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The Best Places to Go Thrifting in the Region

From DXB to Beirut

For a sustainable and affordable way to shop, nothing beats thrifting. Second-hand shopping is like a delightful treasure hunt–sure, it requires a lot of patience, but when you uncover that one-of-a-kind piece not many own, all that effort spent digging through piles of old clothes feels so worth it. And even if you don’t manage to find vintage Dior for a fraction of the price, the spontaneity of the experience is part of the fun. You might emerge with an old cassette player, a quirky cup, a vintage watch, a long-sought vinyl record, or a myriad of other unique finds. To more and more people, thrifting is easily preferred over retail. According to reports, the second-hand market is set to be worth 350 billion dollars by 2027, with Gen-Z shoppers in particular majorly contributing to the boom. With that in mind, we’ve curated a list of thrift markets and stores to explore, whether you’re in Egypt, Tunisia, Lebanon, and beyond. 

Cairo Flea Market, Cairo

 

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Founded in 2012, Cairo Flea Market is dubbed as Egypt’s very first community flea market. Aimed to create a unique shopping experience, thrifters all over Cairo wait around for their date announcements to head to the market located in Zamalek’s picturesque Fish Garden filled with a plethora of unique products by local artisans. 

Urban Market, Dubai

The Urban Market concept, launched in 2021, has quickly become a vibrant hub for diverse local vendors. This eclectic market features a variety of vintage, thrift, street fashion, beauty products, accessories, and more. Several times a month, brands converge at various pop-up locations throughout Dubai, creating the ultimate street market experience.

Hafisa Thrift District, Tunis 

Known as a bustling mosaic of people, all converging with a single purpose: to find durable, high-quality clothing. Open daily and nestled near the old medina, Hafsia offers the perfect setting whether you’re on a mission to find a specific item or simply want to wander and soak in the vibrant atmosphere.

El Wakala, Cairo

The chaotic outdoor marketplace is located in one of Cairo’s most charming areas, Zamalek. The market captures the city’s chaotic energy through a retail experience that you are bound to come out of with a one-of-a-kind piece at an extremely affordable price point. The seemingly endless rows and racks of items might seem overwhelming, but trust me, the reward is worth the effort. In the labyrinthine aisles of El Wakela, you’re likely to stumble upon a hidden designer gem that makes the entire experience worthwhile. As the saying goes, old is gold, and El Wakela offers a treasure trove where you can uncover pieces that are truly timeless.

Nouvelle Vague Vintage, Beirut 

For those looking for more of a designer and vintage feel, this spot in Beirut is for you. Nestled in the heart of Beirut’s vibrant Gemmayze nightlife district, a white neon sign beckons you into Nouvelle Vague Vintage. This boutique, the brainchild of vintage aficionado Tatiana Fayad, aims to make vintage fashion accessible throughout the Middle East. Fayad tirelessly curates her collection, ensuring a steady stream of coveted designer pieces from decades past, all at remarkably reasonable prices. Alongside these treasures, you’ll find no-label vintage gems from the ’60s, ’70s, and beyond, each piece a delightful discovery for any vintage enthusiast.

Depot-Vente, Beirut 

“Pls note we don’t buy clothes from individuals, and don’t accept items on consignment,” reads the Instagram bio of Depot-Vente. Founded in 2013, Depot-Vente has swiftly become the most sought-after vintage shops in Beirut, perhaps even the entire region. Originally launched as a storage space in a modest studio in the trendy Mar Mikhael neighborhood, Depot-Vente has evolved under the meticulous eye of its founder, Akl. She personally curates the clothing selection, ensuring each piece is chosen with care.

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