Super Hyper Mega Maxi Market

Supermarketing in Dubai requires a bit of a primer I think. So I'll run them down for you (at least as far as I've gone to date). I suspect I'm missing some good shopping by not going more local but alas, ignorant American that I am, I dont know my arabic numerals. Until and unless I can get a handle on this, I think shopping in the 'real world' could be potentially very very expensive. I've already received 50 Quatari dirhams instead of UAE, wholly illegal to pass here in Dubai, as change for a cup of coffee. (Which wasnt very good as $20 cups of coffee go...)

First and so far my favorite is the Lulu Hypermarket. If only because of the name. Lulu seems to have a good mix of imported and closer-to-local brands (nothing is really local in Dubai) also, a good bit of transparency in the store labels that allows you to choose foods without knowing precisely what they are "firm, white, salted cheese", "fresh cheese, lightly salted" etc.. A decent produce section and an excellent area for fruit and nuts where you can get them hand scooped by the kilo, round out the Lulu. Prices are reasonable and I think Lulu will be my regular grocery.

Next up is the Spinney's, we are frequenting the one in Dubai Marina, although I hear there is a better one in the neighborhood just behind our apartment-tower world. Spinneys has excellent produce, but a limited selection of other groceries, which definitely caters to British ex-pats. Also, its awfully pricey compared to LuLu. On the flip side its easy to get to right now and doesnt require you to use an escalator with your grocery cart (no joke! a horrible experience.) Spinneys also has the absolute most amazing dishwasher tablets I have ever used. I'm seriously thinking of how to smuggle a supply of these back to the US.
Lastly, the Geant Hypermarket, which, to be honest I've never set foot in. Fact is, this place is at least the size of an American football field with 30% of it devoted to all kinds of consumer goods before you get anywhere near the actual food. It also has a ton of guards (never a good sign price-wise) carts you need a coin to free up, a coat check and about 30 registers, all open all ringing. Aside from the wallet-fatigue one is bound to experience in such a place, I just couldnt do it. I'll let you know if I ever do decide to bite the bullet and go there.

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