It’s no secret that in general, the notion of quality in the field of consumption was dispelled long ago. The goods of the lowest quality easily become marketable due to the fraud of dishonorable market participants. Fortunately, in the UAE selling is controlled and systematized in order to respect the rights of consumers.
Usually brands know about replicas since they give manufacturers the consent to make replicas and get an agreed percentage for it. Therefore, the cost of a replica is lower than the cost of an original thing (generally twice) but much higher than the one of a fake.
Replica is an accurate imitation of a good made of high-quality materials, while a fake generally has almost nothing in common with the original. The quality of fakes is always badly impaired, so sometimes they can even be dangerous for health.
In the UAE, like everywhere else in the world, there are lots of replicas and fakes. Let’s focus on the latter.
Company profiles of online stores often includes such terms as the first, second and third copies: this is how the quality of a fake is determined. For example, while strolling in Al Karama district in Dubai, you can be invited to a showroom (which is usually located in the basement of a building or in an apartment), where you’ll be asked at the door which quality of a fake you need. Take into account that «the first» fake won’t be cheap. Thus, the «first» copy of YSL (Yves Saint Laurent) women’s handbag, the original of which costs $2,000, will be priced at $400.
In districts that are less popular with tourists, you can see sellers who lay out clothes of world top brands right on the ground, a Gucci T-shirt will cost $3 there. The mass production of Gucci fakes even prompted the brand’s designers to create a «Fake/Not» collection.
When planning your shopping, bear in mind that in the UAE goods can’t be ten times cheaper than in your country. Don’t be fooled!
Typical travellers’ mistakes:
• There are three types of gold at Dubai Gold Souk: pure gold, not really gold, and definitely not gold. In dubious outlets any metal can be presented to an unexperienced buyer as gold.
• Buying a phone in the street from polite Pakistanis is a bad idea! They will sell you the latest iPhone model for $200, and then you will find out that this same very iPhone is charged by micro USB, has a slot for two SIM cards, the operating system is Android, and its highest price on Alibaba.com is $25.
• Buy all expensive goods only in shopping centers and official stores.