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Saving money: online vouchers

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(screenshots © Groupon, Yallabanana, Strange Offers and Kobonaty)

Life in Abu Dhabi is great because you really have the chance to do anything you want, try a different nation’s food each day and enjoy sports and natural sights. To help keeping expenses under control, a good idea is to use discount vouchers.

Apart from the Entertainer book, there are also a lot of online voucher companies, offering a “deal-of-the-day” type of approach. You subscribe to their daily newsletter and every day there is a new gift certificate available, to be used in various local establishments, from restaurants to beauty spas, but also to buy different items or even to get a tailor-made suit.

I have personally tried only one of these websites, so I can’t really offer first-hand experience for all of them, however these are the companies we heard about since we arrived in Abu Dhabi, and the ones I am going to keep on the radar from now on, scouting for interesting deals.

Groupon – Half price on things such as pizza, a head massage and a kayaking experience.

Yallabanana – Today’s deals include paintballing, a buffet lunch, and a water jet pack experience.

Strange Offers – The offers on this website are indeed strange, but for those who always wanted a log pillow, an Eggmaster or an engraving pen, this is probably the right place.

Kobonaty Deals – This website seems to be offering mostly holidays or getaways, to local destinations, such as Umm Al Quwain and Muscat, or international ones, such as London and the Maldives.

And for a general round-up of various offers from different outlets, there are Voucher Codes UAE or Big Discounts UAE.

If you have had any experience with any of these sites and you would like to share it, or if you know of more websites, please let us know!

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Shop local – Ideyna

(Photo: © ideyna)

When it comes to handmade goods, I better hide my money, and fast… I just love handmade art and crafts!

After writing about Etsy and Little Majlis, now I found another website full of beautiful objects made in the UAE.

It is called Ideyna, which means “our hands” in Arabic, and it is an online platform for local artists to share and sell their creations.
The layout is quite simple and straight-forward, and it is easy to browse among all the different objects.
From art and accessories, to homewares and toys, there is something for everyone!
Now, where did I put my wallet…?

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Little Majlis: Shop Online, Shop Local.

Image © Little Majlis

A little while ago I wrote a post about Etsy and all the fantastic handcrafted and vintage items that I can buy from local sellers.

To my delight, I have been told there is another wonderful online platform for Middle East-based artisans, designers, vintage lovers and crafty people! I am so happy to have the chance to explore more of the local talent!

Little Majlis is a specialist online market for makers and merchants of art, edibles, crafts and design.

According to Wikipedia, ‘Majlis’ is an Arabic term meaning “a place of sitting”, used in the context of “council”, to describe various types of special gatherings among common interest groups. (Source)

Aside from the many items available for purchase, on this site there is also a very useful calendar listing festivals, fairs, markets, art exhibitions and workshops: so much to do and see!

I just discovered this site but I already love it. (Better ask W to hide my wallet for a while!)

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UAE-based Etsy: Shop Local.

Etsy is an online community where artisans, vintage lovers, designers, artists and creatives can set up a ‘virtual market stall’ full of everything they love. Many Etsy sellers also do custom pieces, adding that extra special vibe to every item.

Etsy sellers come from all around the world, but I always prefer to shop ‘local’. It is nice to save on shipping times and costs, yes, but most of all it is great to get a real feel for the place where I am currently living and support local trades.
So, I asked myself: how are the Etsy shops based in UAE?
Well, I was not disappointed: they are great!

Here are the wonderful shops I found with a quick search, but if you know of any other I might have missed, please let me know in the comments below.

home decor uae etsyHome Decor and Furniture:

Artsy Galleree
Cinnamon Snaps
Designer Pottery
Morph Grain
Rustic Art Design
Stritama Collections


Art:

Almrsmart
Amira Rahim
Art by Susan Brooker
Arte Dubai
A Kreative Mommy
Asma Original
Biha Designs
Gallery Neville
Nora Paint
Sarartme
The Blissful Frenzy

Jewellery:jewellery2
About That Girl
Afro Blue Jewelry
Arzu Kiwan Designs
BdBboutique
Beauty Panacea
Lulu and Didi
MC Studio & Design
Moonlight Bo Ho
Mr BeauJangles
Novlana
Ivaya
Simply Elegant Custom
Teal And Magenta
The Pink Shop
Vitrine

Clothing, Gifts and Accessories:
By Regine L
Elka Softwearclothinggiftsacc
Felt Decorations
Heavenly Creations
Mars Stitches
Melime Baby Country Chic
My Red Rose Garden
InSanaty in Motion
Oh So Plush
Pink Gowns
Raw
Revel
World Traders

Paper Goods:papergoods

Ayang Cempaka
Crafty Creations UAE
LK’s Invitations
Natoof
Pret A Papier

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