If you want to mix and match your everyday outfit with a designer bag or watch or whatever your heart desires, avoid ultimate debt and are not so self-conscious about wearing knock-off shoes, then Al Karama Street – Dubai is your destination.
Despite the old, four leveled buildings, the traffic and what seems like a pretty normal residency neighborhood, yet Al Karama Street is buzzing with anxious shoppers and persistent vendors day and night. You will realize you've hit a homerun when you find yourself between two circles of shops with parking spaces on each side of the road where you could park your car and there are a couple of stairs ahead to bargain land.
Those little terrace shops aren't kidding around, they do have a diversity of goods from watches, sunglasses and accessories to T-shirts, boots, sneakers and jeans, as well as kids' wear in any brand name replica you need; Ralph Lauren, Nike, Givenchy, Calvin Klein, Burberry, Guess, Tory Burch, Rayban, Chanel, Juicy Couture…I could go on forever. Believe me, you won't be able to spot the difference between your replica and the genuine one.
Some shops would strike you as very poor in taste at first, but you have to dig really deep to source the gold. You will find a different price in each shop and by different I mean cheaper, but you've got to bargain for less every time. There are street vendors everywhere at Al Karama who will insist you follow their lead for more goodies, but don't yield and don't fondle over reduced merchandise in barrels. You have to look at it very closely first ensuring they're not torn or broken, so it's better for you to go there in the mornings, especially since the bargaining will take most of the day.
And there's also Al Karama Centre; it's a mini mall with mainly shops of the same type, but a little bit higher in price than the maze circle shops down the street. It's more appropriate for a tourist in haste as it's a last minute shopping centre, for picking up souvenirs, scarves and bags with a camel on them without taking too much time.
There are also several restaurants around the corner if you feel like eating; Indian, Chinese, Philippines, Thailand, Singapore and Arabian too.
Okay, so now what's best to buy from Al Karama St. Apart from the bags, wallets, shoes and boots, there are the Ralph Lauren polo shirts, kids' Burberry dresses and shirts, pashminas, Thai dresses, men's fitted T-shirts, accessories and cartooned T-shirts. The sneakers are good to buy, but you have to double check the soles, and if you fall in love with a replica watch, don't expect it to keep working for a long time.
Always make sure you have a bottle of water, you get really thirsty after the circle shop-hunting. And in summertime (from May till October), it's better to shop there after 5pm…you can't imagine how hot it gets. And don't worry about getting there even if you don't have a car. There is a metro station there as well as a bus stop so it's easy and affordable and all in one place.