I was excited to hear that Sugar Nail Salon opened a location in Khalifa City A. It’s located on 16th street behind La Brioche restaurant. This weekend I popped in for service. Here’s how it went…
Atmosphere. The salon is crisp and new. When I stepped into the entryway I was jolted by stark, white walls bearing floral, neon pink appliqués. I felt charged by the fluorescent lights and the brightness of the space. The nail care area was white as well; white walls, white platforms, white seating, white floors…all white everything with a neon green accent wall. This decor created a sense of high energy as opposed to the zen atmosphere of most salons.
There were two flat screen Televisions in the salon. I noticed a program playing but there wasn’t any sound. One of the technicians asked if I would like headphones to listen to the TV. Initially, I said yes. This was a new concept for me in a nail salon but I could certainly see the value in it. Guests would be able to customize their experience more by choosing to have the television as background noise or not. When the “runner”, whom my technician told to get me headphones, pulled a headset out of a cabinet, I almost jumped completely out of my skin. The headset was larger than a pair of Beats by Dre and they were used by any and everybody who visited the salon. I am not one for sharing personal equipment. No thanks. I kindly retracted my, “yes” and declined.
Products. The salon was well stocked with OPI and Gelish color choices; Not just the old stuff either. The latest OPI collaboration line with Mariah Carey was on display. I chose a color called “Mint of Spring” from the spring collection of Gelish.
Service. I hopped in my car at 7:30 pm headed towards Sugar. I called the salon from the car and asked if they took walk-ins. The receptionist explained that they do take walk-ins but prefer appointments. I asked if there were any openings within the next 20 minutes and told her that I was currently en route. She kindly took my name and mobile number and said they would be expecting me. When I arrived, there were two ladies ready to start my manicure and pedicure right away. Thy were both patient as I made my color selections and clarified things about the services listed in the brochure.
They escorted me to the station where I would be receiving my services. As I stepped up onto the platform to take a seat, I moved a long, dark hair out of the way. Once I was seated, I began removing my shoes to place my feet in the pedicure bowl. When I looked down I saw toenail clippings in the bowl. Immediately, I pointed it out to the pedicurist and asked if the station was going to be cleaned. She responded affirmitively and began cleaning the pedicure bowl in my presence. This was not the ideal way to begin a service that’s intended to be relaxing and personal. I felt as if I was being immersed in the rubbish of someone else’s spa day. Once the area was clean and hygienic, the service commenced.
Both nail technicians were pleasant and quiet. There wasn’t any conversation and I preferred the peace of it all. As fate would have it there was not an OPI color close to the hue of the gel color I had selected for my fingers. When we tried the closest color available we all agreed that it was not a good look. The manicurist then suggested to te pedicurist to mix two colors. My toes were polished with two coats of “Greenwich Village“and one top coat of “Gargantuan Green Grape“. The resulting color was exactly what I had in mind.
I went home pleased with the overall experience in the salon. However, the very next morning (on my son’s first birthday as I was preparing to host guests) my thumbnail on my right hand chipped and broke. This was NOT suppose to happen with an expensive gel manicure. I immediately tweeted @sugarurbannails about my catastrophe and utter disappointment. *crickets* I received no reply. A day later, I saw a tweet from @sugarurbannails with a link to a review done by a well known fashion blogger in Dubai. When I read the blog and saw the pictures two things were clear; 1) this review was “staged”. The staff knew she was media and so, they served her wine and cheese. 2) Sugar only cares to address positive feedback. Consequently, I must note this establishment as having poor digital customer service. If you’re not standing in front of them ready to tender dirhams, they don’t care. When I tweeted them, they had an opportunity to correct the problem and turn my frown upside down. Instead, I was ignored and left to form a less than flattering opinion of their service.
Now, the big question…will I go back? Yes. The experience wasn’t entirely bad and I do believe in second chances. Stay tuned to see if they redeem themselves.
This post was originally written on April 29, 2013 but I didn’t publish it. I returned to Sugar Nails on July 1, 2013 and the service was still great. Moreover, my gel nails lasted well over 2 weeks with no chips or peeling. Check out my bright yellow nails below.