Skip to content

Where to shop for local, organic veg in Dubai

May 17, 2014

Local, organic veg - www.mycustardpie.com

Updated May 11 2018: Smelling the delicious aroma of a freshly picked green pepper, sampling a plum tomato that only a few hours ago was on the vine, swapping food tips with other shoppers (what do you do with kohlrabi?), tasting yet another spoonful of amazing raw honey from Yemen, sitting on a rustic bench eating a homemade chicken sausage and egg roll washed down with freshly pressed pomegranate juice, swapping foodie gossip under the palms trees….

My favourite start to the weekend, every single Friday, is the Farmers’ Market on the Terrace (at Bay Avenue) where I do my weekly shop for organic, local veg direct from the farmers and much more besides. But you knew that didn’t you. The hotter weather is creeping up, the market has ended for the season and I’m dreading being catapulted back into the dispiriting aisles of the supermarkets contemplating limp, tasteless veg, picked weeks ago and flown in from miles away. But luckily there are some alternatives which may keep us going over the fallow months; tomatoes and potatoes plus free range eggs from local farms are available in abundance right now which is why I have indexed them for the price comparison. Here’s my view about what’s available….

Direct from local, organic farms

Al Shuwib organic farms – you can phone your order direct to this farm (they attend the Farmers’ Market when in season) and they will deliver. 03 732 4114 Al Shuwib Facebook

Bufjair Trading – sells from the farm direct. Pick up their produce in Khawaneej 056 4561853

Deena Farms – another farmer from the market, allows you to order local, organic vegetables and herbs online for home delivery. They have a pop up at the H Hotel on Thursdays from 12- 6pm

If you are missing Carla’s amazing locally made goat’s cheese, she has pop ups on Friday at Al Mirzam in Al Serkal Avenue from 10-2pm and Lime Tree Cafe, Sheikh Zayed Road branch on Saturdays 10am – 2pm.

Hasabi Farm – delivers daily from Al Ain, 3-4 hours after harvesting, plus they sell at the farm gate. They sell organic, local veg and dates too. They are located near Al Ain Shopping Mall behind the Ayela Grand Hotel. Contact Mohsin on 02 4494480 or 055 7786556, email farms@hasabi.com or Instagram

Honest Counter is the new online delivery service from IGR (see below). I’ve tested it and it’s very efficient and the produce is freshly picked. As they say ‘you click, we pick’! Honest Counter website and Facebook

Integrated Green Resources (IGR)* holds a pop up market on the farm near Abu Dhabi on Saturday mornings 7 – 11am and 4 – 8pm Message them on Instagram @igruae for a map. They also pop up at The Hundred Wellness Centre in Jumeirah 1 on a Saturday morning (see below).

Organic Oasis – no longer sell at the farmers market but have an online ordering service which includes veg boxes. They arrange visits to their lovely family farm near Mushrif too. organicoasis.ae/

The Hundred Wellness Centre – On Saturdays between 9am – 1pm, organic farm Integrated Green Resources (IGR)* holds a pop up here until the produce finally comes to an end. It’s a beautiful space to have a coffee and do your local, organic veg shopping. See their Facebook page  Instagram or website for more details.

 

The Farm House – Al Manzil Souk

The Farm House Dubai - Local, organic veg - www.mycustardpie.com

This little shop has the feel of a rustic farm shop and is supplied by the farms who sell at the Farmers Market. If you have been to the market you’ll recognise the staff who man a little stall and squeeze the fresh pomegranates. The shop also stocks other local and unusual produce such as rock salt and camel milk soap. You can buy local eggs, chicken, organic milk, local honey and dried goods. It’s the most locally focussed of all shops and apart from occasional fruit from the region, only sells local, organic produce. Prices for some things are similar to buying at the market – some slightly higher as you’d expect.

Where to find it: At Souk Al Manzil. Easy to park in the underground car park by the Al Manzil Hotel entrance, Downtown, Dubai. More details on their Facebook page.

Greenheart – Al Barsha

Greenheart - My Custard Pie-4

I remember the excitement of visiting Eleanor Kinanes’s first shop when it opened and the disappointment when it closed so suddenly. Greenheart is now a much larger business with close relationships with local farms and a thriving wholesale operation. The farm shop is close to the Miracle Garden and opens three days a week – or you can order online from a range of local and imported organic fruit and vegetables or a local veg box. The produce is very fresh as they pick it that morning. Greenheart holds a small market at Comptoir 102 on Jumeirah Beach Road on Saturdays mornings at present and supplies to the Farmer’s Garden which has branches at Wasl Vita and in Wasl Square.  Eleanor is passionate about what she does and very knowledgeable about water conservation – check the website for more details.

Where to find it: Driving on Umm Suqeim street towards Arabian Ranches take the turn off to Arjan, follow the road round and take a left at roundabout. greenheartuae.com

Ripe

While Baker and Spice established the Farmers’ Market and built a community,  Eleanor’s passion to work with farmers has brought many different new varieties into the market (often better suited to the hot climate), Ripe’s energy and marketing was the first to veg box delivery on the map.  They run a number of markets in the UAE although the veg is eclipsed by craft stalls and food stands. The Ripe shops have spread to four locations. A favourite of the ‘yummy mummy’ crowd it also sells things like cosmetics, ‘Superfoods’, tea, coffee and dairy products (not all organic) as well as a mixture of local and imported fruit and veg. Online and in their shops, it’s not always clear which produce is local or organic and which is imported – so ask before you buy.

Where to find it: Ripe website – locations are listed here.

Other places to buy local, organic veg

Nature’s Chalet – A shop selling organic and ‘healthy’ food in Motor City which, from their Facebook page, appears to stock some organic, local veg – I’m not sure how much though. They also deliver 04-2765737

Organic Foods and Cafe – the pioneer and first major supplier of organic foods in Dubai which now has three branches here, plus you can order online. It does a thriving business but owner Nils Accad came out quite vociferously in the media against local, organic veg. However, now some local, organic vegetables are now stocked – probably due to customer demand.  organicfoodsandcafe.com

Union Coop also stocks an increasing range of local organic produce. Most of it is prepacked in trays and cling wrapped but it does display the name of the farm.

Farmbox organic is an ordering service delivering veg boxes of organic produce from European farms, some local, organic farms and other produce they describe as ‘premium conventional’, anywhere in the UAE. farmbox.ae/

Kibsons have some local produce but you have to search for the organic label in the product list (none listed under their organic tab on the Kibsons website).

Spinneys have started to stock local, organic produce (at last!). The range is still limited (and will tail off in the fallow summer season) but it’s good to see them supporting local farmers. From the Spinney’s website, it looks as though they work with Organic Oasis (see above).

Do you shop with the seasons? Are you missing the Farmers’ Market? Have I missed anyone off this list? What do you do when the growing season comes to an end?

Save

Save

27 Comments
  1. May 17, 2014 8:41 am

    This article is so practical, well-timed and informative – your writing is an excellent bridge between the local farms here, their retailers and consumers like myself. The price comparisons are excellent and very much needed, thank you for sharing those. I can’t believe I’ve totally overlooked the farm shop in Al Manzil – I’ve been hiding under a rock!! Definitely going to plan a trip there to check it out, it’s the closest one to me and seems the one that’s most reasonably priced.

    I caught a glimpse of local organic veggies being sold in Carrefour. It was a small kiosk in the centre of the veggie/fruit aisle, with just a handful of veggies though sadly wrapped up on styrofoam trays. Have you seen those?

    • May 17, 2014 8:50 am

      There’s one more supplier I know I’ve missed out. They were at the Farmers’ Market on the very last day and yes, all wrapped in stryrofoam and cling film. I am trying to find out the details and will add if I do. Thanks for kind comments – sadly only a few short weeks left of local, organic produce *weeps* – but look at the choice available now compared with 4 years ago.

  2. May 17, 2014 9:48 am

    Very interesting post, although I doubt I’ll be visiting Dubai. I never imagined imagined Dubai having so many artisan outlets….the one named Al Barsha sounds like a Glaswegian threat:)

    • May 17, 2014 12:24 pm

      Any passengers in my car will now be treated to a Glaswegian rendition of Al Barsha every time I drive past it. Love it Roger…

  3. therealgeordiearmani permalink
    May 17, 2014 9:50 am

    LuLu is also selling organic fruit and veg, not a huge choice but you can get it. There fresh herb counter is also really good.

    • May 17, 2014 12:30 pm

      Thanks – I forget about Lulu because I don’t shop there; will amend my post to include.

  4. sarahhedonista permalink
    May 17, 2014 9:51 am

    Wonderful. Great guide Sally – I haven’t seen one up recently, and this will come in handy, especially now the farmers market on the terrace is shut for summer.

    • May 17, 2014 12:31 pm

      Had to share one last veg pic!

  5. May 17, 2014 9:55 am

    Great post – local farm shops are something I love about the UK, so it’s great to see so many options cropping up here!

    • May 17, 2014 12:31 pm

      That’ll be my next stop – can’t wait to get to the Stroud Farmers Market in July.

  6. May 17, 2014 10:07 am

    Great post. Wonderful!

  7. May 17, 2014 11:21 am

    What a great article for anyone living in Dubai and interesting for this Londoner to see what’s available to you. Wonderful photos as always!

    • May 17, 2014 12:32 pm

      Thanks – I love looking at other people’s shopping choices too 🙂

  8. May 17, 2014 11:52 am

    Such a useful list. I love the price check. I’m bookmarking this page!

    • May 17, 2014 12:34 pm

      I’ll try and do a price check again when the season starts again. The market is so reasonably priced (no middle man) that it’s difficult to go back to buying at shops.

  9. May 17, 2014 11:59 am

    Your posts like this reveal a side of Dubai that I’ve never experienced on my visits but am determined to the next time I am in Dubai! X

    • May 17, 2014 12:34 pm

      If you come between December and April I’ll take you to the Farmers Market, Deena – it’s a very different side of Dubai.

      • May 17, 2014 1:37 pm

        It’s probable that I will be making a trip around then and would be delighted to join you for a visit to the farmers market- thanks Sally x

  10. May 17, 2014 1:55 pm

    Brilliant – let’s have a market breakfast and you can meet some of the Dubai food bloggers under the palm trees.

  11. May 17, 2014 7:23 pm

    I love reading your posts and seeing glimpses of Dubai, it’s changed so much though!! Organic food was unheard of when I lived there!!

  12. Rasminah permalink
    May 17, 2014 8:12 pm

    Wooww. Was wondering wat to do wer to order from the past 2 days, since my veggies from the farmers market are almost getting over, thanks to ur post, i think im a lil less worried now. And yess carrefour does hav a local organic section now wich mostly has jus 1 or 2 items but veery reasonably priced and somtimes out of stock. Thanks again.

  13. May 19, 2014 1:16 am

    Must pass the link for this on to my friends over there as I know they miss the veg

  14. ramblingtart permalink
    May 19, 2014 1:25 pm

    I grew up eating kohlrabi in Canada and my favorite ways to eat it are raw, cut in sticks (like carrots), or grated in a coleslaw type salad. Deeeelicious! 🙂

  15. May 24, 2014 9:37 pm

    What a great resource you’ve created for your Dubai friends! I’ve always been jealous of your outdoor market but even though that is shut for the season you still have absolutely brilliant alternatives. Who’d have thought? PS How are you surviving exam season?

Trackbacks

  1. Naked Plate | Sahawaq Chili sauce recipe - From UAE Organic farm to plate « nakedplateblog.com nakedplateblog.com
  2. But is it really organic? Take a tour of a real organic farm in Dubai… | Chef and Steward
  3. Omnia Gourmet by Silvena | Decadence, Deliciousness & A Lot of Expectations! |

Comments are closed.

<span>%d</span> bloggers like this: