something or the other they didn’t like, right?)
It is good to keep a list of online clothing shops that you have ordered from in the past. Also, since your size can vary in different brands, make sure you note down your size in that list so the next time you order, your future purchases are spot on.
Popular Clothing Websites in the UAE
Since UAE is home to hundreds of clothing brands from around the world, you can find a large number of websites that showcase chic and trendy clothes. However, not all clothing stores have an online presence, and among those who do, not all websites are reliable. But you don’t need to worry about it as we have done all the hard work for you. After an in-depth research covering various online clothing websites, we have come up with the most popular and the most trusted ones across the UAE.
Namshi (en-ae.namshi.com) is one of the most popular clothing websites in the UAE that displays over 700 brands. Apart from men, women and kids’ apparels, Namshi also sells shoes, bags, beauty products and interior goods. Their website is well designed and beautifully organized into sections and sub-sections, so you can do what you came for without wasting much time.
Once you find a clothing item that you want to purchase, it gives you the flexibility to select from a wide variety of sizes. If you get confused by the international sizes (often from XS to 4XL), you can change the measurement display to get numbered (UK) sizes.
Making payment in Namshi is a breeze as it gives you three options: payment through credit/ debit card, cash on delivery and Paypal. The delivery (which is free of cost if your order is above 100 AED) is normally made between one to two working days, though in some of the Emirates like Dubai, Sharjah and Abu Dhabi, you can expect to receive your order the very next day. The quality of clothes are guaranteed by Namshi and in case you do not like what you get, you can always have a free exchange. Talking about customer satisfaction!
Sivvi (www.sivvi.com )is another popular site with a good range of popular clothing items. For women you get a good range of clothing, shoes, handbags and fashion accessories. For now they have a special offer of 10% on your first order. You have to sign in with you email to get a voucher code to use to get your discount. There is always someone on hand in a chat window to help you. The website is easy to navigate but you do need to remember to click on the country button on the top if it doesn’t show UAE.
The jewelry section has a wide range but you can’t really judge the size of the ear rings because they are not being worn by a model. It is free delivery within UAE with a wait of 1-4 days. There is also cash on delivery, so you can pay for things at the door, which is good. This gives you a chance to see if the clothing is the right colour and size and give it back to the driver if it is wrong.
You can chose your range of clothing to look at by clothing type(eg dress,short,shoes,etc), by color, by brand name, by size and you can even use a price range to not look at clothes that are too expensive. All these are easy to use and will save you a lot of time when looking for the exact dress or shoes to buy.
Once you visit Shein (www.Shein.com), you understand why it has stretched to people all across the globe. From what started as a local New Jersey clothing shop in 2008, Shein now successfully delivers all over the Middle East (and the rest of the world) from its numerous warehouses that are globally positioned. Although the website shows payment in USD, people don’t mind the hassle of taking out a calculator in order to get some trendy clothes in their wardrobe.
The Shein website is quite user-friendly. Under each clothing item, you can find reviews by customers who have already bought that stuff. You can get an initial discount of US$3 for signing up. They Offer “Shein Points” for purchases and product reviews, which can help the customer in their future shopping (you are asked to mention any coupon or Shein points at the time of purchase).
You can pay by card or Paypal (no cash on delivery option), and can track your parcel till it reaches you safely, which is a big plus. Clothing items above US$30 are delivered free of cost, otherwise, delivery charges of US$8 apply. Since their stores are not in the UAE, they need 3 to 8 working days for shipment.
Next Online Store
Although Next offers some chic clothing line for all ages, it is quite popular in the UAE primarily for kids’ apparel. You cannot deny the fact that Next makes some of the cutest clothes for babies and toddlers, and UAE parents seem to strongly agree with it.
Claiming to be “UK’s number one online retailer” on their website, they have allocated a portion of their online space to some other reputable brands like Ted Baker, French Connection, Vero Moda and Adidas, to name a few.
A distinct yet highly creative feature at the Next website is that when you try to look for a certain clothing item, they give you options on how to pair it with related items. So when you are buying a certain striped top, their suggestions to style it up with some contrasting or matching pants and shoes (they exclusively display these items for client’s ease and their own sale!) could be worth having a look at. This way you may leave the site purchasing more than what you came for, yet, you won’t have to waste your time looking for matching accessories. It could easily be a win-win situation.
You are entitled to a free delivery if your purchase is above 120 AED and can pay through a credit or debit card. The delivery is made within 4 working days, and you can exchange or refund an item (in its original condition) for up to 28 days! Now that’s some awesome policy!
Amazon’s Souq.com is literally an entire mall on a single website. You can find every item that you will ever need on this site (they also have a mobile app), and clothing is no exception. Just remember that souq is a collection of individual sellers selling under the Souq umbrella. Whether you are brand-conscious or are just looking for some low-priced clothing items, this is a one-stop e-shop for you.
The clothing variety (both branded and unbranded items) is excellent and the prices are competitive. As the company gives a single platform to different sellers, you will be surprised to find the same jeans at two different prices by different sellers. Just pick the item and the seller you prefer and leave the rest to Souq.
Souq provides free shipping on orders that are above 100AED. Since it is widely used for other household goods (furniture, electronic items, etc.,) as well, Souq delivers at a very fast pace. If you make an order at night, you may be surprised by receiving it the next day (and no, I am not talking about express delivery, that’s their normal delivery speed). So if you are looking for an urgent outfit for a surprise weekend party, this is the website (or app) you need to log on to!
You can pay online using your debit/ credit card, or opt for a ‘cash on delivery’ service. In case you are not happy with the clothing item, you can get a 100% refund.
Online shopping industry has become a hot trend in the UAE. Despite having an abundance of malls showcasing all sorts of clothing items, UAE’s clothing websites are growing at a mushroom pace. It is a competitive market which is good for the buyer as we have lots of options and prices to chose from. And who wouldn’t want to purchase the latest trend without getting off their sofas – or maybe you will need to get up once to get your credit card details! So the next time you watch a model catwalk an amazing outfit, turn on your computer and surprise yourself! But be careful because it can get addictive and you will spend lots of money.