Image Credit: Stefan Lindeque | Senior Photographer - Gulf News

Nisha Jain recalls coming to Dubai in 2010. She was just married, and her new husband delighted in showing off the incredible sights of her new country.

The couple were moving into an empty apartment and desperately in need of furniture to make their house a home – so her husband suggested a trip to IKEA. It was Nisha’s first-ever time stepping foot in the Swedish home furnishing brand.

“I was spellbound by the size of the store at Festival City,” she says. “Besides furniture, I found so many things I could use to set up our home in Dubai. IKEA was my love at first sight. Since that day it has been my go-to place for practically anything that I need for my home.”

It was just these kind of stories that IKEA has been on the hunt for since launching a special campaign to celebrate an incredible 30 years in the region. Its aim: to find the most devoted shoppers – the ones who have stuck with IKEA through their lives and had great memories to share.

After a flood of people wrote into Gulf News, Nisha’s heartfelt honesty made her submission jump out. That’s why she scooped one of the Dh1,000 voucher prizes, which she can now splash in-store stocking up on new items from her favourite shop.

Over the past eleven years, Nisha and her family have moved several times to new apartments, and she says the portability of IKEA furniture has been a lifesaver.

“Items are easily disassembled while moving, causing little to no damage in transit – this has meant saving a lot of money and having the comfort of the same furniture over the years,” she explains.

Image Credit: Stefan Lindeque | Senior Photographer - Gulf News

So, who is the best at putting IKEA furniture together in her house?

“My husband is the all-practical guy, and he is all gung-ho about IKEA – its designs, its portability. Also, every time he gets to boast about how he assembled the item in record time,” she says.

When asked to choose a favourite IKEA piece of furniture she says it’s tough because they have been in her family’s lives for so long and have endless memories attached to them.

“If I had to pick one, I would pick the white Kallax shelving unit with eight blocks as my favourite simply because it has evolved for us over time,” says Nisha.

“At one time it served as the temporary seating unit; we had placed it lying down with various things in the compartments and a blanket on top of it to act as a comfort seating. This was right after we had moved, and the sofa was yet to come. The kids always had a great time sitting and playing on it.

“As a shelving unit the contents have changed over the years. It started off holding our photo frames and then slowly became more functional. At one moment, it became an open cabinet for all kitchen items including kitchen appliances and tall containers. Currently, it is a cabinet for school and office stuff.”

Image Credit: Stefan Lindeque | Senior Photographer - Gulf News

Nisha and her family live in Discovery Gardens, so she was understandably thrilled when an IKEA store opened in Jebel Ali.

“It’s easier to go there often and every time I find something new and interesting to add to my house,” she says. “And kids just love IKEA. Every section they visit, it’s difficult to pull them out and take them to another. They want us to buy them their own cute little furniture – wardrobes, chairs, tables, curtains.”

So, what was the last buy from IKEA and why?

“The last buy was plastic cutlery, plates and tumblers for the kids,” explains Nisha. “We are planning to move into another apartment and even considering an upgrade to a two-bedroom apartment, so right now there’s a complete hold on furniture buying.

Image Credit: Antonin Kelian Kallouche | Photographer - Gulf News

“But a visit to IKEA is always good, so we went and picked up things for the kids. Having their own colourful cutlery and plates made them more enthusiastic about eating, which was fantastic.”

The lucky winner plans to spend her Dh1,000 voucher on a work desk for her husband and smaller study table and chair for the kids.

“A complete new set of four chairs is also on the list as the old ones are ready to retire. I also have my eyes on a couple of items for the kitchen besides a new set of curtains.”

Looks like it’s a good job she won!