Since my original post on the hypermarkets, I've been to quite a few more of them. I finally did go to Geant and I tend to split my shopping between there and Spinneys nowadays. Geant actually turns out to be not that intimidating if you just blow past the consumer goods and go straight to food.
I've been to the Carrefour at the Mall of the Emirates a few times. Its ok, even more giganto-colossal than Geant. They seem to have a lot of things that arent available elsewhere in Dubai, not so much foodstuffs but things like detergents etc. On the down side the aisles are about 20 feet high and you have to ask a supermarket worker to get things for you. Inevitably, they hand you the wrong thing and everyone is very nice about it but you have to keep doing it over and over until you get the right thing, which is exhausting. Carrefour does sell excellent shopping bags for 2dh!
Then there is a store called Hyperpanda! They are a Saudi chain but dont seem to have a website. I really want to check it out, if only for the name. The probably best thing about Hyperpanda (aside from the name) has got to be the fact that its across the mall from IKEA. Between these two stores you could easily induce serious, and possibly debilitating, cognitive dissonance.
Lastly, Dubai now has a British chain called Waitrose, I do like the quality of their products, BUT this store is located in the MASSIVE Dubai Mall. I place I dont yet have the stomach to visit. There is no such thing as a 'local' market here. Choithrams and the Union Co-op seem to be as close as you can get. I'd shop at Choithrams regularly, but they arent very close to me. Maybe when we move...