Wealthy Bargain Hunters
By Sumayyah Meehan, MMNS Middle East Correspondent
The last place one would expect to find a flea market is in one of the richest countries in the World. However, in the current global credit crunch itâ€™s not surprising that more and more people are looking for ways to save money, irrespective of how much money they have in the bank.
Enter Dubai and the â€œSafa Park Flea Market,â€ also known as the â€œSafa Park Boot Saleâ€ which is a flea market held in the tiny oil rich Gulf Nation. It has been going on for the past six months much to the delight of local treasure hunters and even tourists.
Everything from second-hand items to electronics to art is available from a wide array of vendors. Held on the first Saturday of every month, vendors sign-up for space online and the available sellers stalls sell out fast. The event is massively popular with expatriates, and gives all the varying cultures in Dubai a chance to really get to know each other.
The whole atmosphere of the event is more like a party than a flea market. There is even a local band called â€˜DubaiLimeâ€™ that plays live music throughout the whole affair.
With more than 100 stalls available for shopping, it can be hard to decide what to buy however no one goes away from the flea market empty-handed.
The Safa Park Flea Market is an oasis in an otherwise chaotic city. All of the stalls are shaded by palm trees that shield attendees from the sun, while also picking up the gentle breeze as the leaves sway from side to side. Visitors seek the venue out to escape the flashy malls and larger-than-life buildings in Dubai.
Safa Park is situated right near a creek with the surrounding structure being made of traditional Arab mud walls. The ambiance is of an age-old â€˜soukâ€™ right in the center of the hustle and bustle of city life.
Anyone can book a stall at the Safa Park Flea Market for a nominal fee, while visitors can browse for free. Prices are based on the size of the table the vendor selects, with bigger tables obviously being more expensive than smaller ones. Despite this being the first year of the flea marketâ€™s launch, residents and vendors alike look forward to it becoming one of the national pastimes of Dubai. The old adage, â€œOne manâ€™s junk is another manâ€™s treasure,â€™ holds true in all corners of the World.