Dubai is known for flying in the best talent from around the world to run its restaurants, hair salons and hotels – but Dubai-based German entrepreneur David Schuller has gone a step further to make sure the city’s pets are just as well cared for as their owners. The owner of Dubai’s new Pets in the City grooming parlour in Jumeirah Lakes Towers decided to take matters into his own hands after being consistently disappointed with the quality of care that Tyson, his four-year-old Maltese, had been receiving from Dubai’s groomers.
‘When you consider your dog as your child, taking him to a groomer who has only been doing the job for one or two years is scary,’ he explains, noting that not only would the job be done to a lower standard than he found acceptable, but it also came with an alarming price tag. ‘In Dubai you will often pay Dhs250 for a little cut for a small breed, where the same service would cost you around Dhs60 in Germany or England,’ he explains.
But price wasn’t his only motivation to open a new pet salon. There was also the two-and-a-half-week wait for an appointment, which, as a German with a deep appreciation for efficiency, he couldn’t abide. Finally, with the quality of service failing to live up to the cost, he decided to fly in an expert. ‘My groomer, Hany Farouk Mohamed, is a certified groomer from New York,’ Schuller explains. ‘When pets come in, he doesn’t just stand behind the counter and take the dog, directing the owner to the cashier. He will have a one-to-one meeting to make suggestions and discuss with the client what should be done.’
Schuller describes the parlour as being like a spa for pets, with a ‘zen-like’ atmosphere; in keeping with this, each dog and cat that comes in for grooming will receive a massage to help them relax. ‘They hear the spa music – in the evening we dim the lighting a little and light candles with calming aromas. It may sound funny, but we go to spas as humans, and we should also create a nice environment for our loved ones,’ he concludes.
The approach seems to work: he notes that one of the dogs currently using the spa’s daycare facility is so relaxed in the environment that he’s fallen asleep. ‘We have a play area and soft cushioning on the floor so they don’t have to sit on stone, like in other shops. There are soft pillows and bed areas – that’s the way it is here.’ He also notes that the venue only has four kennels, to ensure the parlour remains a calming place for pets to visit.
It’s certainly a different sort of place, designed to be a far cry from the industrial, mass-grooming stands you’ll find around town. We’re only left wondering about one thing – how long until their canine and feline catering is taken care of by Heston Blumenthal?
A full groom for dogs and cats, including teeth brushing, starts at Dhs160 until Tuesday July 31. Open Sat-Sun, Tue-Thu 8.30am-8.30pm, Fri and Mon 2pm-8pm. Pets in the City, Shop 3, Lake Terrace, Jumeirah Lakes Towers, www.petsinthecity.me (04 458 0091).
More pet fun
Paws Pet Planet’s off-leash play park is set across 1,850 sq m, with indoor and outdoor areas, splash pools, bridges, tunnels and obstacles guaranteed to ensure pets get the exercise they need. According to the management’s philosophy ‘a well-exercised dog is a well-behaved dog’. All dogs must be up to date with their vaccinations, including kennel cough, and must pass a temperament assessment at the facility before attending the park.
Dhs50 for one dog, Dhs30 for each additional dog. Open Fri-Sat 8.30am-6pm. Dubai Investment Park (04 884 8894).
Dubai Pug Club
Dedicated pug owners can apply to become members of this club, which meets regularly to socialise with their pugs and celebrate birthdays and seasonal festivities. They also discuss common pug concerns and provide owners with the opportunity to have their pug-related questions answered by Dr Mehdi Mzabi from the Al Barsha Veterinary Clinic.
Dhs150 annual membership. firstname.lastname@example.org, www.dubaipugclub.com.