Where to go for Eid Shopping and what to buy
Dhaka city is buzzing with shoppers preparing for the upcoming Eidu-ul-fitr. Not even the glaring sun on a Ramadan day or the intermittent storms that hit the city, keep the crowds away from the city shopping centres.
At night the malls take on a festive look with twinkling lights beckoning one and all to join in the celebrations. The suburbs too are teeming with Eid shoppers.
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Here is a shopper’s guide to help you decide where to go and what to buy.
Jamuna Future Park :
Jamuna Future Park, the biggest mall in Bangladesh situated at Basundhara, is another shoppers’ delight, with all the popular brands having their outlets there.
It is enormous in size and perhaps this dwarfs the size of the crowds. It beautiful shops with the latest designs and décor are not all that crowded as one would expect.
But as Eid nears, the crowds do increase. Perhaps the sheer size of the mall is intimidating, people preferring to go to the Cineplex there more than wandering around the maze of shops.
Then in Banani there is the not-so-glamorous but oh-so-popular Banani super market which is overflowing with customers, 99 per cent women. The men who go there mostly go to the ground floor stationery and mobile phone stores. The first floor is more or less dedicated to fabric and clothing stores and tailoring shops. During Ramadan, there is hardly room to move around this market. It also has gold jewellery, accessories and a limited number of menswear shops.
All these malls and markets have fun eateries, which perhaps are not as busy during Ramadan as other times of the year, but are popular nevertheless. Jamuna mall has a full-fledged food court on its top floor as does Police Plaza. Pink City is well-known for its spicy chotpoti and fuchka. And Banani market has the popular Candyfloss outlet which doesn’t sell candy floss, but delicious sandwiches, burgers, milkshakes and such.
Other popular shopping spots in the area are Rupayan Centre which has Dressy Dale, Priyo, Celebrations and other popular outlets as well as several men’s fashion stores, Molly shopping centre which houses Bata shoe shop, Nabila’s, the old traditional Khan Brothers sari store, New Jarwa House for the classiest jewellery in town and more, Jabbar Tower which also has Khan Brothers, Tant Ghar sari house, Shinepukur Ceramics, the popular accessory shop Celebrations and so on. The crowds thronging to these market places during Ramadan indicate both the festivity of the coming Eid as well as the inevitable commercialisation of festivals which has become an inescapable global reality.
Bashundhara City :
There are some shoppers who do not love to run from one place to another and want to avoid traditional haggling to get all the things they need for a perfect Eid.
For those ‘lazy’ shoppers, Bashundhara City in the capital’s Panthapath can act as a one-stop platform. From jewellery to footwear, what is not sold here?
And Eid shoppers crowd into the mall much before the fasting month of Ramadan. “Sometimes, the crowd is too severe that we can’t even stand comfortably,” said Sajal Islam, a salesman of Aarong.
A pedestrian outside the shopping centre said that they face traffic congestion during the month of Ramadan near the shopping centre as people in huge numbers come here to shop.
Shopaholics love to shop from Bashundhara City as it showcases an assortment of clothes, eyewear, accessories, home-ware and a miscellaneous collection of objects all under the same roof, said Iqbal Ahmed who came to Yellow for purchasing his Eid punjabi.
Salwar suits for women mostly come from India and this year’s top suit is Padmavati (named after an Indian film), said Jamilur Rahman, who has a store in Bashundhara City.
This mall has become very popular as it houses almost all top brands, said Shamim Ashraf.
The brands at Bashundhara City include Yellow, Ecstasy, Freeland, Artisti, Men’z Club, Westecs, Smartex, Gentle Park, Infinity, Bata, Apex, Deshi Dosh, Mustafa Mart, Time Zone, and so on.
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Baily Road :
Baily Road in Shantinagar is a hub for shopaholics. There are quite a number of shopping malls and stores in the area. Almost all local brands and fashion houses have outlets in this belt.
The leading desi fashion houses like Anjan’s, Deshi Dosh, Rong, Sada Kalo Kay-Kraft and many more are all here.
Yellow, one of the most visited clothing brands in Bangladesh, have two outlets in Baily road- one in Navana Baily Star shopping complex and another on the high street.
Another popular clothing brand Le Reve has its outlet in Capital Siraj Tower.
The biggest advantage for shopping on Baily Road the large number of sari shops. Actually, Baily Road is the complete answer to family shopping. Prominent shoe brands like Bata, Apex, Bay and many others are also here.
There are a number of costume jewellery stores at Baily Fiesta, Navana Baily Star, Capital Siraj Tower and Twin Tower in the junction of Baily road and Shantinagar.
One can even find bangle-vendors who sell glass bangles on the street.
There are hundreds of options for men too. Infinity megamall has retailer outlets of almost all brands of male clothing such as Richman, UCB and much more. Almost all outlets of local fashion houses have men’s and kids’ apparel collections as well. Tired of shopping for too long? One can have quick break and grab a snack at Shawarma Street, Baily Shawarma House, Mama Kabab and many other restaurants. This street has the tastiest iftar delicacies too.
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Dhaka New Market :
New market area is considered a shoppers’ paradise. It offers a wide variety of goods, from clothing to crockery, food to footwear and more. The perennial traffic congestion in the area throughout the month of Ramadan is an indication of the market’s huge popularity among shoppers.
New Market, Gausia Market, Chadni Chawk, Badruduzza Super Market, Nurjahan Market, Chandrima Super Market and Eastern Mallika Shopping Complex are the main attractions of the area.
New Market, with more than 500 shops, offers the shoppers a wide array of shopping options. It has saris, inexpensive trinkets, all sorts of item at all sorts of prices. The saris and jewellery can be found on the ground floor. Menswear is mainly located on the first and second floor of the market.
Chadni Chawk and Gausia Market are famous for unstitched three-piece kameez suits for girls. The markets are already seeing a huge rush of Eid shoppers.
Shop owners of Gausia market said this year unstitched three-piece outfits with brand names like Vinay, Eliza, Muntaha and Hansa have been attracting customers.
Nurjahan Market, opposite to Dhaka College, is mainly famous for the men’s outfits. The market has a varied collection of export quality shirts, pants, polo T-shirts for the young male shoppers.
Eastern Mallika shopping complex specialises in women’s items. Jewellery and cosmetics are found on the ground floor, while saris, three-pieces and shoes are on first, second and third floor. Several tailoring shops are located on the third floor too. The tailors said they are working round the clock to meet the Eid demand.
There are lot shopping options around Elephant Road, not far from New Market. Fashion brands like Cat’s Eye, Monsoon Rain, Gentle Park, Plus Point and Menz Klub are located in the area. Outlets of Aarong, Grameen UNIQLO and punjabi brand Longla are located at the Science Lab intersection. A mega Top Ten Mart is located in Katabon.
There are plenty of shoe shops in the area including famous brands like Bata and Apex.
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Markets in Mirpur :
There are a number of outlets of brand clothing for men and women in the Mirpur area. At the Section-1 roundabout, there are outlets of Milan, Grameen Check, Grameen Mela, Pollir Mela, Rong Joie, Chandrabindu, Le Reve, Smartex, Colors, Amber Lifestyle, Dorjibari and Sailor Lifestyle.
One can buy clothing and have a snack at Bull’s Eye Fashion and Coffee House and at a big outlet of Aarong in Mirpur Section-1. Aarong opened another branch at Section-12 this month.
There are a number of not-so-well-known but good fashion houses in Section-6, 11 ½ and 12 of Mirpur like Ruposheebd, Daffodil Fashion, Tasmiah Fashion House, Tasmiah Fashion House, Fashion Star Boutiques, Aboron Fashion Studio, Amrin-Mahi Fashion House. Popular Kids and Moms has a branch at Rokeya Sarani in Section-11.
Popular fashion houses Ecstasy and Artisan have branches at Section-10 and Section-11. The popular stylish men’s store Cat’s Eye has an outlet in Section-10t.
And, don’t forget about the Benarasi Palli at Section-10, famous for its saris.
Recently, Saaj and a few other fashion houses opened their outlets at Mirpur Super Market in Section-1.
Then there are the wholesale and retail clothing markets in Section-1 and 11. Prices are reasonable here, but are not fixed. So driving a good bargain is key to a fair deal. Nannu Market in Section-11 is one such place and is popular too.
Muktijoddha Market at Section-1 is for all types of shopping. Everything from clothing to utensils is available here.
All the well-known shoe shops including Bay Emporium and Apex have opened outlets in Mirpur area.
Archies Gallery, Hallmark Gift Shop, Mapleart Bd, Mudron.com and a few other gift shops have opened their branches in Mirpur so people can buy something to say Eid Mubarak to their dear ones in a special way.
Mouchak Market :
Mouchak Market is also thronged by shoppers ahead of Eid.
One of the oldest in Dhaka, the market is famous for jewellery items. The jewellery shops are located on the 1st floor, three-piece kameez sets and sari shops are located on the 3rd floor. Business was slow for the market in previous years due to the dilapidated state of the road and construction of Mowchak-Maghbazar flyover. But the shopping has gained full momentum this year with the buzzing of shopaholics.