In taking a trip down blog memory lane, I realized that I once promised tips on furniture shopping, but never posted anything about it. For shame, Beth Daniel Lindsay! To rectify this — better late than never! — here you go.
Of course you have IKEA out on Yas Island. It is a monster of a store and you simply cannot go there for a quick trip, no matter whether you know exactly where the one thing you want should be. It will not happen. Do not try it. Apparently they have a shuttle service from Marina Mall, but that’s on the opposite side of the island from where we live, so I’d just take a taxi there.
In Dubai, you have Pottery Barn and Crate and Barrell. Sadly, these are not available in Abu Dhabi, although I read a PB Kids is opening in Al Wadha mall (doesn’t matter to me because I don’t have kids, but hey). Mirdiff City Center has both PB and C&B, so I/we went there many a time. Also, it’s pretty close to…
Pinky and Lucky’s. These are importers with Indian furniture, mostly wooden, some antique (although more likely “antique”). They are in an industrial area of Sharjah and are open from I think 9 AM to 1 PM, and again from 4 PM to 10 PM (or something like that). They are extremely difficult to find, but so worth it once you do. We bought our kitchen table, headboard, and a medium sized mirror there. Colleagues of mine also bought kitchen tables, ottomans, bed frames, bookshelves, all kinds of stuff! Not too expensive and pretty good quality. And I’m sorry, but it’s been so long since I went there, the only thing I remember is that you pass Mirdiff City Center heading into Sharjah, and something about National Paints. Find their phone number and call them. They are nice and very good at giving directions. If you are a woman, I’d recommend going during the day because the area is a bit unnerving (but I’m sure perfectly safe) at night.
Marina Exotic Home Furniture is a chain that’s in several malls in Abu Dhabi. They actually have stuff that is fairly similar to Pink and Lucky’s, but is more expensive and possibly better quality. They have some really lovely things, but I don’t think I’ve actually ever bought anything there.
We bought our couch from Natuzzi, an Italian place. It was expensive, but we must have looked at 100s of couches and couldn’t find anything we liked. It’s in Abu Dhabi mall, tucked away in the back corner.
Home Center has some good options, but I think they’re more for home goods than furniture (again, sorry, it’s been awhile). There are several locations, the largest of which is at Marina Mall. We bought a recliner there.
Q Home Decor also has nice finishing touches — we bought some pillows there. They are in several malls. However, if you’re based in Sama, Hamdan Center (on Hamdan street between airport road and 4th, but possibly between 4th and 6th aka Najda) has both Q Home Decor and Home Center.
And if it’s appliances you’re looking for, just head to one of the hypermarkets: LuLu’s, Carrefour, AD Co-op. Crate and Barrell has high-end small appliances (espresso machines, for example) if that’s what you’re looking for.
Good luck! For those who’ve been here a while, did I miss anything?