Dubai’s Extravagant Retail Paradise: A Guide to Luxury Shopping
By TOI Team May 23, 2023 Update on : May 23, 2023
The luxury market can feel like a bit of a minefield, especially when it comes to distinguishing between brands whose names are often synonymous with both the prestige of A-list advocates and a price tag to match.
There are selling points to luxury goods which far surpass the options available on the mass market. Not only does owning a luxury or designer item often grant you the status of a high level investment that will hold and even increase in value over time, but such items also tend to be made to a much higher quality – using the finest materials, techniques, and finishing touches.
With that in mind, what should buyers be looking for as they navigate the luxury retail market in Dubai and on the global stage, and which brands are at the very top of their game in terms of both status and quality?
Where to Start When Buying Luxury Goods?
Most buyers who find themselves browsing the luxury market do so for one of a few reasons. The first is the motivation heralded by investment buyers, who are aware of the coveted status of luxury goods and seek to capitalise on this later down the line by buying now and selling later. The second group are those who covet the style and status of luxury pieces as differentiating themselves from others, using designer logos and iconic pieces to elevate their status and to denote wealth. The third group are collectors and can be motivated by anything from an affinity for the brand and style to the desire to build a collection of goods.
Whatever your reason for buying luxury goods, it is imperative that you:
- Find a reputable second hand seller (unless you are fortunate enough to be on the VIP or waitlist at a direct retailer for box-fresh luxury goods purchase).
- Always ensure that you receive full authentication documentation as part of the purchase.
- Research the authentication checks for different brands and recognise what’s fake from what’s real. Protecting yourself and your purchase is crucial no matter what you’re buying and where.
Identifying an authentic luxury good from a fake
One of the biggest challenges faced by the luxury industry and by brands which are considered to be high end designer brands is the presence and increasing problem of fakes – however, it’s not necessarily a problem which is being taken seriously enough by consumers.
When you buy a fake designer good, you feed an industry which takes its ideas and designs from those brands that rightfully own them, and which undercuts the authentic models with minor changes to the logo, design, or finish. This is worst when scam and fake sellers try to pass items off as genuine and is one of the reasons why designer brands spend so much time and resource on developing authenticity marks and checks to help clients ensure that their items are genuine.
Chanel handbags, for example, use serial numbers to connect every single individual bag back to the manufacturer; while if a Hermes handbag comes with an authenticity card, then you know it’s a fake as the brand opt for blind stamps over serial numbers.
One thing that clients, customers, and buyers should always be aware of is the presence of this information online, which serves to somewhat further dilute the status and exclusivity of the term ‘luxury’ on the market. As such, we return to the most important piece of information for luxury buyers – always buy from a reputable seller.
The best luxury brands to invest in
There are some customers who know what they want and are driven by specific brands and collections, if not specific models. Others, meanwhile, are more open with regards to what they want from their luxury piece – and will consider any piece which is released by a specific brand or within a specific product parameter.
From luxury handbags from Hermes and Chanel to the designer watch market which covers Rolex, Audemars Piguet, Patek Philippe and more, the best luxury brands are those which are recognisable by name and design. When shopping in Dubai, keep an eye out for reputable sellers who specialise in the following brands:
- For timepieces: Rolex, Patek Philippe, Richard Mille, Audemars Piguet
- For handbags: Hermes, Chanel
- For jewellery: Chanel, Van Cleef & Arpels, Cartier