Dubai Consumer Mirror

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Lost Value

In my head there is a little black book. In it, a list of things I won't do, people i avoid and brands or businesses that I never deal with. The reasons for this mental boycott may vary (character, service, quality, price, value…), result is one: stay away.

Today, Pars @ Mall of the Emirates was added to this list.

My wife and I felt like having Iranian food today. I told her that I know this place that has a branch in Mall of the Emirates. Pricey, for an Iranian restaurant, but food is great.

PARS is a relatively well established Iranian Restaurant in Dubai. It is positioned for the upper class Iranian food loves. Its almost double the price, but food is great. And though my all-time favorite is Kabab Ostadi Alkhaas, I used to frequent PARS (the one behind Bur Dubai Police Station) quite regularly.

So, back to our lunch today...

We ordered the mixed grill platter for 2. It was for about 120 Dirhams. It came with 4 skewers of kabab. The rice portion surprisingly little and was almost equal to the one they serve in a single platter for 1.

Mind you, the average price for a single platter in PARS ranges between Dhs 30 and Dhs 45 and they all come with TWO kabab skewers.

So, if we ordered 3 single platters instead, we would’ve ended up with more kabab, more rice, and may even cost us less then Dhs 120. Another strange thing i found was the price of a glass of youghurt drink (Laban Ayran). It is a common beverage that is basically made out of plain yoghurt and infused with bit of salt and garlic. Nothing fancy, yet at PARS, it was going away whooping Dhs 30 a pop.

Oh, and the food wasn't exceptional.

Many many restaurants in Dubai need to revisit their understanding of “value”. I admit that service and attention-to-detail has slightly got better across the board, due to crunching economic times I guess; but “value” around here is still missing in action, misguided and more businesses needs to bring it home.


  • It's part of the Dubai identity, most of the things here don't offer value for your money. Education, consumables, accommodation, furniture, clothes, you name it.

    Even Romano's food quality changed.

    You think it's because of the shop rent prices? They're saving on the portions and increasing the price to cover up for the rent I suppose.

    I wonder what these landlords do with all this money. There should be a giant sand fortress in the desert we don't know of.

    By Blogger KJ, at May 24, 2009 at 12:40 AM  

  • 30 dhs for laban ayran? what is it made of; laban al 3asfoor?

    By Blogger Dubai Jazz, at May 24, 2009 at 12:49 AM  

  • Totally agree with you. The concept of value is lost in Dubai. 'Value' does not need to mean cheap. But relatively speaking, good food in a 'nice' ambiance is a rip off in most outlets in Dubai. Now i have checked off Pars off MY list!!

    By Blogger Photos Dubai, at May 24, 2009 at 5:28 AM  

  • I am fed up of being ripped off especially at food outlets.

    We now either stick to the places we know or look at how busy other places are before we commit.

    WATCH THE BILL too. We had dinner at a new place on The Walk and were charged for the olives ecen though we did not order them. The waiter was most insistant that I accept two salads saying it was "tradition" he eventually took them away when I explained that I would not be paying for them.

    By Blogger DubaiMan, at May 25, 2009 at 8:59 AM  

  • KJ - i just think we should be more vocal in demanding quality

    DJ - i swear ya man. Pass by, pick up their menu (they have it at the entrance) and check it out!

    Photos Dubai - Its sad because i they serve good food, but I know i can get same (if not better) elsewhere.

    DubaiMan - totally agree with you. It does happen quite often and many people pay for things they never ordered without knowing it.

    By Blogger moryarti, at June 10, 2009 at 10:09 PM  

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