To all my lovelies in the Middle East, hope you HAD a lovely weekend.
And to all my other beautiful ladies, hope you HAVE a wonderful weekend!
A day without the gents (at least on this blog!)
All the darkness hovering over me has descended. The clouds have lifted.
My philosophy- ranting, Kafka/ Kahlil Gibran/ Tolstoy quoting alter ego has gone into her proverbial weekly slumber!
So, it’s the sunny, shiny, sparkly me for the weekend. No more doom and gloom rambles. No more existential questions and ultra- intellectual mumbo- jumbo. For today, at least.
I indulged in some retail therapy today. And it gave me a “post- idea”….
Shopping across two countries…
The more I travel, the more cumbersome my shopping practices get. I’m constantly converting currencies back- and forth and wondering if I can get a better deal elsewhere!
For today, let’s just compare Bangalore (India) and Doha (Qatar), shall we?
The same stores. The same brands. Identical layouts and store interiors. The prices ain’t so “same” though. Even stores such as Forever 21, Marks and Spencer, H & M; the so called common man’s stores hike up their prices the minute they leave their shores of origin. Pity!
Anyhoo, let’s go shopping ladies!
In terms of clothes, I go for the mantra “best of both worlds”. Bangalore and Doha, both have some great places to buy clothes from; budget friendly and otherwise. All my kurtas/ kurtis and Indian/ Indian inspired clothes, I buy from India.
When it comes to brands like ZARA (you would noticed I’m a huge ZARA fan!), MANGO, Chemistry etc. the collection’s stocked are “almost” the same, but there is a definite price difference. Considering how bad INR is doing compared to other currencies, the minute you convert (in you head of course!), the deals seems better in Bangalore. Marginal, but better.
Marks and Spencer and Debenhams,the prices are almost comparable. We have Forever 21 in Bangalore, but the prices are definitely more when compared to their stores in the US.
For Bhs, Topshop, Superdry, Mamas and Papas and H&M, Doha it is!
Splash is better off at Bangalore, price wise.
For baby clothes, I definitely prefer Doha. But do keep in mind, brands like Juniors, Mothercare and Zara Baby are cheaper in India.
The sleepsuits retail for about 160 QAR at Doha.
And at Zara…
I feel I get a better deal on shoes in Doha. Especially if you are into high heels. The ballet flats and sandals are more abundant in India though. So, take your pick.
Same as shoes. But for sheer quantum of choice and variety, Bangalore wins this one. Hands down.
Surprisingly though, I pay less for the same quality in Doha!
MAKE- UP and SKINCARE
I don’t have a SEPHORA in Bangalore (and Mr. H thanks the lord for it everyday!) but there is one at Delhi (which I have not been to). So, for make-up I pick Doha.
For MAC products, the collections come to Bangalore sooner than they do to Doha. And the prices are much better. INR 1450 versus QAR 103 for a lipstick.
Brands like Two Faced, Benefit, MUFE etc, I have no choice but to shop in Doha. Boots is another store that I wish would come to India, or rather Bangalore specifically.
But do remember, EVERYTHING can be ordered online in India. There are half a million online shopping sites here. Some trustworthy, some not. But getting stuff into Qatar, via online shopping needs a dedicated blog post!
SPORTING GEAR/ WORK- OUT CLOTHES
No confusion here, Bangalore all the way. The prices in Doha are insane, mostly.
BRANDED DENIMS (Levis, Lee, Pepe, Wrangler)
SUNGLASSES, WATCHES and Accessories
I have no idea why, but Ray Ban sells their sunglasses at mental prices in Doha. We are talking 200 % hikes sometimes!
Watches, especially for the luxury/ high end watches- Doha.
For the less pricey, statement watches- Bangalore and online stores.
Accessories- Stores in Doha and the road- side stalls in Bangalore!
DESIGNER/ LUXURY brands
Even with the exorbitant taxes in India, Rupee to Rial they are less pricey here. But I would still purchase them at Qatar. The stores are bigger and the collections more exhaustive, compared to the ones in Bangalore. (Please note, Mumbai and Delhi are different stories).
For pricier skin care options, I have a teeny tiny feeling that some items sold in India are closer to their expiry dates than they ideally should be (dumping ground anyone?). Just my notion. I have had a couple of bad experiences with both Elizabeth Arden and Estee Lauder. So, do check your items against their product code (you can use websites such as these), and be on the ball folks; we hate being taken for a ride, don’t we?
And as far as comparisons to the US goes, you shall shed tears of despair loves. We end up paying a lot more than our US/ UK counterparts 😦
So, my DOHA lovlies, anything you want me to pick up? 😉 I’m heading back there soon…..
Till next time…
Note- the prices and information given above are to the best of my knowledge. Please do visit the stores/ websites to verify.