The China Mall in Ajman.
PHOTO BY ARCHIVE
DUBAI – Amid an ongoing crackdown on the counterfeit trade, shops selling fake designer clothes, bags and shoes have closed in Ajman’s China Mall, shopkeepers told Expatmedia.net.
The mall was previously occupied by dozens of stores selling knock-offs of luxury brands like Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Prada, Chanel, Yves Saint Laurent, and even from sports apparel brands like Nike and Adidas.
Customers at China Mall could previously walk out with fake luxury bags, shirts, shoes, belts, wallets and more at very cheap prices. But not anymore.
When Expatmedia.net visited the mall on Saturday (March 6), the shops where these knock-offs used to be sold in the open were already vacant.
“They’ve been closed for months now. A new company selling home items will be taking over this week,” a salesman at a neighbouring shop across one of the stores that shut down told Expatmedia.net. He said that tighter inspections and bigger fines have scared traders away.
There were still a handful of shops selling fake branded t-shirts in the evening, but they are now few and far between.
One caught by Expatmedia.net was closing for good, with the shopkeeper packing up remaining stock of fake designer outfits in cardboard boxes and big sacks. He said the company was moving to a “roadside” store in Ajman. He offered some DSquared2 hoodies for Dh10 each as a closing sale.
At another store, a shopkeeper had already hidden away a sack full of dozens of fake Tommy Hilfiger t-shirts.
“We can’t display these anymore. Surprise inspections have become frequent and we just can’t afford to be fined,” a shopkeeper, who requested anonymity, told Expatmedia.net.
She said that the stock will be sent off to their warehouse by Sunday. She’s not sure what the store management has planned for the t-shirts.
The counterfeit trade remains banned in the UAE, but it thrives in underground trading in some markets and shops in the country.
Officials have launched a massive campaign to stop the operation and have shut down and fined hundreds of violators. They also urged the public to report violators to authorities. ICA/Expat Media
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