Ripe Market at The Collection, St. Regis Saadiyat

So last weekend (15th Nov 2014) marked the dawn of a new era for Abu Dhabi – at last a decent organic market has hit the city in the form of the Ripe Market. Those who’ve been here a while will probably already be familiar with the name – the Ripe Market started in Dubai and has grown to become a bit of an institution in the city, and a much loved institution at that. I took a wander on down to The Collection, St. Regis on Saadiyat Island on the weekend to check it out and see if the Abu Dhabi version could be any match for what they’ve been doing in Dubai…

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Obviously the version of the market in Abu Dhabi is much smaller than the one in Dubai, but hopefully over time it’ll gain more traction and keep growing bigger. Aside from the organic produce which was the main reason I popped down there, it also turned out to be a fun morning out bumping into people I know and also meeting the stall holders and chatting to new people. It was definitely worth visiting and to be honest, was larger and far better than I had expected it to be for being so new here.

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There were a lot of craft stalls selling just about everything you can imagine from jewellery to homemade soaps, clothes, homewares and all types of interesting and unusual knick knacks. If you know anyone who likes hand crafted goods and one off jewellery pieces it’d be a great place to go and have a sniff about for some very unique Christmas pressies.

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I came across the stall pictured above to the right of the picture – 3 Mad Mums they’re called, and they have the cutest range of car seat covers to protect baby from the sun or for when you want to help block out the outside world and get them to sleep! They also sell handmade breast feeding covers for any new mums or mums to be out there in really pretty designs (much nicer than the ones I’ve seen so far in the malls) and also made in light fabric especially with the UAE climate in mind. I was also excited to learn that they are Abu Dhabi based themselves!
I found myself attracted to their enthusiasm and the cute designs of all their items and couldn’t resist walking away with one of their water resistant wet bags (pictured below) which I plan to use for the nappy bag once Baby Arabian Notes’ arrives early next year. 🙂

How cute is this baby wet bag from 3 Mad Mums?!
How cute is this baby wet bag from 3 Mad Mums?!

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Harmony House handmade, natural, non-toxic toys

I was surprised at how much natural and organic stuff there was on sale at the market aside from the produce. There was even a toy stall with all natural, handmade and non-toxic wooden toys (Harmony House Toys). I just love wooden toys – apart from being natural and non-toxic they just have a much nicer look and feel about them.

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 I also came across another very interesting find – a company called ChemFreeCom which is an online directory putting us, the end consumer in touch with where to find chemical free / non-toxic / organic and natural services and products locally. Following on from my recent post about where to find natural skin care products in Abu Dhabi, I found this especially interesting. Part two of that post is still yet to come although with the amount of info I seem to be coming across since I started researching it, it may turn into a ‘more’ part series than just two! Stay tuned for that! Check out their link above for more info, but basically it’s not just skin care products they can point you in the direction of, it’s non-toxic toys, cleaning solutions and products and all sorts of things you’d probably never even have thought of that could – or should be non-toxic.

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Last, but certainly not least here’s some images of the produce section. Loads of lovely juicy goodness with seasonal specialities, eggs, fruits, veggies, honey and more all to make your mouth water.

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If you haven’t yet been down there to check the market out, I can highly recommend you do so – and please do turn out to support this venture as it’d be great to see this go from strength to strength here. In my opinion, Abu Dhabi has been crying out for something like this for ages and I’m keen to make sure it stays.

The Ripe Market is currently being held at The Collection, St. Regis on Saadiyat Island every Saturday from 10am – 2pm.

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