Safa Park flea market becoming a gold mine for Dubai residents


Is your house turning into a museum of sorts, with everything from old, unused gadgets, gaming consoles and artifacts, to incalculable number of shoes, bags, hats and clothes, hogging space, with a promise of being used some day, but remaining covered in dust, messing up your mind?

Fret not. There’s an uncomplicated way to convert trash into cash.

Yes, de-cluttering has never been this easy, and rewarding.

And chances are, if you succeed in finding your junk a new home, you’d profit from a cleaner home, while ringing in the cash register.

It’s unbelievable, really!

The Dubai Flea Market, held at the Safa Park, on the first Saturday of every month, is turning quite popular among the Dubai residents, with the table numbers drastically shooting up from 30-40, two years ago, to over 150 now.

Started in 2008, it is German-born Melaine Beese’s brainchild, who decided to recreate the concept that’s quite a rage in her hometown.

“It’s massive now,” reported Sangeeta D’Souza, elaborating how the procedure was fairly simple back then, with just a phone call needed to book a slot, as opposed to now, where “the website booking throws up a confirmation that needs to be printed and produced on the day of the market”.

“I even made more money then. This time, I sold for Dh2,600,” she recorded.

Money is, probably, the uniting factor that binds all the sellers.

“I’ve had a great turnout, but I haven’t counted how much I’ve made so far. I’ve literally bundled it all up but I reckon I made Dh1,000,” beamed Daniel Brown, Brit-born Dubai resident and first-time seller, who had to do eight trips from his car to the stall to cart his stuff.

In fact, the Flea Market turned out to be the perfect place for Daniel to unload all the stuff he had to clear before shifting homes to Abu Dhabi.

Brit-born Brian Yau also profited on his house-shifting exercise.

“We are moving house so I had a lot of junk that I needed to get rid of,” relayed the newbie, adding, “I’ve done a stall with my colleague Ben, and we’ve sold very well. I haven’t totaled yet but it should be about Dh2,000 so far.”

A stall of handbags and perfumes that Filipina Lisa had set up also benefitted immensely.

“I’ve been coming here three years in a row. It is good business. Right now, I haven’t counted how much I’ve made, but last month I made around Dh3,000.”

The market also doubles as an annual ritual for some residents.

“We did this a year ago, and we have come back with all the stuff we collected over that period,” said Brit-born Lisa, adding she’s made around Dh1,000, “enough to cover the cost of the stand, the babysitting charges and still some to splurge”.

However, not all residents enjoyed a fun run at the market.

“It’s not a good day, people are just enquiring. I don’t think I’ve made enough to even cover the table cost (Dh250),” voiced Indian-born Kavita Kundanani, adding,

“I feel like I’m wasting my time. If my daughter wasn’t here I would have wound up and gone.”

Pakistani Jahangir also echoed similar sentiments, but admitted that his stall of denim wear and t-shirts did fetch him, “around Dh700”.

But, once the stall price of Dh250 was paid, it didn’t translate into huge profits.

Aysel Fargad from Azerbaijan, who was first initiated into this tradition by her friends, didn’t boast of massive sales with only Dh200 in her kitty but found the market a great way to clear things that crowded her wardrobe.

“Although I’m selling outfits that I purchased for Dh2,000 for Dh100, I find it enriching as it’s better to make some money than stocking it.”

And some like Ella, from Holland, even complained of theft, vouching they’d never to do it again.

“I’m shocked that people steal. They even also stole the chair that was provided by the organiser. This is a flea market and I’m not selling things for expensive,” she claimed.

The selling is a whole lot of fun but demands strategic planning, as explained by Brain, “Make sure you have at least 3 people per stall because it’s a lot of work to move everything here.

“And you might have 10-15 people at the stall at one-time, and you need to ensure people aren’t stealing.”

The exercise is also gratifying for the credit-crunched Dubai shoppers, who don’t find real bargains at the mall.

“Where else would you get designer bags and shoes for so cheap, and they don’t even look secondhand,” beamed 25-year-old Tasha.

“It’s nice to see the faces of girls light up after buying an arm full of clothes for just a small amount,” added Daniel.


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