There are several places where readers can buy new and second- hand books in Dubai. In my opinion, some of those places are particularly noteworthy because of offered collections and great atmosphere.
Book World by Kinokuniya at Dubai Mall
This marvellous and the biggest bookshop in UAE is located at Dubai Mall. Although the Mall is like a jungle and I always get lost, it is a booklover’s instinct that leads me straight to the Kinokuniya. Ever since I bought my first book there, I feel nostalgic about this place. Honestly, this is heaven on Earth for every bibliophile! Kinokuniya is so spacious that when you enter you cannot see the end of it. Place is also sophisticated, bright and very well- organized.
You can find any genre you like and extremely nice staff is always helpful and courteous. You can always ask whether particular book is in the stock; they even order books which are not available at the moment. Over half a million books are offered in several languages. In other words, Kinokuniya provides excellent selection of books of all sorts. In addition, you can purchase gifts vouchers, comics, magazines, action figures, stationary, and games.
Although I truly admire this place, books cost arm and leg there! Some books can be found cheaper in other stores around Dubai. I am particularly interested in history and social sciences books but horrendous prices make be dizzy sometimes. Too bad that Kinokuniya does not make any special offers and sales. Actually, I have never seen any book on sale. I would expect bookstore like Kinokuniya to make nice deals from time to time.
Personally, I do not buy books online because I could not miss the pleasure of exploring all the shelves filled with thousands of beautiful books, but for those who do not have time or do not like crowded shopping malls Kinokuniya offers online store.
In overall, it is heaven for booklovers, 4- 5 hours is not enough to explore everything what Kinokuniya offers.
House of Prose at Jumeirah Plaza Shopping Centre and House of Prose at Garden Centre
The House of Prose first started in Muscat, Oman 23 years ago. Then Mr. Mike McGinley, in 1997 established a shop at Jumeirah Plaza Shopping Centre on the Beach Road in Dubai. This tiny and lovely second- hand shop offers variety of books at very affordable prices. Furthermore, if you return book in good condition you will get 50 per cent refund. Since each of book is stamped with House of Prose stamp you can return to either of their locations. With loyalty card, after buying nine books you can claim a complimentary book, or coffee. When I first visited that store I was amazed with variety of books; some of them really good tittles in perfect condition, and still at a fair price. In my opinion, it is senseless to spend a fortune on the same books in stores in the shopping malls. But, what I really like about House of Prose is that you can find interesting old books, which new book stores do not offer.
Second store is located in Garden Centre, Al Quoz, on Sheik Zayed Road. Although tiny in size, it is really charming corner where you can sit on little chairs and look through the collection. Both places have souls and characters. I have been visiting them regularly ever since I arrived to Dubai almost two years ago.
You can follow House of Prose on Facebook to check out new arrivals and you can book by phone those items you are interested in. I recommend to visit the store’s website and watch short book reviews by Mr. Mike McGinley.
I think that House of Prose is a great project and I hope to see more place like this around Dubai in the future.