Shopping at IKEA Dubai — Same, Same…but Different

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IKEA Dubai and IKEA Flashback Syndrome

Dubai IKEA, shopping in Dubai, UAE

IKEA, I wish I knew how to quit you.

You are my Achilles Heel, my Death Star weakness. My very own Brokeback Mountain. You were a big part of that void I was trying to fill back in Calgary. What with your fine Scandinavian lines, your frugal-meets-practical fashionability, and of course, your come-hither As-Is section. You were easy to succumb to.

You made sense. In a time-wasting, material-accumulating sort of way.

I thought I was over you, and away from your icy tight Allen-wrench grip when I escaped my cubicle. But no, you had other plans. They say that revenge is a dish best served cold. I did not know it also meant served in a desert Gulf city-state as well.

IKEA Dubai, you got me.

The truth is, I was the one that came skulking back to you. Sadly, Oman does not have an IKEA. Surprisingly, Saudi Arabia has three of them (but no women in the Saudi version of the IKEA catalogue.)  Since other half and I had a four-bedroom apartment to fill, and we didn’t quite want furniture that looked like this…

avant-garde furniture, Muscat Grand Mall, Muscat, Oman

or this…

Used Furniture Muscat Oman

…there was little choice. So it was off to IKEA in Dubai’s Festival City we went. Hoping for a better, more exotic dalliance with my former weakness.entrance to IKEA Dubai, shopping in Dubai, UAE

The IKEA Dubai Shopping Experience

Pretty much any IKEA is the same. Unpronounceable product names and crowds as maddening as the layout that corrals you through the display section upstairs before you can make your way to the warehouse below. This one is no different.furniture at Dubai IKEA, shopping in Dubai, UAEOkay so maybe this one is a little different. I don’t see many dudes like this stocking up on BJÖRNLOKA throws back home.Arabic man shopping for carpets, Dubai IKEA, shopping in Dubai, UAEOr ladies like this debating the merits of a GRUNDTAL over the door hook.Muslim women shopping for bathroom goods, Dubai IKEA, shopping in Dubai, UAEBut the goods are pretty much the same.furniture shopping  at Dubai IKEA, shopping in Dubai, UAEAnd the cafeteria at IKEA Dubai is pretty much the same. (Except at this one, three Emirati men kicked the living daylights out of a pregnant Canadian woman. Her crime? Sitting at their table. Read the full story here.)Ikea Cafeteria, Dubai IKEA, shopping in Dubai, UAEAnd the signs are pretty much the same.return policy, Dubai IKEA, shopping in Dubai, UAEAlthough sometimes we had no idea what was being sold, or even how much it was.sale sign at Dubai IKEA, shopping in Dubai, UAEIt was pretty much the same old IKEA experience.Dubai IKEA warehouse, shopping in Dubai, UAEWarehouse outlet shopping, Dubai IKEA, UAE

Including my beloved As-Is section.Bargain corner, As-Is, scratch and dent section, Dubai IKEA, UAECheckouts, Dubai IKEA, shopping in Dubai, UAECheckout and returns, Dubai IKEA, shopping in Dubai, UAEBut the all that sameness came to a halt at the snack stand. In the form of Chicken shawarma. Chicken shawarma? At IKEA???Food menu, Dubai IKEA, shopping in Dubai, UAESurely the hot dog (my second favourite thing at IKEA), would bring back that feeling of familiarity.Arabic hot dog with drink sign, Dubai IKEA, shopping in Dubai, UAE

It was only after I ordered it did I see the small print that read “Arabic” – in this case, it meant chicken.chicken hot dog, Dubai IKEA, shopping in Dubai, UAEAnimals. Don’t they know what’s in a hot dog?shopping carts Dubai IKEA, shopping in Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Still, we managed to walk away with over $300 in cheaply manufactured, functional furnishings – including lamps, a kitchen table and chairs, a desk, and a wardrobe. And regrettably, the bitter taste of chicken dog.

IKEA, I think I’ve finally managed to quit you.

IKEA Dubai store – Address: Dubai Festival City, Al Rebat Road; Opening hours: Sun – Wed 10:00am – 11:00pm, Thurs – Sat 10:00am – Midnight

Have you been to Ikea Dubai?

I am a travel blogger and freelance travel writer. I left behind my cubicle-shaped cell to see the world. Now I inspire others to shake the shackles and escape through travel. This is my blog.

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