Wednesday

The search for big electrical goods.

We looked and we searched and found that everything, price and model wise, were much of a muchness at least in the bigger commercial stores.



So for expediency we ended up getting everything from the same shop, which in this case was Plugins in Marina mall. They stock pretty much everything, Sony Bravia TV's, home theatre stuff (they love cranking up the volume in the "high end" theatre section), Toshiba, Whirlpool, Westinghouse, Playstations, Wii.. High-mid range stuff to cheapy land.

Seriously, we got stacks of gear there, the laptop I am typing this into, the refrigerator, the washing machine (more on the installation of the washing machine later)

TV and DVD player.. the shop isn't huge, but don't let that put you off.

Now - all the staff are particularly helpful, and seem pretty honest. Right down to being upfront about their delivery schedule, (which for our area was Monday and Wednesday), and were really knowledgeable about the products. This was refreshing as we had heard horror stories about months of waiting, no-shows, and incorrectly delivered items along with that feeling you get when you ask someone about a product and they answer in a manner that suggests "If you say this TV is a pumpkin sir, then it's a pumpkin... did you want a pumpkin? let me show you another pumpkin in black".

Nope, the staff were great, but I would suggest that if you don't like being swarmed on by bored sales assistants (I know it's their job but really, do they have to follow so closely?) maybe consider going when it's busier, like in the evening. Same amount of staff, but they are usually busy with other folk... all you need for them to focus their attention on your good self is to quietly say to one of them "I would like to buy "insert product here" can you help me?" if that doesn't work try "I have too much money and not enough television/washing machine".

Just don't try nudity.

You can try your chances with them if you have your haggling shoes on - but in this situation, they do have the upper hand - particularly if you went in looking like we did.

I can't say for sure, but if you were to look up "How to look like the newest and freshest ex-pat within the entire emirate of Abu Dhabi" you may find a photo of myself and the good lady, taken on that day, staring back at you, looking like deer in a headlight.

I say that they had the upper hand, because while the competition for the expat market is fierce, they know that many times the companies pay for relocation/setup, AND that for the most part time is of the essence - we just want to get things bought and delivered. I am not saying you won't get a discount or an upgrade, just don't expect to halve the ticket price of an item is all.

Delivery.
It wasn't until everything was signed and paid for that we found out that there would be "Some deliveries" rather than "a delivery". Apparently Plugins is a kind of multi brand market stall, and each item is delivered from a different warehouse, OR a whole other retailer in some cases. Don't let this concern you, it seems that that is quite a regular thing, just keep in mind that no matter where it comes from it will still be the product you bought and will still carry with it all warranties etc.

The other good thing about Abu Dhabi, is that while sometimes the practices make you wonder a bit, there is little to no chance that the items are ever ..ummm dodgy... if you get my meaning. Crime here is almost nil. I know it may seem a little like organised chaos, but just accept that it works.. don't concern yourself with how.

Cheat Sheet
We used Plugins at Marina Mall, again there are other stores, but that is who we ended up using.
Take a look at their website:
www.pluginselectronix.com which will give you a feel for some of the prices... but I recommend you make the trip in to the shop itself.
Marina Mall's website is kinda typical. 5th biggest mall in the UAE an no working site LOL
www.marinamall.ae
It's near the breakwater, any bus with 'Breakwater' as a destination will get you there.
All cab drivers - even the crap ones - know where and what it is. If yours doesn't, get out and find another cab - that guy is a danger to himself and others. (not really... but still...)

Or if you are driving, I've jammed a map below to show you where Marina mall is.

View Map

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Andrew Webber is a writer, living in Abu Dhabi with his wife, two cats and two dogs.

His first book "Erasure" was published in June 2012 and was followed in 2013 by the Prequel to Erasure, "Broken".

In 2016 Erasure was a prize winner in the Montegrappa Writing Prize - part of the Emirates Airlines Festival of Literature.

For more information click the "Erasure" book cover on the left side of this site, or simply go to www.athwebber.com

Thanks for visiting.