Dubai: When was the last time your phone broke or the blender in the kitchen broke and you immediately thought about buying a new one? While replacements can be quick with online shopping now the norm, many UAE residents still seem keen on getting their originals repaired.
Walk down the lanes of any popular market in the UAE and you’re sure to find small repair shops where you can get your everyday items fixed – phones, laptops, kitchen utensils, shoes and even luxury car keys.
“In fact, people prefer to fix things rather than replace them. I’m a key maker and I program remotes and key fobs. Customers come to me and ask me to fix their old keys,” said Irfan Shahid, 34, in Dubai Uncle’s shop job, he told Gulf News.
“I could easily give them a new key, but they want the original key restored. I have been in the field for almost 10 years and I see an increase in demand for repair work. Last month, I had a customer bring With the keys of his luxury car, I just had to change the box and it cost Dh900. A new key for that car is worth at least Dh9,000,” he added.
I had a customer last month with his luxury car keys and it cost me Dh900 just to change the box. A new key to that car is worth at least Dh9,000.
– Irfan Shahid, owner
Many shopkeepers also spoke of customers willing to pay more than the phone is worth to have it repaired simply because it has years of memory in it.
Haseeb Zaman, 21, who repairs mobile phones and laptops at a shop in Dubai, said: “People are usually possessive and protective of their data. They may have had their mobile phone for years and it may be worth Dh500 now, but they are willing to Spend Dh600 or Dh700 just to keep the data. Rich or poor, their data is the most valuable.”
When it comes to laptops and desktops, Zaman said people contact repair shops for slightly different reasons.
“Many people come to us to upgrade their laptops and increase their speed. We repair and upgrade all kinds of laptops and they are able to enjoy faster speeds on their old machines instead of spending thousands of dirhams on new ones,” he said explain.
They may have had their phone for years and it may be worth Dh500 now, but they are willing to spend Dh600 or Dh700 on it just to keep the data. Rich or poor, their data is the most valuable.
– Haseeb Zaman, owner
Repair designer shoes
Abdul Halim, 33, also works at a shop in Dubai, specializing in repairing leather goods such as shoes and belts, as well as repairing suitcases and luggage.
“Some days we have fewer clients, other days I can get 20 clients. People might get a pair of shoes worth Dh30, or even bring a pair of shoes worth Dh3,000 or Dh4,000. Occasionally I might come across A customer brings shoes worth Dh5,000. Speaking of suitcases, there are also very expensive items, and the price of the suitcase is Dh50,000. It may need minor repairs, so they brought it here. For suitcases, the most A common request is to fix zippers or wheels,” Abdul Haleem said.
Mohammed Irfan, another shop owner who has been in the electronics repair business for more than 20 years, said that while the lower cost of electronics has had an effect over the years, people will still buy it if the repair costs far less than new equipment. come to him.
“We repair all kinds of electronics – microwaves, washing machines or kitchen appliances. But these days, we get the most requests for split air conditioners and washing machines. Also, restaurant equipment is often expensive, so managers prefer to fix it. We Having been in the business for 20 years, we always try to make sure it gets fixed. Because let’s be honest, if a customer has the same problem again, he or she won’t pay us to fix it next time,” he said.
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When you walk around a market with many repair shops like Satwa in Dubai or Rolla in Sharjah, the customers seem to come from different backgrounds. People of all nationalities and income groups bring items large and small to see if they can keep using their sewing machines or shoes.
Makeup artist Muhammad Awais, 31, has a pair of these shoes, which come in handy.
“I always keep these sneakers in my car…it’s perfect to take out if I decide to go for a walk at the end of the day, or if I suddenly have to go somewhere important in my sandals After a few years the soles started cracking from the sides. I saw a cobbler in a repair shop in Bur Dubai. I bought the shoes for 250 dirhams and had them fixed for 15 dirhams , and they’re still in my car,” he said.
Another loyal customer of Satwa Repair Shop is Muhammad Nadeem, 43, who often comes to fix broken mobile phone and tablet screens.
“My phone screen broke twice before and I came to fix it. If I get a new one, it will cost Dh400 or Dh500. It costs about Dh80 or Dh90,” he said.
My phone screen broke twice before and I came here to fix it. If I get a new one, it will cost Dh400 or Dh500. This costs about Dh80 or Dh90.
– Muhammad Nadeem, a regular customer at the repair shop
long term relationship
But it’s not just about saving money, the shop owners interviewed by Gulf News also talked about the need for their service to be top-notch or they wouldn’t be able to continue to prosper over the years.
Another shop owner who repairs watches, Muhammad Khursheed, said he has been doing the job for 40 years, starting when he was 11. Today, he has individual clients as well as shops from other parts of Dubai approaching him to repair watches worth hundreds of thousands of dirhams.
“Any watch, expensive or not… they come here to fix it. If you take a watch worth Dhs1 million to a manufacturing company, they will charge you Dhs20,000 or more. Here, you It can be repaired for Dh2,000 to Dh3,000,” Khursheed said.
Once they’re here, they’re not going anywhere else.
— Mohammad Qurshid
Originally from Chishtiyan, a small town in Pakistan’s Punjab province, he said watch repairing is a family business, which he learned from his uncle as a child. Asked if repairing a high-end watch was any different than a more affordable watch, he said: “They all have the same mechanism. It’s like when you learn how to drive a car … when you learn, you might drive a car.” An ordinary car, but you can drive a luxury car with the same knowledge. We repair all kinds of watches. I once had a client who was in the watch business. He came to me with three watches. He was very interested in my work So satisfied, he’s brought in another 400 watches over the years for repairs. Once they’re here, they don’t go anywhere else,” he said.