New flea market in Abu Dhabi

Event specialises in baby and kids' goods

Who doesn’t hoard bags of too-small toddler clothes and boxes of toys nobody plays with any more cluttering up the bedrooms? It can’t be just us – and that’s exactly what mum of two, Martina Venus, is counting on, as she launches the first baby and kids’ flea market at the Sheraton Abu Dhabi this month.

For a fee, you can book a table and offload as many books, games, DVDs, shoes and outfits as your stall can handle and know that whilst the profit’s all yours (to buy more “stuff” – argh!) proceeds from the table hire will go directly to the Al Jalila Foundation, dedicated to the treatment of childhood cancer across the UAE.

“There are Facebook pages where you can sell or buy your baby things, but it can be such a hassle to drive to the other end of town every time you need a pair of shoes or some pyjamas,” says Venus. “In a country where most shopping has to be done in malls, and where things are rather expensive, it seems a good idea to buy these items second-hand, in a family-friendly, fun environment,” she adds. “Being a mum of toddler twins, I realise how fast they outgrow their clothes, shoes, toys and equipment. But I am committed to the environment, so throwing almost brand-new items into the garbage is out of the question. It would be great if the flea market became a fixed event in every parent’s diary, so we all benefit from the platform it provides.”

There will be space for 100 tables at this bi-monthly event, entrance is free for shoppers and there’s a range of free activities for the little ones to enjoy whilst you’re busy bagging some bargains.

The market will be held on Saturday November 4 but don’t worry if you can’t make this month – it will return in the new year on January 6 and again on March 3, to make the most of those post-Christmas clear-outs!

So, get the empty bags ready and set aside a morning for a therapeutic de-clutter. This is one cause worth clearing out your wardrobe for.
Email to book your table (050 431 0254). Nov 4, 9am-2pm. Sheraton Abu Dhabi Hotel & Resort, Corniche Road (02 677 3333).

Four more ways to be charitable

Operation Smile
This organisation helps children born with a cleft lip and enables them to receive free corrective surgery. They have donation points all over the city.

St Andrew’s Thrift Shop
A brilliant second-hand shop selling pre-loved goods, donated by people for charity.
Open Sun, 8am-midday, Tue, 8am-midday and 3.30pm-5.30pm, Fri midday-2pm. St Andrew’s, Mushriff.

Emirates Red Crescent
This charity carries out crucial humanitarian work at home and overseas. Look out for collection points outside mosques and community centres.

Uniform Swap
More and more parents are either donating or selling pre-loved uniforms and shoes on their school Facebook pages. A great way to clear out at the start of each term.
Check your school’s Facebook site.

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