PHOTOS: A close 'watch' on the next-door shop in Dubai

PHOTOS: A close watch on the next-door shop in Dubai
FIX AND GO... This small shop by Abdul Rehman in Al Mina Bazaar has served countless customers for years.

Dubai - "I think it's the nostalgia that keeps people wanting to have something on their wrist."



by

Angel Tesorero

Published: Sat 22 Oct 2016, 12:00 AM

Last updated: Sun 23 Oct 2016, 8:50 AM

Dubai boasts of so many malls where you can find anything from luxury to latest trends and novelty items. But when it comes to getting your shoes or watch repaired; or getting a duplicate for your keys, you still can go to your 'ever-reliable-friendly-neighbourhood repair shop'.
One such shop is Irshad Watch Repairing, a three-foot wide by 12-foot long quaint shop in Meena Bazaar, along Al Fahidi Street in Bur Dubai. Indian expat Mohammed Irshad Hussain, 48, originally from Mumbai, has been servicing his loyal customers there for almost three decades.
"They come here to get their precious watches repaired," Irshad told Khaleej Times. "Of course, they can just buy a new one, but most of the watches I repair are considered as heirlooms - something they get from their father or mother.
"I think it's the nostalgia that keeps people wanting to have something on their wrist," added Irshad, who came to Dubai in 1987 to help at his father's shop."
As a watch repairman, Irshad said: "Honesty is our first policy. Fees we charge are also minimal - from Dh10 to Dh50 - depending on the kind of repair."
Irshad said there is not a single day that he is not busy repairing watches and through his honest job, he was able to send his 18-year old son to a university in India to study mechanical engineering.
Irshad learned the trade from his father who used to work at Rivoli and Al Fardan Jewellery & Watches. His father passed away six years ago and he is now in charge of the shop which is one of the oldest shops in the Mina Bazaar area.
There are also several shops in Satwa that cater to repairing watches, bags, shoes and making duplicate keys. A street from the Satwa round-about going to the inner sanctum of the populous area is filled with such shops.
One shop Khaleej Times visited has a name that is misleading - Digital Key Lock Repairing - since everything is done the old-school way: By the strength of one's hand. But it is precisely the personal touch that has kept their business flourishing.
"Customers trust us. They talk to us and give us specific instructions," said Pakistani expat Mohammed Server, 51, from Punjab, who is one of the old-timers in the Satwa area.
"I have repaired thousands of pairs of shoes in a span of three decades and so far no one has felt dissatisfied with my services," Server proudly said.
He added: "When you go to the mall or big repair shops, people who serve you always look busy. Here, we talk to our customers and make them feel comfortable."
(Photos by Dhes Handumon)
angel@khaleejtimes.com

IF THE SHOE FITS... Making customers feel comfortable is best customer service, according to Mohammed Server.
IF THE SHOE FITS... Making customers feel comfortable is best customer service, according to Mohammed Server.
PATIENCE AND PRECISION ... These values are vital to being a repairman, according to Pakistani expat Haleem Ullah.
PATIENCE AND PRECISION ... These values are vital to being a repairman, according to Pakistani expat Haleem Ullah.
KEY SKILLS... Handyman like Aamir Khan has to have steady hands to make an exact duplicate of a key.
KEY SKILLS... Handyman like Aamir Khan has to have steady hands to make an exact duplicate of a key.
WATCH-FUL EYES... A customer giving specific instructions to Irfan Shahid how he wants his watch repaired.
WATCH-FUL EYES... A customer giving specific instructions to Irfan Shahid how he wants his watch repaired.
DO-IT-ALL HANDYMAN... This 2-metre by 8-metre shop in Satwa repairs everything from watches, bags, shoes and making duplicate keys.
DO-IT-ALL HANDYMAN... This 2-metre by 8-metre shop in Satwa repairs everything from watches, bags, shoes and making duplicate keys.
BLUE SUEDE SHOES... Footwear that comes in different colours and sizes can be fixed by shoemaker Mohammed Din at his shop.
BLUE SUEDE SHOES... Footwear that comes in different colours and sizes can be fixed by shoemaker Mohammed Din at his shop.
UNDER CLOSE WATCH... Most of the watches I repair are heirlooms, says Mohammed Irshad Hussain.
UNDER CLOSE WATCH... Most of the watches I repair are heirlooms, says Mohammed Irshad Hussain.
FIX AND GO... This small shop by Abdul Rehman in  Meena Bazaar has served countless customers for years.
FIX AND GO... This small shop by Abdul Rehman in Meena Bazaar has served countless customers for years.

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