Living in Dubai is practically synonymous with either being consumed by wanderlust or knowing someone who is – or both. And while the prospect of purchasing a Christmas gift for a friend who’s an avid traveler sounds easy in theory, chances are that she already owns what you’d consider buying: an e-reader, a fancy passport cover, personalized luggage tags, a silky eye mask, and a sturdy duffel.
This year, take a page from the Savoir Flair book and consider gifting her something she wouldn’t ordinarily buy for herself, like a premium portable espresso maker or a super girly pair of noise-cancelling headphones. Yes, there will be coffee wherever she’s headed. And yes, the white noise in an airplane cabin never hurt anyone, but isn’t spoiling a loved one half the fun of the holiday season?
A Travel Guide with a Twist
For the Solo Traveler
The infinite charm of traveling solo has to be experienced first-hand to be understood, and Anywhere ‘Travel Guide’ only takes this up a notch. With absolutely no recommendations on where to eat, stay, or sightsee, this deck of 75 cards features whimsical prompts and unexpected calls-to-action to turn your friend’s next trip abroad into a bona fide adventure – and possibly a brand new way to see an already-explored destination.
Anywhere ‘Travel Guide’
AED48 / SAR49
The Definitive Guide to Hidden Gems
For the Off-the-Beaten-Track Traveler
“Anyone can be a tourist. Atlas Obscura is for the explorer.” It’s this motto that makes it the ultimate go-to if you’re on the quest for the world’s most curious places – think: miniature cities, gigantic flaming holes in the ground, balancing pagodas, and even homes built entirely out of paper.
Now, Atlas Obscura has compiled its genius into a best-selling book entitled An Explorer’s Guide to the World’s Hidden Wonders. If you have a friend who’s all about uncovering the weird and wonderful on her travels, this one’s a no-brainer.
Atlas Obscura ‘An Explorer’s Guide to the World’s Hidden Wonders’
AED77 / SAR78
An Indestructible City Map
For the Urban Traveler
The name says it all: these handy maps by Palomar can be folded, squashed, scrunched up into a ball, stuffed in a pocket, drenched in the rain, and re-used endlessly. Weighing only 21 grams, they’re rip-resistant, waterproof, super soft, and feature details such as a city’s streets, monuments, museums, art galleries, and more. The best bit? The more battered they are, the better they look. There are over 50 major cities to choose from, so ask your friends about their upcoming travel plans and stock up.
Palomar ‘Crumpled City’ Map
AED52 / SAR54
An Old-School Compass
For the Nostalgic Traveler
If your friend tends to romanticize the past, even proudly declaring herself a luddite, she’ll love the idea of temporarily swapping Google Maps for an old-fashioned compass as she navigates a new destination. This brass beauty by Menkind is fully functioning and nautical in style, and even boasts a Gift of the Year Award to its name. Our favorite detail is that it can be engraved with a sentimental message or a great quote about traveling.
Menkind Personalized Brass Compass
AED187 / SAR190
Achingly Cool Headphones
For the Tech-Obsessed Traveler
If the avid traveler in your life frequently takes long-haul flights, you’ve undoubtedly heard about her inability to get any sleep on the plane. And if you’re looking to splurge on her this Christmas, start with a pair of Beats ‘Studio3 Wireless’ headphones. Considered the best of the best, they feature Pure Adaptive Noise Cancelling technology to actively block external distractions and guarantee studio-quality audio that’s downright impressive.
And because they’re driven by the Apple W1 chip, they can seamlessly sync to Apple devices, allowing the user to take calls, skip songs, control the volume, and even activate Siri using the on-ear controls. This gorgeous “Porcelain Rose” color is just the proverbial cherry on top.
Beats ‘Studio3 Wireless’ Headphones
AED1,285 / SAR1,308
A Handheld Espresso Machine
For the Caffeine-Dependent Traveler
Outdoorsy types, perpetual hotel dwellers, and self-professed coffee snobs – here’s an ingenious gadget that will appeal equally to all. Meet ‘Nanopresso’ by Wacaco, a portable espresso machine that’s more powerful than it looks. The ultra-compact device is less than seven inches in length and requires absolutely no batteries, no electricity, and no opinionated barista. All it takes is ground coffee or a Nespresso capsule, some hot water, and a few pumps of the hand for the perfect full-bodied, froth-topped espresso shot on the move – every time.
AED299 / SAR305
A Multi-Tasking Beauty Product
For the Camera-Ready Traveler
You know how celebrities seem to step off the plane looking effortlessly refreshed and rested? Total scam. They’re actually using all kinds of beauty and skincare products mid-flight to offset the horrid effects of stale, dry cabin air on their skin. And while there are plenty of hydrating lotions and potions to choose from, our firm favorite remains ‘In Transit Camera Close-Up’ by This Works.
A mask, moisturizer, and primer in one, it helps brighten and rehydrate tired skin and preps it for makeup. The formula contains a powerful blend of reparative plant oils alongside line-plumping hyaluronic acid and conditioning argan and starflower oils to ensure that you arrive at your destination looking dewy and feeling revived. The travel-friendly size is also perfect for your everyday handbag, so treat yourself and your friends!
This Works ‘In Transit Camera Close-Up’
AED123 / SAR125