Thursday, December 16, 2010

Hawkers in Abu Dhabi

I had a bit of a bizarre encounter today. I was heading back to my car after a business meeting at ADMA. My car was in the public car park in front of ADMA along the Corniche. A Mazda car with two guys in it stopped me for direction to Yas Island. They were Italian guys. The driver was very grateful for the directions and started up about a conversation about where I was from and what I did. He told me he was a fashion designer working for Armani and that he had just come from the Emirates Palace outlet and was on his way to Yas Hotel. I joked with him that if he was a fashion designer I should probably apologise for my suit! - which is definitely not Armani.

He was soooo pleased to be talking to fellow European who had helped him, he wanted to give me something. He looked at my and told me I was a European size 58 and that he had some samples left over - as he and his friend were not size 58 he would love for me to have one free..... ok yeah right... so now I was waiting for the catch. He continued. He had 3 suits my size conveniently, and he was leaving tomorrow and had promised his daughter that he would take her back an iPhone... so here was the deal.. take the three suits but just give me the money enough to buy her an iPhone.......

Of course I politely declined and bade him good day.

Now this kind of thing happens all the time at home, mainly in motorway services stations, generally trying to flog watches....but Abu Dhabi?, randomly in a car park on the Corniche?? Bizarre.....


  1. Hi - I had exactly the same thing happen to me about a month ago in the Carrefour-Airport Rd carpark! Virtually the same spiel but no mention of an iphone he just wanted to 'give' them to me... and a wooly ladies coat! Naturally I declined. Not a mazda though, Nissan I think.

  2. I wonder if they are resident here...or just fly in and out?

  3. The same thing happened to a friend of mine about a year ago. He took the suits.

  4. Same thing happened to me in the Carrefour Airport Road car park twice. When it happened the second time I was able to say to him "if I didn't want to buy anything the last time you tried this stunt what makes you think I want to buy something this time!!!"

  5. That happened to me in Dec 2011 in Dubai at Sheik Zayed Road at Dubai Marina Metro Station.
    2 guys (italien??), white japanese (rented?) car, same story, (where you are from? Berlin! - I have business / girlfriend in Berlin...)3 Armani suits, left over , as a gift for me.... but please do me a favour... and so on.
    They were so kind and brought me to the Hotel Grosvenor House, just around the corner.
    As they recognized, that there was no business possible with me, they drove away after a while.
    On the business card:
    "Salvatore Management" - Import & Export Italian Fashion - Roma Telefax - Milano Telefax - E-mail -

    For interested people: I shot a photo from this guy....

  6. same happened to me, i have been stopped today by one guy said to be italian, parked his Lexus car just front of building where I went down from my office to put a parking ticket in sheikh zayed road, (Nandos building).

    then he started to ask about way to the airport,I had shown him the way, then h elooked at my outfit which was quite formal suit, he asked about my size, and then opened the back door and he pulled out 3 diferent Armani Suits, he gave me his Busines card of emporio Armani (but low quality and fake card) where website was on the bottom of the card, he said you may pick any of these suits for free, I said WOW,that is very generous of you, but he started to show me fake invoices where he shold pay 21% taxes, so that means i should have paid him off 2000 AED for that suit who worths 12,000 AED.

    i told him I don't need any suit coz i was wearing Versace one at thattime, I may not be interested in buying suits out in the street. he said ok, take the three of them; "they are just a gift" he said, "what i really want you to do is to buy me an IPAD for my wife, coz i am on my way back home to italy", I told him "sorry my atm machine is not working" then i apologised for not paying off a penny, then he put the three suits down into the car trunk and walked away.

    be carefull guys....not all what shines is Gold!

  7. Seems it is becoming a very comon occurance!

  8. Yep, happened to me in Abu Dhabi today. Only, he wants a PS3 for his son. Here`s the business card he gave me: