In praise of Pan Emirates
Having just moved into a new, unfurnished apartment, I’ve recently had the pleasure of being able to build up my living areas from scratch. My flatmate and I have spent the last few weeks coming up with and then realising grand interior designs. Our place is hardly TV-worthy, but it’s certainly been very fun being able to design a living space to look exactly how you want it.
Luckily, as it turns out, we both have pretty similar tastes when it comes to interior design. We like clean, modern looks, repeating colour schemes and just a smattering of silliness to garnish it all off. Think guitars on the walls, skateboards above doorways and framed LPs from the ‘Sixties and ‘Seventies. We’ve been living in the new pad for little over a week, and it’s all coming together rather nicely.
This is thanks, in no small part, to the great furniture that we found at Pan Emirates. We were recommended the store by a friend who said that it stocked nice, modern-looking products that wouldn’t break the bank. Upon our first visit, we’d pretty much picked everything out, and left with a full-length mirror and an order form for a coffee table, a couple of rugs and two small arm chairs. You can see the results in the photo above.
Obviously, we wanted the stuff to be delivered as quickly as possible, but we were told we had to wait three or four days. Given the fact that all we had in our shiny new apartment was a futon and a TV, it was pretty annoying, but we slummed it for the few days and the Pan Emirates delivery truck turned up first thing on Wednesday morning, exactly when it was supposed to.
Now, Ikea is a big favourite among furniture buyers, and is far better known than Pan Emirates. The stuff it sells is crisp, modern and, above all, reasonably priced. The only real annoyance of Ikea is that you have to take it home and assemble it yourself. It’s fine in general, and the ease with which we put up our Ikea TV unit will pay testament to that. But in the face of the service you get from Pan Emirates, Ikea looks like a distant, cheap and nasty operation.
From the moment that your products are punched into the register at the store, and you’ve filled out the delivery form, you’re sent a confirmation text with a reference number and delivery date. Then, on the day that your furniture is due to turn up, you’re sent another text, confirming that it’s still happening. Soon after, a driver calls you up, asking when the best time to turn up would be. We asked if it could be in the next 20 minutes, and he said it wasn’t a problem.
Quite literally 20 minutes later, the driver and his team of mover men were ringing the buzzer, asking to be let into the building. They came in, assembled everything beautifully, and asked where we’d like it to be placed. Then – disaster! The guys had been supplied with the wrong type of runners for the drawer on the coffee table. He demonstrated that the ones he had sort of worked, but were in no way perfect. We thought, “Oh here we go.” But the driver said, “Let me make a couple of calls and try to get this sorted, and maybe I can come back later on.”
Dreading that this would be a hideously long process that could take weeks, we simply agreed to let him get on with it. But within 10 minutes, he said that he could pick up new runners and be back within half an hour to fix the issue. In a flash, he was out of the door and on his way, and he returned in about 20 minutes with the proper runner. In the next few minutes, our gleaming coffee table was finished and polished, and then the guys packed up their stuff, cleaned up properly after themselves and bade us goodbye with a smile.
We were in shock. Never before have I seen a Dubai company put that much effort into ensuring that the customer gets exactly what he or she orders at the agreed time. But it was more than that; the mover men themselves seemed genuinely concerned that we get our flat furnished as we’d wanted it, and would do anything in their power to ensure it.
You’d expect this kind of service from a high-end brand, sure, but Pan Emirates is comparable to Ikea in price, and yet it provides a much, much better service. With Ikea, you’d better hope that those childhood years of playing with Lego and Meccano have paid off. With Pan Emirates, you just need to make sure you stick to the time you’ve agreed on, because the delivery men sure will. At this price point, that kind of service deserves serious recognition.
Pan Emirates Coffee table, black w/ glass panel and drawer – Dh495
Pan Emirates Small leather armchair – Dh295
Pan Emirates Rug, red, large – Dh545
Pan Emirates Rug, red, small – Dh179
Pan Emirates Mirror, black, oval-shaped – Dh195
IKEA shelf/TV unit, brown/black – Dh249
IKEA stand-up lamp, black – Dh39