Online shopping is something many of us miss from home. It’s just so much easer there isn’t it? And there are so many more options. Well, over the years here more and more online companies have been popping up, and while this is by no means a comprehensive list of everything that exists at our fingertips here in the UAE, it’s a list of a few of the best for online shopping in Abu Dhabi (all web links are in the company title headers).
[Post updated June 2018]
Lulu Hypermarket is also online and delivers everything from your everyday groceries right through to all the household goods and electronics. Delivery charges depend on your location and what’s being delivered.
Carrefour is the most recent addition to the supermarket grocery landscape in Abu Dhabi. They’ve had a web-shop for a long time but until September 2017 it has only been possible to buy electrical and large household white goods from the store. Now, it’s finally possible to order groceries online for delivery, and delivery is free for orders over Dhs100 or there’s a Dhs15 delivery charge when spending less. I’ve used the service myself numerous times and it’s really been great for dry goods though the quality of the fresh produce they pick does vary. I also take issue with the amount of plastic bags they use to pack the orders that are ultimately delivered to your door in boxes anyway – it’s a completely unnecessary use of plastic with far too much wastage.
An online fruit and veg supplier that also supplies many hotels and even some of the supermarkets. Prices are mostly much cheaper than the supermarkets, quality is excellent and delivery is convenient. I now get all my own fruit and veg from Kibsons it’s been so consistently good (I’ve never tried their meat). Minimum spend to qualify for delivery is Dhs100 and delivery is free.
- Springbok Butchery
Not so much of an online shopping service exactly but check out their website and Facebook page for their packages and call or send them a message to order. Delivery is free with a spend of Dhs250 plus but that’s easy to do if you stock up with one of their freezer packs (comes fresh but you can freeze whatever you won’t use within a few days). It’s good value, hormone and antibiotic free meat and you can pay by cash or card on delivery. I’ve used them myself and am a big fan of their chicken pack.
- Gulf Seafood
Is there anything you cannot get delivered these days? It would seem not. As you might have guessed, these guys deliver seafood to your door. I’m not a big seafood eater so I haven’t used them myself but they come highly recommended from regulars of the UAE local Facebook forums and groups. Delivery is free when spending at least Dhs50.
Another online supermarket but specifically for buying in bulk. So if there’s anything you really want to stock up on it could possibly prove cheaper. I’ve not used them myself though when looking for the items I usually buy I’ve personally not found anything to be any cheaper than Carrefour is but it may depend on the products you’re looking for. Delivery to Abu Dhabi is free for orders over Dhs350 or below that with a Dhs20 delivery charge.
An online supermarket shop delivering in Abu Dhabi. Orders below Dhs500 cost Dhs55 and orders over Dhs500 cost Dhs85 for delivery.
Another online grocery supermarket delivering to all seven Emirates. Free delivery over Dhs150, under Dhs150 costs Dhs9.95. They even have a Price Beat Guarantee where if you can find it online cheaper, they’ll beat it by 10%.
- Organic Foods and Cafe
The Organic Foods and Cafe offers a pick up option from various locations within certain timings or delivery in Abu Dhabi on Saturdays and Sundays. Delivery costs Dhs50 for orders below Dhs1000 and is free on orders over Dhs1000.
If you’re looking for grass-fed Irish lamb or beef, gluten-free bread, organic meats, edible flowers and any other unique foody or high quality products, this is your place.
Below Dhs250, delivery to Abu Dhabi costs Dhs75 or is free for orders over Dhs250.
All your gluten-free needs online. Deliveries to Abu Dhabi take place on a Tuesday and cost Dhs45.
- The Raw Place
Juice and raw foods.
Minimum order is Dhs100 and the standard delivery fee is Dhs20.
- Holland and Barrett
Health foods, natural and organic skin care and more.
Free delivery on orders over Dhs300, under Dhs300 delivery costs Dhs30.
iHerb deliver all manner of supplements and health foods. The company is based in the USA and delivers directly from there usually taking between a week to ten days or so to arrive. Delivery is calculated based on what you’re buying (presumably by weight) but tends to be very reasonable.
Whilst online orders can only be placed for delivery within Dubai, you can place your order for collection at one of the Ripe stores in Abu Dhabi. Check out their delivery schedule online for more information.
- Greenheart UAE
Organic fruit, vegetables, dairy, honey and free range eggs are available here. Information about their organic certifications is also available on the site.
Deliveries to Abu Dhabi take place on Sundays and Tuesdays. The delivery fee is Dhs50.
Farmbox delivers fruit and vegetable boxes both organic and standard all over the UAE. Farmbox requires sign up to receive the box weekly or every other week but has no minimum subscription period. Delivery is free across Abu Dhabi and Dubai, or Dhs20 for other UAE cities.
I did get a bit excited about this one when I heard it was even cheaper than the UK shop due to being tax-free. I’ve checked this and can confirm that it’s not cheaper, but it does work out the same price as in the UK. It can also save you a trip to the shops if you know what you want since delivery is free on orders over Dhs120.
As a big fan of Gap I was pretty happy to see this store go live! Delivery costs Dhs25 but is free on all orders over Dhs300 and they guarantee next day delivery. They also offer a no questions asked returns policy and items can be returned either by calling to arrange collection (original delivery charge will apply) or in any store within the UAE.
- Marks & Spencer Middle East
A far cry from the standard delivery charge at home of £3.99, delivery in the UAE is free on orders over Dhs399 and the selection is more limited than the UK site.
Returns are free by returning the items to the store, which sort of seems to defeat the purpose of shopping online in the first place.
Asos will deliver all orders over £20 free to the UAE within 14 days. If you want your items faster, you can pay £20 for express delivery which will arrive within 4 days.
Returns are also now free which makes things much simpler, hurrah!
- Net A Porter
Luxury designer fashion company Net A Porter delivers to the UAE for £20 in under four days. Returns are covered by free pick up from an arrangement they have with DHL and exchanges are also possible though the site does state that taxes and duties may be applicable on these.
- House of Fraser UK
House of Fraser offers delivery to the UAE for £10 in 10 days.
For returns any delivery costs, duties and taxes will have to be paid by you.
- Landmark Shops
Landmark Shops include Splash, Homecentre, Babyshop, Max, Shoe Mart, Centrepoint and Lifestyle brands. Shipping is free on purchases over Dhs100. For returns you can call them to schedule a pick up or drop the items back to them in store.
Namshi offers clothes for women, men and kids and I’ve heard nothing but god things about them from friends who’ve used them. Delivery is free on all orders, as are returns though refunds will come in the form of store credit.
Another locally based online Women’s clothing store, Fashlink offers free delivery on orders above Dhs100 and free returns and exchanges. If you paid by cash on delivery you’ll get cash back for a return or store credit for pay pal and credit card purchases.
Mother and Baby
- Baby Souk
For everything baby online, delivery here starts from just Dhs28 or is free on spends over Dhs600. Returns are also free.
This company started out life as Mini Exchange selling high quality second-hand kids clothes but has now rebranded and evolved into something far more useful. Directed at Mums and aiming to be a one stop shop for everything mums and kids might need, it does have a lot of choice and I’ve found them to have some lovely, high quality toys that can’t be found anywhere else. Even better than that, they also offer free shipping and free no fuss returns across the UAE.
- Baby Souk
- The Baby Boutique
Another online baby store selling clothes, pushchairs, gifts, essentials and gear, The baby Boutique offers free delivery on all orders over Dhs130 in the UAE.
- The Baby Boutique
- DB Babies
A bit of a favourite if you’re looking for some of the more sought after international brands like Phil and Teds, My Brest Friend, Sophie La Giraffe and many more, DB Babies offers free delivery on orders over Dhs200 or Dhs20 for orders under Dhs200.
- DB Babies
Selling just about everything you can imagine for both mums and babies you can even order your nappies and wipes online here. Delivery is free on orders over Dhs200.
- The Toy Souq
With all kinds of toys big and small, indoor, outdoor, bicycles and more this might be a bit of a find if you don’t want to traipse round the mall. Delivery in the UAE is a flat Dhs25 and takes two to four days.
- The Treehugger Company
This store is a bit of a favourite of mine though I confess I’ve never used the online store, I’ve always visited their kiosk at Dalma Mall which has now sadly closed down. Selling all kinds of natural and organic beauty and skin care products that are hard to find elsewhere, Treehugger has an excellent range and now offers free delivery too!
The Middle Eastern store of this French skin care favourite is also online. Free delivery is offered on all orders over Dhs199.
- The Treehugger Company
Online skin care and beauty store selling just about every brand you could ever imagine. Delivery is free on orders over Dhs100 and Dhs20 for orders below that.
- Glambox Shop
Again, if you’re looking for a brand that you haven’t been able to find in stores in Abu Dhabi, the Glambox Shop is a good place to take a look. Delivery is free in the UAE on purchases over Dhs200.
This one is a favourite of both mine and my husband’s. If like us, you’re sick of not being able to find the skin care and beauty products you want in the UAE, or if you’re sick of paying such high prices for them – check out Cult Beauty. All orders over (GBP) £40 qualify for free worldwide delivery – result! And their service is pretty fast too, even when using a PO Box address.
- Book Depository
Quite frankly this is probably the best bookshop of all time (unless you like to browse!). With a huge online range and offering free delivery with no minimum order to all over the world it takes some beating. I’ve used it many times to receive books here in the UAE. Delivery can take quite a while but I’ve always received my books and on the one occasion one did go missing they sent it out again with no questions or problems at all.
- Book Depository
Keeping it local, Magrudy’s also have an online shop offering free delivery and returns. Since it’s local you’ll get your books within three to five days.
I’d originally decided not to include this since the minimum spend to get free delivery is Dhs500, although they will deliver within the UAE for less spend than this at a cost of Dhs25. Kinokinuya is a pretty amazing bookshop and book worms won’t have much trouble spending Dhs500. Given its amazing range and choice, it rightly deserves a place on this list.
- Little Majlis
A fabulous little site for gifts and curiosities of all types, Little Majlis is home to Gulf based creators of beautiful things. Hand crafted and handmade goods of all types can be found there from cufflinks and jewellery to cushions and home decor to graphic prints and cards, paintings and much more, It’s kind of the Etsy store for the Middle East. Prices are usually pretty good value too and shipping depends on the item and the seller. I have used it myself when I came across these super cute cushions from the Arab Doll Project and I knew they needed a spot in my home!
- Little Majlis
Beautiful, high quality flowers delivered all over the UAE. I received these ones for Mother’s Day! 🙂
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Feeling super special today thanks to a fabulous and very thoughtful delivery of beautiful flowers from the lovely @flowers.ae ☺️ Thank you so much guys! Wishing all those supermums out there a Happy UK Mother's Day too – just make sure the little ones keep their hands off the goods! 😄 . . #arabiannotes #flowerstagram #flowersuae #mumlife #expatlife #abudhabilife #mothersdaygift
- Desert Cart
Selling a bit of everything, if you’re looking for a specific item and google it, you’ll likely find it comes up on Desert Cart. I’ve used them and always been pleased with the service.
Delivery costs Dhs25 or is free on orders over Dhs250.
- Desert Cart
Everyone’s favourite Amazon.com does deliver some items to the UAE though they are limited mostly to books, CDs and DVDs.
The Amazon for the UAE is actually powered by Amazon itself. Selling everything you could possibly imagine but with delivery and shipping costs not clearly defined.
- Shop and Ship
And if you still can’t find what you want in the region, there’s always Shop and Ship. Find what you want online anywhere in the world, set up a Shop and Ship account and use the relevant country address to ship your items to. Your package will then be forwarded on to you here, at your door in the UAE and you’ll be charged for the shipping by weight, and based on where the item has shipped from. Shipping costs can get very expensive on heavy items but there’s a clear calculator on the Shop and Ship website to work out the costs first. Just beware online stores that send out one order as separate packages… that’s one way you can get tripped up with multiple shipping costs.