> | | | | | | | > Exporting your personal belongings vs. buying everything in Abu Dhabi - part 2 : buying furniture

Exporting your personal belongings vs. buying everything in Abu Dhabi - part 2 : buying furniture

Posted on Tuesday, July 3, 2012 | 5 Comments

Now that we have considered the possibility of exporting your belongings to the U.A.E., let's see how it would be to buy everything new! Why not, after all? New city, new life, new home! And new furniture! If you're interested in home decor, this could be a fun experience!
There is quite some choice in terms of furnishing your new home in Abu Dhabi. I honestly don't know anyone who told me they didn't find anything that they like here. The only worry when you're still in your home country is that there isn't a lot of information available online, so here's a little help.
  • Ikea : The Swedish God of furniture is very well settled in the U.A.E. They have one store in Abu Dhabi, and another one in Dubai. The stores are big, normal, pretty much identical to those you have in your home country. A lot of expats buy their furniture there, because it's pretty cheap (although slightly more expensive than in the U.S.A. from my personal experience), easy to assemble, and they have a lot of choice (I <3 Ikea!!). Be careful though, they might not have exactly all of the items of your home-store. For instance, they didn't have my mattress. But overall, they have a huge bunch of things. They provide free delivery and assembly when your purchases exceed 2500 AED (around 540€ or $680). It makes it as convenient as shopping in Europe of in the U.S., except that you don't pay for your delivery! I like the fact that all of their products are available online, which makes it easier to plan without having to visit the store. This is also how I managed to evaluate the value of my furniture when deciding if I should export my stuff or buy everything from scratch (see part 1 of this article)
  • Homes R Us : They offer affordable, and more traditional furniture than Ikea. To each their own! They have one store in Abu Dhabi (located in Madinat Zayed mall, a very traditional Arabic mall) and several stores in Dubai. Just like Ikea, they have furniture and home decor items, linen, kitchen accessories (plates, pots, etc.). They have a few products visible on the website, but you will definitely need to go to the store to figure it out.
  • Home Centre : They're a compromise between Ikea and Homes R Us. You can't see their collections online like on the Ikea website, but they have an online catalogue with prices. It will give you an idea of the style of their items. 
These are the three main stores where expats buy their furniture. Of course, there are a lot more options, especially with local independent stores. Additionally, I would like to mention The One which is a trendier - and also more expensive, from what I hear - furniture store in Abu Dhabi. You can't view all of their products online, but if you want to drop by their store, you can take advantage to have a drink or a snack there!

Additionally, if you find yourself a little tight on the budget and can't buy everything new, you can also buy second-hand furniture on Dubizzle. They are the Middle East's leading classified ads website. They always have a million used items available. Maybe you will find something you like? Since there is such a big expat community in Abu Dhabi, people are always trying to sell stuff online, so you can find really good deals, even on cool furniture from the above mentioned stores. Give it a try!

UPDATE 24/08/2012 : I came across this very useful and well documented article, that I'm sharing with you : http://frugalexpat.com/2010/11/24/where-to-hunt-second-hand-items-in-abu-dhabi/

UPDATE 02/10/2012 : I have spent quite a lot of time by Electra Street (downtown Abu Dhabi) lately, and I found out that they have quite a lot of furniture store. I can't vouch for the quality of the products they sell, but they have lots of items, so it might be worth checking. The style of what they sell is usually more traditionnal, definitely not contemporary. Don't hesitate to park your car behind the buildings and walk around, sometimes the stores are not on the main street but behind. They also have a bunch of stores that sell lights and places where you can order custom made curtains.
The curtains thing is pretty important because in most recent buildings, the windows are large but they don't have blinds. Most likely, you will need to get your own, and have someone install them (or do it yourself ;)). I can make recommendations, if anyone is interested!

Comments:5

  1. Hi! I am a recent transplant to Abu Dhabi and moving into my apartment in the next week or so. Can you give recommendations for blinds? I was thinking of having venetian blinds or something like that installed before drapes.

    I've heard that a store called Shadows on Hamdan street is good, any other suggestions? Thanks!

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