Monday, April 12, 2010

Where Does Suburban Shop?

By popular request, a few Google earth snapshots of some of my favorite places for shopping in Muscat. The images are are shrunk, to see them full size right click and select "Open in New Tab"

To stone's dismay, I don't always shop at bargain basement places, I have hideously expensive taste occasionally, so to cover those issues I'll do a follow up series on where I go to shop when I want to spend insane amounts of Stone's money on really unique or fancy stuff. But for today, here are some suggestions for the cheepskate in all of us.

First Off, AdLink Printing and Swag. Adlink is Managed and Owned by my friend Aslam. They make pretty much anything you can think of. Tire covers, custom stickers for your car, screen printed shirts, Exhibition stands, and everything else under the sun. Aslam has flawlessly executed some unique / criminally insane ideas of mine, and done it all on time, every time. AdLink has grown into a large business now, dealing mainly with corporate customers, so if you don't have a bulk order, expect to pay a premium.

Aslam will get a post all his own here soon, as his story of business success here is a fantastic one, and he's a nice guy to boot.

Next off, and down the street from AdLink, is Daiso, the Japanese 600 bz store. I went there for the first time this week and was totaly amazed by the stuff they have for sale. It's way better than the other 600 BZ stores in town. They have an exceptional collection of crockery and gardening supplies as well as a good hardware corner, and about a billion other things you will wonder how you ever lived without. Map Below.

Next up is the Designer Factory Seconds shop, and Sadiq the Jeweler. The factory second's shop answers the question "why does the girl who is bagging my groceries have 3 Louis Vuitton bags, when I can't afford one?" The answer is because her bags are fake.

Go here for a great selection of excellent (and really high quality) fake and factory second clothes, bags, and jackets. It's relatively expensive, but the stuff in the store is really high quality.

Also nearby is Sadiq the Jeweler, who has been holding court for 30 years in the same small unmarked storefront near the wadi. He has a great selection of loose stones, and a no Bullshit attitude. If you go jewelry shopping because you like to have your ass kissed, go elsewhere, if you go jewelery shopping because you want to try your hand at designing something yourself, of having a custom piece made out of old jewelry, Sadiq is your man. His prices are good, and the workmanship is of a pretty high quality. He made my engagement ring and our wedding bands based on rough sketches and verbal descriptions of what I wanted, and we couldn't be happier.
Map Below.

For those of you who own Toyotas or Lexus and are tired of the useless, inbred, monopolistic, and evil twats at Bahwan Toyota, be sure to buy all your spare parts from Tariq Al Kiyumi Genuine Toyota Parts. He's in Wadi Kabir, with other locations scheduled for opening soon. He's Also my brother, and a genuinely nice guy. Map Below

I buy 90% of my clothes from SANA in Wadi Kabir. The prices are really really fantastic, and the selection changes weekly. I have, on one occasion, worn a SANA outfit down the catwalk at a fashion show because the organiser liked my own outfit so much. For real, there are some real gems there.

The Key with SANA is to go often, and take chances. Some of my favorite, and most complemented pieces have come from there and they are invariably the ones that I wasn't sure about purchasing at the time. The bras and panties section often has slightly imperfect or factory second Victoria's Secret and other designer brands, as well as the house brand. There is a small home-wares section, and an extensive children's section, though the prices for the kid's stuff isn't as spectacular. Do try everything on, as with some pieces, the sizing or cut is just totally wrong, no matter how good it looks on the hanger. Map Below.

All of our cars are insured through the 3 guys who operate out of a battered porta-cabin in a forgotten corner of Qurm. They work mostly with Oman United Insurance, but broker with all the big companies. I LOVE these guys, I love them so much that we have discussed all going on holiday together. For real. They are efficient, no bullshit, full of good humor, and tell a wicked joke. They also get me some astonishingly good rates on the insurance for the cars.

The system is as follows: I go in with my license and the mulkiya for the car, and leave it with them for a few days. I stop back by later in the week and they tell me what the best deal they could get is. Occasionally if I forget to come back, they call me or drop by my house. We have a good relationship, and a few year's worth of trust, so when they get a good price, they usually take out the policy straight away and don't need to consult me. Whenever I get around to it, I stop back by the office, and pay them, and pick up the insurance policy.

They are really sweet, kind guys, who know me and my daughter by name. Go see them, and be nice, they are No Bullshit Dudes. Map Below.

So, In summary, I am a Cheepskate, who can't stand groveling salesman. Enjoy the deals.


The Restless Quill said...

Pictures of the Daiso stuff and your engagement rings would haev been nice. But these are places I've never heard about ... Now I know what I am doing next weekend :)

Undercover Dragon said...

Awesome post. Ms Dragon is off too!

(er, did you HAVE to mention the great jewelery store...?)


Amber said...

Diaso is great and you can find some really crazy stuff there. I had NO IDEA there was one in Muscat - I had to discover it in Doha. Sigh...if I had only know...

And SANA...if I had only known....

Now...when you move to Houston...I seriously want you to post a picture of the woman who is such a can seasonally walk down a catwalk in your own ensemble AND you know more about cars than most professional drivers AND you wore some awesome boots before they fell apart? Your husband has a dream wife! ok...well...I know you won't actually post one...but I had to put my request in. I always think "have I ever seen Suburban around muscat and not known?"

Anonymous said...

can u post the contact number for your really awesome insurance guys please?

Delirious in the Desert said...

You rock!!! Thanks for the handy hints and tips Suburban :)

Suburban said...

TRQ, Maybe I'll post them sometime!

UD, Saddiq is a costly habit. Just wait until I tip her off to the expensive places.

Amber, What sweet things to say! I'll friend you on facebook, we have some friends in common.

Anon, I only have thier personal mobile numbers, so you'll have to stop in and speak to them in person, which is much nicer anyway.

DD, THanks!

Anonymous said...

Since your map for the Daiso store isn't up, I will assume that it is located Opposite Sultan Qaboos Mosque Moosa Abdul Rahman Building Next To Khalijana Super Market Ruwi, as per their website.

The Darling Bud said...

Another helpful post! Super! I now know a lot about the little details of Muscat even before I arrive! It sure reduces my 'moving' stress when I read these kinda posts!

Thanks, Suburban!

Trance said...

Daiso is in the same road as the Bader Al Saama in Ruwi. The Designer Factory is in the so-called Dhofar Building in Ruwi next to KM Trading and has the nicest little outdoor coffee shoop/Shawarma place and one of my friends used to be a goldsmith for Sidiq the Jeweler. Maybe some of your pieces were made by him. Sri Lankan dude. Wow... and funnily enough we might know each other. There is only one lady in that I know in Oman who likes cars like you do... hmmmm

Um Sarah said...

Hi Other Oman,

Know Daiso, but wondering where Sadiq the jeweller is? Can't see any landmarks on that map....thanks for the useful info.

Anonymous said...

hi, the other day i was trying to look for the exact location of that Factory Seconds shop you mentioned in ruwi but cant find it,can you pls give me the exact location or if there a more identifiable building near the place?i was even thinking that the shop you mentioned was closed cuz i couldnt find even the shops name on that area. thanks hope to hear from you soon

Anonymous said...

Having also had trouble finding where Daizo was I finally realised that the Google Earth image is UPSIDE DOWN !!

Why would you do that?