Dubai's Desperate Housewife

Trials and traumas of a full-time mum in Dubai

Do I look like a criminal?

with 5 comments

I went shopping today, in quite a smart mall.

In the first shop, which was a racy lingerie shop (Victoria’s Secret), a shop assistant asked me politely how she could help and then, when I said I was just having a look around, took to following me, maybe two steps behind, as I tried to look at the new, sexy cut-out styles.

I can’t tell you how off-putting it is to look at sexy lingerie with an assistant breathing down your neck.

Did she think I was going to pick up a handful of padded bras and shove them in my handbag? Is that the look I give off when I’m shopping? Do I really look that shifty?

Signed, sealed, delivered, stamped and paid. Can I go now?... Are you sure?

Signed, sealed, delivered, stamped and paid. Can I go now?… Are you sure?

Needless to say, I left empty-handed.

And then I had to nip into e-Max, the electronics store, to buy a gift for one of DD’s friends. I chose the gift and was taken to a till, where the barcode was scanned. But I couldn’t pay there – oh no: instead of a bill, the barcode scan produced a “ticket” that had to be taken to the “cash till” (bear in mind Dubai aspires to be the foremost “Smart City” in the world).

So off I trudged to the “cash till”. There, a relatively normal transaction took place. I paid for the goods, and a receipt was produced. But, as if a till receipt was not enough proof of purchase – as if I could have faked a till receipt between the shelf and the shop door –  the receipt was then stamped with a “PAID” stamp. And then it was stamped again with a “DELIVERED” stamp (of course it was “delivered”; I took it to the till myself).

The item was then bagged up and I went to leave the shop.

But no. There was a twist: Madam may not exit the shop with her carrier bag of paid-for, stamped-for goods. Good Lord, no.  Madam must produce the receipt out of her handbag because she cannot leave the shop without a stamp from the security guard (“Checked and Delivered”).

Maybe they should get another stamp to add at the till: “These goods are not stolen,” or how about “Let Madam go; she is not a felon.”

Is it just me, or do Dubai’s shops make you feel like a criminal, too?



Written by mrsdubai

May 20, 2014 at 9:43 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Tagged with ,

5 Responses

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  1. Russian electronic shops had the same maddening kind of system. It does make you feel like a teenager again when everyone just assumed you were out to steal something!


    May 21, 2014 at 12:18 am

  2. In some cities in Mexico they are the same, luckly I live near de Us border


    May 21, 2014 at 4:21 am

  3. I had the same experince in Victoria secret, at first one followed me after that she disappeared and another one took her place ….in a five mins I was followed by 5 different ladies, got very annoyed and left.
    I know there are real shoplifters, but they have to learn how to treat people.


    May 21, 2014 at 6:26 am

  4. I must confess – I’ve taken to wearing headphones in some shops. I think it stops the intense attention to some extent…


    May 23, 2014 at 7:40 pm

  5. I had the same experience in Victoria’s Secret and other clothing stores. It’s so off putting!

    Erica Pettit

    May 24, 2014 at 10:30 am

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