February 2019 Update:
The Ripe Market is moving their locations frequently. As of today there is only one market happening in Dubai which is at the Police Academy Park in Umm Suqeim (every Friday & Saturday). Please make sure to check their website for updated locations.
If you live in the UAE, care about organic, locally sourced produce and haven’t heard about the Ripe Markets yet, you are doing something wrong. For everyone else visiting Dubai / Abu Dhabi: the Ripe Markets are taking place several days per week at different locations across the UAE. Besides organic & local fruits and veggies the market offers unique fashion, jewelry, arts and crafts from local vendors.
Depending on which location you visit you can find local restaurants, cafés and fast food trucks satisfying your sweet and savory taste buds while strolling and shopping around the market. With this post I want to focus on the vegan food / produce options I’ve tried there in the past to make sure you’ll visit soon as well!
Currently (as of November 2016) there are 3 markets taking place every week in Dubai: the Ripe Market at Zabeel Park on Fridays, the Ripe Market at Al Barsha Pond Park on Saturdays and the Ripe Market at Le Meridien Mina Seyahi on Wednesdays. While these are only happening during the winter, you can find the Ripe Market at the Times Square Center during the summer (2016). The only one of the markets in Dubai, which I haven’t been to yet is the one at Le Meridien Mina Seyahi. When reading through my vegan finds please keep in mind that not all vendors are present at all locations at all times.
The first time I visited the Ripe Market at Zabeel Park I stumbled across Wanna Banana, Rewind Nutrition and the Kold Press Juice Company. Wanna Banana offers delicious nicecream, Rewind Nutrition plantbased protein and snacks and the Kold Press Juice Company organic cold pressed juices. Simply click on the links to learn more about the products. One place I always stop by at the Ripe Markets is the “Coconut Man” – I think it’s around 15 AED and he will open a fresh coconut right in front of you – super delicious and refreshing especially when it’s still hot outside!
The other day I enjoyed a fresh green smoothie from Jamba Juice. A lot of their smoothies contain frozen yogurt but they were happy to replace it with almond milk for me and in the end my smoothie was made out of almond milk, strawberries, banana and spinach and tasted good but healthy! If you are looking for something to fill you up there are quite a few Middle Eastern / International stands around which will be able to serve you veggie wraps, falafel or tacos (unfortunately I always snack so much around there that I’m never hungry enough to try some real food!).
Another great vegan snack I found at the Ripe Market in Al Barsha are the veggie chips from iggi, which are made in Dubai. They come in three different flavors: mixed veggie chips, mushroom & sweet potato and apple & peach chips. Personally I liked the mixed veggie chips the most, not only because they were so colorful! They are 8AED each and a perfect snack for on-the-go.
The Ripe Market stand itself, which offers all the fresh produce from kale to apples, also has some raw vegan snacks from planet organic, such as chips, coconut jerky, cookies and chocolate covered nuts. And on Fridays you can even find Coco Yogo, one of my favorite local vegan brands, at the Ripe Market in Zabeel Park offering coconut based yogurt, cream cheese and desserts!
If you don’t have the chance to visit one of the markets (which I strongly recommend though to escape the busy life in Dubai), but still want to shop for fresh produce and a small selection of organic and vegan groceries stop by the Ripe Shop, which is open 7 days a week (also you can order online from their website or request a delivery within Dubai). As always, please leave me a comment for your favorite vegan finds at the Ripe Markets so I have a reason to go back and try more things as well!
The Ripe Organic Farm Shop
8 A Street, Al Manara Street
Opening hours: Sun – Thu 8AM to 8PM, Fri – Sat 8AM to 5PM
The Ripe Market at Zabeel Park
Opening hours: Fridays 9AM to 3PM
The Ripe Market at Al Barsha Pond Park
Opening hours: Saturdays 3PM to 9PM
The Ripe Market at Le Meridien Mina Seyahi
Opening hours: Wednesdays 2PM to 9PM