Dubai's Desperate Housewife

Trials and traumas of a full-time mum in Dubai

Dolce et Karama – Part II

with 2 comments

My blog today relates to this news story in 7 Days today: Half a Million Fakes Bagged.

It’s been a year since I last paid a visit to Karama’s fake-handbag shops. But, a while ago, a discerning friend told me about a great bag she’d bought there and, as I found myself in the area, I thought I’d park for an hour and take a quick look around.

I don’t believe in buying fake bags, and I don’t own any (anymore) but, with the Jimmy Choo I drool over costing more than Dhs 8,000 (£1,450), sometimes it’s easy to be sucked into the temptation to get a bag that looks almost as good for a tenth of the price.

What I found in Karama was a tale of woe. The once-bustling shops are now devoid of the traditional big-name brands such as Chanel, Gucci, Prada, Louis Vuitton, Fendi, Dior. The salesmen are furtive; a police raid the day before had seized much of the stock – the famous “secret” back rooms and attics are now sealed off (one showed me damage where police officers had tried to prize open the seal), and the managers were fined Dhs 10,000 each (“Were the customers fined as well?” I asked nervously, my eyes flicking to the door). The majority of stock last week seemed to consist of “genuine fake” Ugg boots.

Dubai Police's haul of counterfeit items including what looks like a Birkin!

In terms of bags, almost every shop had an extensive range of Balenciaga, Tory Birch, Mulberry and Jimmy Choo (but not the one I like) – and, at some, they offered photo albums of a “secret” supply of Prada, Gucci , Hermes and Chanel.

“Not kept here anymore, madam. Show me what you want, haff cup of tea, I bring for you….”

After an hour of desultory trolling about amongst a sprinkling of tourists, I tried really hard to like a Mulberry, a Balenciaga or a Jimmy Choo enough to buy, but the poor quality linings and sticky zips underlined to me that these really weren’t the real deal. Who wants that reminder on a daily basis?

I left empty-handed, but proud of myself. I’d rather put the Dhs 550 towards saving for the real Jimmy Choo – or buying it “preloved” on


Written by mrsdubai

March 8, 2011 at 8:48 pm

2 Responses

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  1. I have just this minute been told about toujours chic – all over it!

    Britney of Arabia

    March 9, 2011 at 12:05 pm

  2. […] mentioned a while ago that since police cracked down on the fake handbag shops in Karama, the stock to be […]

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