Shopping in Dubai with Le Château: Why the Canadian retailer is making waves in the Middle East

Le Chateau Dubai
Photography courtesy Le Château
Le Chateau Dubai
Photography courtesy Le Château

Earlier this year, Le Château opened a store inside the biggest mall in the world. Nope, we’re not talking about the West Edmonton Mall or even one of the shopping behemoths in the United States. The Canadian retailer headed east—to the Middle East!—to set up shop at the Dubai Mall.

It’s no stretch to call the Dubai Mall, which has over 1,200 stores, a major international fashion hub. From Galeries Lafayette and Bloomingdale’s to stand-alone stores for every (seriously, every) luxury brand imaginable, the mall has brought together destination shopping experiences from around the world—making Le Château’s presence there all the more significant.

To celebrate the opening, I joined Marlene Robillard, Le Château’s director of public relations and communications, in Dubai for a whirlwind tour of the store and the city. “The Le Château brand is such a great fit in Dubai because both the brand and the city embody modern luxury,” she said. And it’s true: Dubai is a city that thrives on attention to detail and next-level hospitality. Everything there feels brand new and top-of-the-line, and frankly, most of it actually is. Plus, there’s no better way to see if a city really is a shopping destination that to experience it firsthand—with credit card in-hand—right?

Here’s what’s totally surreal about shopping in Dubai: after spending 20+ hours flying a quarter of a way around the world (many thanks to Turkish Airlines and their Comfort Class comforts—the flight felt more like a luxurious afternoon lounging with friends than, well, a long international journey) you arrive in a mall and the shopping… feels just like home. Aside from the store’s glossy, marble design and Arabic signage, the Le Château Dubai offerings were identical to what Canadian shoppers know and love. Customers in Dubai, Robilliard explained “are looking for the same things [we] are in Canada: great daywear tops, suiting and accessories, head-to-toe eveningwear looks and sophisticated weekend wear outfits.”

This crossover makes even more sense when you think about the brand’s aesthetic and the dress code that many women adhere to in the United Arab Emirates. While it’s more lax than other countries in the Middle East, it’s both polite and good practice to keep your shoulders covered and avoid wearing anything that hits above the knee. Consider the trendy work basics and casual weekend wear pieces that Le Château is known for and you’re basically able to dress for Dubai without a second thought and without compromising on style. (Bonus: Should you spend an evening riding a camel through the Dubai desert, Le Château also has an outfit for that!)

Of course, while the wares may be familiar, shopping in Dubai is really an experience unto itself. Others fashion-focused cities are merely a sprint when compared to the marathon that is the vast number of retailers in Dubai. Basically: if you love to shop, you need to add this city to your bucket list, pronto.