Trade of fake Louis Vuitton handbags under threat in Dubai

A new agreement between Louis Vuitton and Dubai’s trade authority will see the two cooperate to stamp out fakes being sold in the city

Paul Crompton
Paul Crompton - Al Arabiya News
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Dubai-based lovers of counterfeit fashion items should be warned: fake Louis Vuitton products - including knock-offs of the French fashion firm's much-coveted lines of monogrammed handbags and totes - may soon become very scarce.

A new agreement between Louis Vuitton and Dubai’s trade authority, the Department of Economic Development, will see the two cooperate to stamp out fakes being sold in the city, according to a press release published this week.

Under the agreement, the luxury goods firm will help train Dubai government inspectors to spot fake products and will also raise awareness among consumers.

The French fashion firm is the first luxury brand to sign such an agreement with the emirate's authorities.

Handbags made by Louis Vuitton, a luxury French fashion house, are a popular status symbol in Dubai, with a basic handbag retailing for around $1,000.

However, a fake Louis Vuitton handbag from a counterfeit dealer can be had - before customary haggling - for only around $200, according to Dubai-based paper Gulf News.

Despite regular crackdowns by Dubai authorities, who last month seized and then shredded 3.5 million counterfeit products worth around $53 million, fakes can still be found.

A report published this year by the European Union's law enforcement agency Europol called the UAE one of the main “countries of provenance for counterfeit goods.”

Some reports suggest that the business of selling fakes may have shifted to social media networks and messaging apps.

Dubai-based Louis Vuitton fans hailed the move by authorities and the luxury brand, saying that knock-off bags lowered the prestige of some of their favorite fashion items.

Fashion fan Razan Abu Omar, a Palestinian expat living in Dubai, told Al Arabiya that she believed “fake Louis Vuitton bags do not give the brand its right.”

“The brand is supposed to be one of the best and expensive brands in the world,” she added.

Batoul al-Beitouni, a Jordanian expat, said that “fake goods in general are a bad idea because the money you are paying goes to a dishonest person and it’s a crime anyway.”

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