Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine I would be moving to a foreign country to live, let alone a country in the Middle East. Over the 2009 Christmas and New Year’s holidays, my husband Roger and I discussed what we wanted the next part of our life to be like. He thought that before retiring, he would like to do one more airport project but only if he could find something very interesting. I half-jokingly agreed that would be fine but could he try for an exotic location? As usual, Roger came through and soon we were headed to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. This blog is a recap of our "leap-of- faith" wanderings around the Middle East and beyond. We joyfully share these expat experiences.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

GETTING "LUCKY" IN SHARJAH, UAE



If you recall from the blog “Settling in a Foreign Country,” Roger and I had embarked on a desperate mission to find “Lucky’s” and “Pinky’s” furniture outlets in Sharja, the Emirate (state) just north of Dubai. After a three hour search Roger finally called it quits and offered me a blank check to purchase furniture if I could find the place. Ever up for a challenge, it took only one phone call to my friend Anne O’Connell to locate Debbie Nicol who knew the way to Lucky's! Needless to say I took copious notes on how to get there.


Lucky’s is three enormous warehouses of imported hardwood furniture, antiques and decorator items. I understand now why it was so impossible for Roger and I to find the place - it is tucked away in a far corner of Industrial Area 11. As a shopper, you must have an immense imagination since the warehouses are comprised of small narrow aisles between rows of very dusty furniture stacked 2-stories high. Parvez Mohammad is a jewel to work with and happy to accommodate any request just like Flo in the Progressive Insurance commercials.  “Can you paint it red? YES!”  Can you add shelves? YES!”  “Can I have new doors? YES!”  This is a cash enterprise and, even though we are in the UAE where bargaining is an art form, at Lucky’s no bargaining is necessary as Mohammed has already deeply-discounted his goods. 
Give yourself plenty of time to roam the aisles because there is an overwhelming assortment of furniture and decorator items to peruse. You choose the furniture you want which is then put in a container.  Once the container is full of customers' orders, the furniture is fumigated!  This is a good thing since we don’t want any little Arab bugs running around our apartment!    Within a week we received the call that our order was ready, delivery was arranged and a merry band of Lucky’s workers showed up at our door. “Do I get free delivery? YES!” 
Debbie, Anne and I had a great time roaming the aisles with me agonizing over what to purchase, and Debbie and Anne offering sage decorating advice. Debbie uncovered a beautiful lounge chair that would have been lovely but alas, I already have enough living room furniture.I finally decided to purchase a beautiful hard wood dining room table that seats eight, a coffee table and end tables for the living room, and the best of all, an antique door that Mohammed would make into a headboard for our bed.  To watch over us, we added a Hindu watchman nicknamed “Natur.” 

But this was only the first trip to Lucky’s!
Roger was so impressed with the purchases that he decided to join the fun and two weeks after our first delivery we were back at Lucky’s. We quickly discovered that my driving directions from the previous trip were not exactly precise, but we were able to make the necessary course corrections (Note: when you make a “Loop of Shame” (for explanation see “Settling in a Foreign City”) it doesn’t count if you know how to quickly make the appropriate course correction). 

On this trip, we are looking for a wine cabinet. Yes, Roger finally received (I am not allowed to have one) his UAE Alcoholic Drink License that proudly proclaims “Roger Foster Alcoholic.”  Also, on the need-to-have list is something for my shoes. In Dubai, I think ladies do not purchase a lot of shoes because the apartments have no accommodation for shoe storage. For those who know me well, this is a major problem. My granddaughter Brooke shares my passion for shoes. Our mantra, borrowed from Cinderella, is “One shoe can change your life!”    

On my first trip, I saw a beautiful wood sculpture of a woman that I thought would look great in the living room.  I wanted Roger’s approval before I brought “another woman” into our home! Unfortunately, he does not fall in love with her as I did so we pass on this item. 
Roger successfully finds a beautiful cabinet for our wine collection. Collection is somewhat of a misnomer since our wine supply is always dwindling!  “Can we add wine bottle racks? YES!” Roger is happy.


The search for a piece to house my shoe collection – this collection is never dwindling – is a little harder but I finally spot a beautiful cabinet with carved elephants. Again, Mohammed graciously adds additional shelves to accommodate my vast array of shoes and enthusiastically agrees to giving it a darker stain to better blend with our other pieces.

We are now proud members of Mohammed’s family – especially since I think our purchases put his first son through college. We highly recommend Lucky’s and encourage anyone interested in beautiful, unique pieces of furniture at affordable prices to make the trek to Sharja – directions are below. Remember, there are limited street signs or numbers in the UAE so the directions are mostly by “landmarks!” Good luck! Please tell Mohammed that Roger and Katie Foster sent you!
Postscripts:
The Other Woman . . . Roger changed his mind and agrees that he needs another woman in the house so I am going for one more trip to Lucky’s to pick up my newest girlfriend. I think she will be a beautiful addition to our bedroom .. .  figuratively speaking of course.  
Directions from Dubai:
1. On Emirates Road head towards Sharja 
2. On right go past Mirdrif Mall and look for Belhasa Construction
3. After overpass take Exit 64 to "Industrial Area"
4. Follow "Industrial Area" signs and go beside next overpass (you should see "National Paints" sign on the left in the distance)
5. At "National Paint" roundabout (under the overpass) go left
6. At next roundabout go left (should see Supra Fab sign)
7. Go to end of road and make U-Turn
8. Take first right . . Lucky's in on your left - 3 white warehouses with yellow doors.

If you get lost just call and they will help you. 

Parvez Mohammed
050 632 7071
05 534 1937
Timing: 9:30 AM to 01:00 PM – 4:30 PM to 8:30 PM
Friday: 9:30 AM to 11:30 AM – 4:30 PM – 8:30 PM






6 comments:

  1. Beautiful blog and very inspiring! Thanks for sharing. Isabel

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    1. So glad you enjoyed the story. I have since returned to Lucky's for a few additional purchases. They are just the best!

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  2. Sharjah has great culture so it's worth the vacation. Also visit Abu Dhabi for ones in a lifetime experience.

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    1. I so agree with you. Each of the Emirates has its own personality and each is a joy to explore.

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  3. Dear Katie,

    We at Lucky Furnitures were pleasantly surprise when we came across the lovely article you wrote about us on your blog. We are always happy to know that our customers enjoyed their experience with us. We sincerely thank you for the feedback. We would love to share it with our followers on our facebook page (lucky furnitures) with your permission. Kindly let us know. Please come back again soon, we would love to see you again.

    Regards,

    Lucky furnitures

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    1. Please do share it on your FB. Everyone in the UAE needs to know the BEST place to purchase furniture!

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