Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Furniture Expo in Jeddah - WTF?

For a few days now there have been several signs in Jeddah advertising the upcoming (and I quote) "International Furniture Exhibition". Great, I thought. Although my new apartment is already furnished with the basics, I still had an extra room that I'm planning on working on at a later date. My wife is also something of an amateur decor designer and has a gazillion and one design magazines, so we were both hyped about this.

So taking a few hours off of our busy schedule (heh heh) we hopped over to the JIEC, and for a moment I thought we had made a mistake about the dates. The grounds were uncharacteristically empty. Anyone who has been to the JIEC during their annual motor shows and computer shows knows how jam packed the place can get. Now, for the first time in living memory, I managed to find parking space inside the exhibition center. Crazy, I know. Feeling more than a little worried, I stepped into the expo center with my wife.

My worries were substantiated.

There was a grand total of maybe five furniture related shops inside. Tops. One of them was Syrian, so I guess the "international" bit of the name was right. The rest? Jewellery, textiles, nuts and spices, stuff you find in your usual run-of-the-mill souq.

Jeddah Ghair indeed.