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16 October, 2006

Of gold and greed

Scene: the Old Gold Souq, darkest depths of Deira, inside one of a million identikit gold and jewellery shops. Haggling is taking place over some pearls, for which an extortionately high price has been quoted (twice the figure in shops previously visited).

"I'm afraid that price is very much beyond our budget, can you make a lower offer?"

"Where do you live, madam?"

"In Dubai."

"But where are you from?"

"Originally the UK, but I've lived in Dubai for several years."

"You see madam I am from the Netherlands."
[This in a heavy, Arabic accent.] "In the Netherlands, like in the UK, we prefer fixed price. So I prefer to give you a fixed price."

"I'm quite sure you do, but this is Dubai, not Europe."


No sale. It's bad enough getting a "white price" in the first place, but this is just taking the piss. Note to souq traders: not all palefaces are as rich as Croesus, gullible and that desperate for your wares.

Labels: ,

35 Comments:

Blogger moratic said...

You want to know something, and just to let you know check this site out. www.brownbag.ae at least something in Dubai is going in the right direction, everything in Dubai is either getting more complicated or just retarted, i hope this works and makes our life easier. !!!

16 October, 2006 05:01  
Blogger Shaper85 said...

Well you know, considering how isolated some immigrant communities are in the Netherlands and some other European countries, he could be telling the truth about his nationality!

16 October, 2006 05:50  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

People haggle in Amsterdam. That guy is full of shit.

16 October, 2006 08:23  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pearls eh SD?

Ladies look so much better in Diamonds.

With the exception of a lovely pearl necklace....!!

16 October, 2006 09:19  
Anonymous heretic said...

@ Anon @ 0919
Ooh Naughty..!!

SD, seriously, gold is a much better buy. Holds its value (in fact its going even higher), and its value is intrinsic to it.

Pearls on the other hand dont have a standard value system. Pearls in one store will be priced differently in another. And both of them will be higher than the ACTUAL value of the pearls.

16 October, 2006 10:40  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Most palefaces make more $ than the unwashed masses

16 October, 2006 10:50  
Blogger Harsha said...

last week, I was accompanying my brother at the souk in Burdubai. He had just bought a pair of shorts for AED 10, there was even a cardboard box stuck there saying Dh 10. A white middle aged couple comes by, asks the shopkeeper the price of those very same pair of shorts and the shopkeeper promptly replies "AED 25".

16 October, 2006 11:18  
Blogger nativeinformant said...

this is a perfect solution. You get paid based on your nationality so you should have to pay that way too. Just pull out two passport pictures in line at Carrefour's, they'll calculate your total based on the currency you use "back home" -- that's the excuse for paying Indians/Filipinos/Africans/non-Westerners less anyway, isn't it?

16 October, 2006 12:55  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with native informant. Shoppers will take advantage where they can. that's an interantional issue. Back home (thereabouts in Southeast Asia), I always asked my cousins (who grew up in the US) to haggle witht he shopkeeper themselves. Once they hear that Californian accent, they'll double (or even triple) the actual price.

However, I just don't feel as much remors a Caucasian buyer who is being offered an exhorbitant amount for pearls. He or she can always go back to previous shops offering pearls at a much cheaper price.

There are so many who can't even think about buying pearls because they know they'd have to send that money home to an ailing mother or for the kid's tuition fee, and so on.

Though 'price changing' can be seen anywhere else in the world, I don't think racism in the job scene is so blatant and openly exercised anywhere else but in the Gulf.

I know so many people so much more qualified than their white counterparts but they are paid so much less than them.

You know what's funny? In some of these offices, bosses CLAIM they are 'anti-racism' and that everyone is equal in their eyes...hmm...right...bleeding bloody heart.

16 October, 2006 14:32  
Blogger DesertNorm said...

No sense complaining about a lack of fair trade. A trader feeds his family by buying cheap and selling dear. A better trader is one who just sells dearer.
Its not racism, its a reflection of what prices he has got away with in the past. And, not defending the guy or anything but don't yuou think its quite likely that some white people on holiday from the UK perhaps probably did come into his shop and pay over the odds in the past?
I once tried to buy a pair of sandals in Thailand just after the pair I was wearing broke. What do you know, the price increased tenfold after the shopkeeper clocked my bare and sore feet. Thats not racism, pure opportunism and to be surprised by that when you encounter it in Dubai is naive indeed.

16 October, 2006 18:05  
Blogger Jassim said...

Well 1st...you dont start of a bargening with

"I'm afraid that price is very much beyond our budget, can you make a lower offer?"


You've lost already coz u sound like a tourist.

16 October, 2006 19:40  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Demand and supply, pal. I used to feel sorry for the palefaces getting ripped off, till I realized that even with the inflated price they thought they were getting a good bargain! The reason the shopkeeper will quote a higher price to someone based on their skin colour is because of his/her experience that such people are willing to pay that price. The khawagaiyya make the same demand and supply argument when it comes to asking for higher pay, so it's pretty unconvincing when they cry fairness on other counts.

16 October, 2006 22:57  
Anonymous screwed_mind said...

Shopkeeper has 100% the right to rip-off anyone comes in and swindle as many Dirhams as possible. Jungel law rules here, strong beasts should tear flesh apart from weak species regardless of skin color, race or religion.

This is My Vision and to live in the height of the food chain, you need to do what The Great Hustling Swindler has ordered everyone to do.

17 October, 2006 01:19  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

yanks should get the best price followed by the brits because they are so up the yanks **** then western europeans then the eastern europeans ... it is only fair isn't it everything else is by nationality isn't it just look at the job pages in the nupes ...

17 October, 2006 01:31  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

well you do need to pay the whites more cause most of them are trailer park trash who need to move into a proper home back where they come from . I have seen the quality of people coming here change dramaticaly. It is getting worse and worse . Arrogant people who think that this it it I am in Dubai and can get away with whatever I want , i own a used Range rover so i can pretend to be Lord Thickhead and forget about the family I left behind in the council house the food coupons I used to take with me to the supermarket and now I take my maid and wear my D&G dress to carrefour. God bless the whities their employers and Karama Sepcials.
All the best and keep you heads on your shoulders . Newexpat.

17 October, 2006 01:40  
Blogger DG said...

Do you guys think that the shopkeepers show mercy when selling to locals? ;-)

I guess it has nothing to do with racism & more related to your purchasing power. And I must say that shop keepers in Dubai are experts in understanding the psychology of shoppers :-)

We happily pay inflated prices for 'branded" goods, most of which have a fixed price. No one complains of being ripped off by the big giants although we know most of that stuff is coming from China & other developing countries where they buy it dirt cheap.

17 October, 2006 07:40  
Anonymous Gay local said...

The whole broblem is due to us. we are faggots who have money in our pockets full and we like to shop and show off. We dont care how expensive it is we just get paid for sponsoring cheap people and we get paid early by so many beoble.

SD, you just proved you are a cheap scanky european. Why the fk cant you just pay what they ask for!!

17 October, 2006 08:18  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon @ 17 October, 2006 01:40 and Gaylocal,

What a couple of tossers.

The reason that we can command better jobs with better salaries is by demonstrating that we are hardworking, diligent and resourceful people by paying to put ourselves through the best university education in the world.

However, if your family/the state want to hand out cash like sweeties to imbeciles like you then you will never learn it's true value. Did Daddy pay for your certificates because you were too idiotic to earn them? Or did you skip school all together because your family are 'connected'? When the Middle East grows up a bit and comes out of the dark ages you will learn very quickly that you cannot comment on the "quality of people" that live next to you or refer to the hand that feeds your piss-ant little country as a "Skanky European".

Just take a look at the FILTH around you, go and look in the kitchen of a 'skanky European' and compare it to your disease-ridden slop pit. Go and smell the freshness of a public toilet in any small town in the Middle East (disinfectant people, disinfectant!) Look closely at white-suburbia in any town in Europe and compare it to the grot in a part of town where you have set up camp with your litter.

17 October, 2006 09:04  
Blogger Jassim said...

lol. The people leaving comments here have seriously have some issues. I can just imagine them getting all red faced and angry infront of the computer as they type their replies.

lol@ all the anons and gay local.

SD must be laughing coz she baited these silly responces from you , with zero effort.

This is comedy :-))))

17 October, 2006 09:38  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon @ 17 October, 2006 09:04

Don't look too far ahead. Your clean kitchen utensils and spot clean bathroom comodes dont change the fact that you have a crispy ass! Start by cleaning up your own ass properly and then maybe we can discuss your resourceful education!

17 October, 2006 11:12  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jassim, SD was complaining about being ripped off - making a moral judgement about shopkeepers - and people are going to respond to that argument. I don't think it has anything to do with "the way palefaces/sandlanders are" as some of the racists above suggest. I think it's just demand and supply and happens everywhere (annoying as it is).

17 October, 2006 15:06  
Blogger rummyjohn said...

while we're on the topic of personal hygiene, who here are scrunchers and who of you are folders?

17 October, 2006 21:09  
Blogger Balushi said...

In the OLDEN days whenever i use to see a White women/girl in Jumeirah or Umm sequem,,,


I would Think that she is really Rich!


BUT: Now when i see a white girl/women I Think that they are POOR!



Bcoz now i know that these days 20 girls live in one Villa or house so that means they have 500-1000 aed to pay for rent each month!




Now we along with SecretDubai we all need to get this Message across and DE-VALUE/DEFAME the property Status in Jumeirah!




What u says guys?

17 October, 2006 21:29  
Anonymous chris said...

Spelling "retarded" as "retarted" is retarded. Just thought I should point that out.

17 October, 2006 22:37  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I guess "tourist prices" will always be there, wherever you go, you will see palefaces getting ripped off in Machu-Pichu and darkfaces getting ripped off in Paris.

However it seems a matter of perception that depends on the situation you deal with. For example, airlines have revenue management departments, where they set prices to their products (the service to take you from city A to city B) and later assign how many seats at that price will be sold.
Well, among many ways to proceed with it, there is something called "willingness to pay factor".
To keep it short, airlines follow a scientific process, whereas a souk shop clerk will follow a simplistic process compared to the airline, but at the end, both are trying to profit on what they perceive as your "willingness to pay" ....but the feeling is different when you are in a travel agent, airline office or internet site, as opposed to when you are in the souk shop or at the Andes in Peru ...

Simple ..

18 October, 2006 00:53  
Anonymous SD hater said...

SD you cheap whore...stop complaining!

Get your bargaining skills up or go to the competitors. Don't fucking cry over here on the blog. Nothing will change

18 October, 2006 01:52  
Blogger Aro said...

Euhh..guys, this is SD's Blog right?.. so I guess he/she can complain or comment on whatever she/he wants! This better be clear for everyone.

An old pal used to tell me that those who feel the need to shout or insult others to prove their points when arguing are those with the weakest minds and personalities. Might seem a bit simplistic to those of us with elaborate intellects, yet when reading some comments here I believe that piece of advice is truer than ever.

As for the shopping annecdote I believe several comments here carry my thoughts better than I would have expressed them myself. Bargaining, like almost everything else, is no more than a game for grownups: the one with the sharpest skills will win in the end

Last but not least, I politely request all those with racist views and comments, both the "clean" and "crispy" ass owners (I liked the expression :-)), to go F*** themselves with as much ardour and verve as they can reasonably spare.(NB: those being born of a superior race are allowed to do the exercise twice. Special clearance will be required for subsequent repetitions.) I can promise that everyone will feel much better afterwards.

Till then...

18 October, 2006 02:34  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, weak minds, go F*** yourselves!!!

...but, afterwards, will the bad smell vanish from smelly-ones?

It does not hurt to take a shower you know?, water is good, yeah, it is good!! it cleans ...

18 October, 2006 10:02  
Blogger O said...

Happens everywhere really, not saying that it is acceptable but they try to cash in on some people just because they are white or because they look like they have money!

18 October, 2006 11:29  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The psycho like Anon @ 18 October, 2006 10:02 is a big bad smelly ass on this blog. Is there any spray to get rid of him on this blog???

18 October, 2006 14:03  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think everyone should stop complaining. Try to bargain a little and if they won't come down (a little humor and a smile helps...and try treating them with respect, it goes a long way as well) then either pay the price or walk away.

Everyone knows how cheap all this stuff is, and how much they mark up the price for tourists. It happens on every continent. Just be thankful that 1. You can afford whatever useless bauble it is you want and 2. That you are fortunate enough not to have to make your living selling cheap crap to tourists on the street, going back home to some hovel every evening.

Just pay the guy so he can continue to pay his rent for his shop and his home, and feed his family. Then go back to your villa and keep filling up the display cases.

Just my two cents.

18 October, 2006 18:47  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lots of people leaving comments on here are amazing - you turn into rude foulmouths just because you're anonymous. Wonder if you seem nice in person!

From Anonymous!

21 October, 2006 09:28  
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30 October, 2006 00:10  
Anonymous jayaprakash balan said...

(MiKURA PEARLS ) in Gold center bldg, Gold Souq ,Deira Dubai, I found pearls displayed by the jeweler are not good quality pearls, price are high, not at all a value for money product. They provide you a quality certificate printed by them which doesn’t carry any certification by the Dubai government any authorized agency for quality certification. Employer behavior with the staff is also harsh. They treat their employee as slaves.

I suggest all you people who are visiting MiKURA PEARLS to be beware of the products they sell ,you may end up cheated by them. In my further enquiry I found out the have given agency to various jeweler in the city , so beware of this trickster , trickster and buy only genuine pearls certified by Dubai government any authorized agency for quality certification.

21 July, 2008 12:52  
Blogger Tedi said...

Hmmm ... I googled Dubai Pearls but landed here.... :P wayyyy more interesting LOL! I agree with Anonymous 18/10/2006....Bargain well, but in the end, if u are not happy with the price.... Walk away. No harm, no foul. But utmost, treat people with the same respect you ask of others! Have a great day... Stop bashing people from airing their thoughts in their own blog :P

01 February, 2012 00:36  

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