Did your visit to the glittering Gold Souk whet your appetite for a sparkly little something to take home as a souvenir? Can’t say we blame you. Dubai has a way of making even the most abstemious among us feel like a splurge. Even so, the Gold Souk, with its heaps of 24-karat gold, isn’t where we’d suggest you do your damage. Instead, take the recommendation of in-the-know expats and head to the source: Cara Jewellers at Gold & Diamond Park in the industrial Al Quoz district, not far from the Mall of Emirates. (Ask for the owner, Kiran.) Be forewarned: this no-frills place is not for dabblers or for the faint of heart. You come here with a clear idea of the baubles (classic diamond tennis bracelets; channel-set hoops; cabochon ruby rings) you want custom-made for you, and you get them at amazing prices and with record turnaround time. If you’re looking for a spot that’s conducive to browsing, we love the home-grown brand Sauce’s fine jewelry offshoot at the Village Mall, Sauce Rocks. In this airy boutique you’ll find whimsical contemporary pieces that hint at Middle Eastern motifs (evil eye; Hand of Fatima) while remaining eminently wearable everywhere from Dubai to London to New York City.
You can find the Galleria Mall near the Jumeira bus stop, on the corner of Al Wasl and 13th Street. You can enter the mall from Al Wasl Road. After you browse the fine jewelry, take a look at some of the other uniques stores throughout the mall.
CARA JEWELLERS: Shop 24/57, Gold & Diamond Park, Interchange Four, Sheikh Zayed Rd.; +971-(0)4-347-8089; carajewellers.com
SAUCE ROCKS: Ground Floor, The Village Mall, Jumeirah Beach Road; 971-(0)4-344-7270; saucerocks.com