Online shopping, Abu Dhabi

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 (all web links are in the company title headers).

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Groceries

  • Roshen.ae
    An online supermarket shop delivering in Abu Dhabi. Orders below Dhs500 cost Dhs55 and orders over Dhs500 cost Dhs85 for delivery.
  • Groceryonline.ae
    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.
  • Secretsfinefoods.com
    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.
  • GlutenFree-Supermarket.ae
    All your gluten-free needs online. Deliveries to Abu Dhabi take place on a Tuesday and cost Dhs45.

Health Foods

  • The Raw Place
    Juice and raw foods.
    Minimum order is Dhs100 and the standard delivery fee is Dhs20.
  • Raw-bites.ae
    Superfoods, raw foods and kitchen equipment from dehydrators to spiralisers and more.
    Delivery is free on orders over Dhs250.
  • Holland and Barrett
    Health foods, natural and organic skin care and more.
    Free delivery on orders over Dhs300, under Dhs300 delivery costs Dhs30.

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Organic Food

  • Ripe
    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.
  • Yas Farm Organic
    Various organic fruit and vegetable boxes, organic eggs, milks, chickens and jams.
    Delivery is free but a minimum order of Dhs200 is required. Deliveries to Abu Dhabi take place every Sunday and Tuesday. WhatsApp 055 973 3337 for full product list and to place order.
  • 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.

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Clothes

  • Next.ae
    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.
  • 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.com
    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 is where it becomes a little more tricky, you can return things in their ‘hassle-free’ policy, though it has to be returned within 28 days and their international returns policy states that it can take around 21 days for items to reach their warehouse from the UAE. You’ll also be responsible for the cost of the returning the items.
  • 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
    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.
  • Fashlink
    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.
  • The Baby Boutique
    Another online baby store selling clothes, pushchairs, gifts, essentials and gear, The baby Boutique offers free delivery in the UAE.
  • 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.
  • Mumzworld
    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.
  • Youmah
    Selling organic baby products online, Youmah has shampoos, bath oils, earth friendly nappies and bundles, toys, bedding clothes and more – all organic. Best of all, delivery is free on ALL orders and fast.

Beauty

  • 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. 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!
  • BasharaCare
    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.

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Books

  • 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.
  • Magrudy.com
    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.
  • Kinokinuya
    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.

Miscellaneous

  • 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.
  • Amazon
    Everyone’s favourite Amazon.com does deliver some items to the UAE though they are limited mostly to books, CDs and DVDs.
  • Ubuy.ae
    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.

 

6 Comments

  • Lots of interesting sites that if not thought of!!

    I’ve just ordered food online from lulu, it’s not a huge selection, with fruit and veg being very limited but all the essentials are there, milk bread, cheese, water, breakfast cereal etc. The service was great they delivered the following day during the slot I requested and the guys who dropped the groceries off were polite and helpful.

    I’ve ordered lots from next.ae and the things I bought were dinfinately cheaper here, I bought some maternity shorts recently, £26 in the UK, 104 aed here 🙂

    I ordered baby stuff from miniexchange.com and their prices were great for nappies and wipes, they sell them in big boxes which I found to be cheaper than Carrefour or Lulu and they accept cash on delivery 🙂

    Lastley Amazon.co.uk is a great site (opposed to .com which I found more expensive for shipping), I’ve not found much that they won’t deliver and because it’s coming here they remove the vat charges. I’ve found that generally the orders I have placed have worked out a couple of pounds more or less once you’ve removed the vat and added in the delivery charges. Still much cheaper than buying direct here.

    • Well, Lulu online – what a top tip, I hadn’t realised they delivered in Abu Dhabi!
      Maybe Next depends what you’re buying? I checked kids clothes and found it to work out exactly the same as the UK every time. It perhaps also depends on the exchange rate on the day you check.
      Mini exchange is an interesting point too, I had them on my list originally but wasn’t convinced they were ‘one of the best’. They started out as a quality seconds online retailer but it seems they’ve expanded since. Sounds like they’re well worth a look for nappies and wipes etc though Dhs300 min order seems a little steep.
      I shall also have to examine Amazon.co.uk more closely in future. I’ve previously had to shop and shop my orders which I love the convenience of but have had mixed success with in terms of cost ????
      Thanks so much for your input, and thanks for taking the time to share ????

      • I think Lulu is quite new which is why there are lots of things on their website that say coming soon, definitely worth trying though.

        Love shop and ship but agree I’ve had mixed experiences with shipping charges, I’ve just ordered all our cot bedding from the UK using this method and it cost me a fortune but it wasn’t available out here and it was for a strange size mattress so I didn’t have much choice.

        Yes agree that the miniexchange minimum order amount is high, but if you want to stick up on nappies and wipes it’s quite good. I did one big shop with them.

        I’ve not looked at next for children’s clothes (trying not to buy any more at the moment) but will take a look as I’m interested in see what the prices are like, also I’ve noticed that the online prices are cheaper than the stores out here which are generally inflated like a lot of other stores.

  • Thanks for taking the time to research Lindsey, and for presenting your findings in an objective, unbiased and non-sponsored fashion 🙂

Let me know your thoughts and comments here!