x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 24 January 2018

Personal shopping service does your bidding – at a price

Fancy having the rapper Coolio over to cook your Christmas meal in Abu Dhabi this year? No problem, Sara Khan, founder of By Appointment, can arrange this for you.

Sara Khan, the founder of By Appointment, fulfils any request sent her way by those lacking the time to do it themselves. Mona Al Marzooqi / The National
Sara Khan, the founder of By Appointment, fulfils any request sent her way by those lacking the time to do it themselves. Mona Al Marzooqi / The National

Flying in the American rapper Coolio to cook Christmas dinner at your Abu Dhabi home might seem odd to some, but for Sara Khan the founder of By Appointment – a bespoke personal shopping agency based in Abu Dhabi’s Emirates Palace – it’s all in a day’s work.

Ms Khan did in fact complete this request for a UAE resident, although she would not disclose for how much. From finding a designer fashion piece to a diamond-encrusted iPhone, Ms Khan fulfils any request sent her way by those lacking the time to do it themselves.

The “personal” bit of the shopping relates to the service because Ms Khan will bring the products, jewels, clothes or watches or a shop will be opened specifically for the client. It is for people who are time-scarce or whose persona prefers or needs absolute discretion.

“Let’s get it out of the way early,” says Ms Khan. “The price is Dh500 per hour, but we have a lot of tie-ups with brands and stores, so if we source from them the client doesn’t pay, the brand does. Obviously if someone wants something specific such as the Rolex Rainbow in yellow gold, which we recently sourced for a client, then we just add a commission.”

For fashion requests, Ms Khan also offers advice as to what colours and styles are appropriate.

With a background working in luxury brands, Ms Khan says she understands the needs of her customer.

“I have been here for 12 years and a lot of my clients are from the Abu Dhabi royal family. I used to work with Christian Dior and Van Cleef & Arpels; setting up the business was just an extension of my career,” she says

With style in her DNA Ms Khan also advises on interior design for homes and yachts.

“We don’t just do personal shopping, we are a concierge service. I work with my husband, who handles the entertainment side of the business – he can hook you up with film stars or singers. He has organised a private party with Beyoncé and one with Rihanna. If you want to meet Justin Timberlake we sort it,” she adds.

I think Beyoncé will cost more than Dh500 an hour though.

ascott@thenational.ae

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