UAE's 10 craziest private concierge requests

From tigers to kangaroos, these are some of the most unusual requests made in the emirates.

May 8, 2016

When the world’s richest people are asked what is the most precious asset that their substantial wealth affords them, the common answer is ‘time’.

As mortal beings time is surely the most sought-after commodity, and while all the money in the world cannot buy you extra days, it can help you to manage it better. Or rather, have someone else manage it for you.

Concierge companies are specialists at managing the time of their money-rich clients, and in the Middle East, the Quintessentially Group does it better than most.

We’ve touched before on the crazy world of private concierge services in the region. But now, thanks to Quintessentially’s UAE office, we have 10 of the most unusual and extravagant requests from the emirates.

So, without further ado…

1. Pub quiz
A member called whilst in a trivia quiz to find the answer to one of the questions “how many people are employed by Google”. Unusual and perhaps not ethical since this was a quiz but a simple Google search yielded the results for our member and was emailed to them rather quickly. We didn’t find out if they won.

2. 15 minutes of fame
Finding a copy of an old TV commercial which a member had once appeared in over 15 years ago. All the Lifestyle Manager had to go on was the name of the song featured in the commercial and an approximate year. The solution to this started with Google to search extensively for whom the commercial was associated with. Then the slow process of tracking down through the brand’s marketing team to find the archive. Perseverance made for a successful delivery of the copy on USB to the member

3. Transferring 250 cows from London to Sri Lanka
The first task in hand was to understand the deadline and specifics of the breed. A few calls to livestock suppliers later and a quotation of the livestock was agreed upon. The hardest part was the logistics of the transport arrangements.

Luckily livestock breeders are well versed in the permits and preparations for this, so Quintessentially just ensured that all parties ere kept informed and the paperwork flowing to ensure the safe delivery of the cargo.

4. Skippy and friends
Supplying a kangaroo and a koala for an Australian holiday to jump with the kids on a trampoline in the garden of their holiday home. The difficulty with this request was that typical sources of animals such as zoo and wildlife sanctuaries require written permissions which are almost impossible to get for the release of the animals. So this required lots of calls to the most unusual of sources. 

A private owner was found who was willing to oblige our member and lend his pets. The kangaroo was not too pleased with the trampoline idea but delighted the children in the garden.

5. Snow help
A member losing their car keys in the snow whilst on holiday in Scotland. It might seem daunting to assist from so far away but we pride ourselves on staying calm and thinking creatively. A team member on holiday from the London office was staying not far away from the member’s location and was able to find a metal detector belonging to his father to send over. Thankfully, the keys were found.

6. A tiger guest
Sourcing a tiger to rent for a private party. Animal requests are unusual but do come up regularly. Again zoos and sanctuaries are not always the best source. We have another member who owns more than one tiger and like so many of our members was extremely obliging to assist with a loan for the event.

7. Hangover ink
Sourcing sticker tattoos exactly like the ones in The Hangover movie for the same day. Another Dubai blessing is the innovation and entrepreneurial nature of the city. There are many manufacturers here and suppliers of the unusual. With a picture of the tattoos in question, Dragon Mart yielded what we needed. It took about four hours of searching though.

8. MBA assistance 
Helping with MBA coursework. A member wanted us to do their homework and while this is again unusual it is not the only instance of this request. The lifestyle manager asked for the coursework title and details to be sent to the office and then set about researching the subject field sending the articles and notes found. We even contacted a very well respected banker to ask for quotes to use. Legally we cannot write it but the member was happy with the extra help.

9. Hiring the Egyptian pyramids
With just three days’ notice for a private engagement party, with 400 guests, a horse-drawn carriage, an opera singer, and a AED 43 million diamond ring. Fortunately she said yes.

10. Finding a long lost father
These are the requests that make it all worthwhile. A member wanted us to help their best friend who had lost contact with their father. Supplied with only a photograph and a vague address the team contacted the Thailand office.

They started a trail of calling landlords of the address he had lived at until an eventual success. He was extremely surprised, overwhelmed and happy.