Upon moving to the Emirates, more years ago now than I care to mention, two pieces of consumer advice were flung my way by no fewer than five individuals. The first was to buy a car here. These being pre-Metro days, there was little alternative and vehicles were also cheap to purchase and run. ‘You’ll never have a better chance to own your dream set of wheels than while you’re in Dubai.’
The second went along the lines of, and I’m paraphrasing, ‘don’t invest any cash in products here, they’re all defective.’ The counsel at the time was meant to dissuade me from forking out for a massive TV, the people in question reasoning that because of the UAE’s then supposed lack of consumer protection, the country was a dumping ground for poorly made merchandise.
I ignored both suggestions. The ‘car of my dreams’ remained in the showroom and a widescreen adorned my front room.
To be fair the TV stayed the course. Having recently sold it on, it is probably the one big-ticket item I can point to as having paid its dues. Other goods I have shelled out for have not fared so well. Of late the quality of the products seems to be getting worse. Clothes, electronics, furniture, they all seem to fall apart or go wrong far too quickly.
I’m wondering, however, were my friends correct and is this a result of where I live, or is it just the way things are built now – cheaply? I don’t know. This is more of an appeal than anything else. Has anyone been party to similar advice from those who have been here longer than they? Is there any truth to the sentiment? What’s the answer?
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