Dubai resident is social media hit after losing Dh60,000 Rolex in someone else's car

Rob Kempton fears he will forever be known as 'the Rolex guy' due to his misfortune

A Rolex GMT Master II with a black dial. Photo: Rolex
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A Dubai estate agent has become an unwitting social media star after misplacing his Dh60,000 watch in someone else's car.

Rob Kempton joked that he is destined to be forever known as the “Rolex guy” after sharing details on a popular online networking group about how he deposited the timepiece in another vehicle before going for a run on the emirate's Kite Beach.

His mishap has raised plenty of eyebrows – and even led to him regaling the remarkable tale on local radio – but he insists he is not on a wind-up and is still hopeful of getting his precious property back.

The incident occurred on May 1, close to Jumeirah Public Beach.

Mr Kempton, 40, originally from Manchester in the UK, said he arrived at about 6pm, parked and then went to the Kite Beach running track. He then realised he was still wearing the watch.

Rob Kempton, an estate agent from the UK, said he mistakenly put his Rolex watch in someone’s else car before going for a run. Photo: Rob Kempton

“I had run in it a couple of weeks earlier and it cut my wrists so I thought I need to take it off,” Mr Kempton told The National on Thursday. “I ran back to what I thought was my car and put it in the glove box.”

When he returned to his new black Mercedes about 45 minutes later, the watch was nowhere to be found. He said he believed he put the watch into a different, similarly coloured car.

Losing track of time

“I turned my car upside down and opened the glove box so many times,” he said. “I’m 99.9 per cent certain it is in wrong car and I don’t think it was stolen as there were items on the seat you would have taken.

“I folded it up and put it in the very top right-hand corner and I remember it had a little lip. Mine does not have a lip.”

Dubai and other UAE cities consistently rank as among the safest in the world. Travel insurance website InsureMyTrip in February last year named Dubai as one of the safest cities in the world for solo female travellers.

However Dubai Police have still cautioned that people should still be aware of their surroundings.

In April, the force issued a warning to social media influencers trying to get “likes” by leaving valuables unattended to highlight the low levels of crime in the city.

Maj Gen Jamal Al Jallaf, director of the force's criminal investigation department, advised against leaving personal items in public places, saying these acts were “neglecting safety”.

Mr Kempton contacted police and the Roads and Transport Authority, which he said were very helpful. And as he does not believe it was stolen, he has not raised a police case.

He said police informed him CCTV was not available in that particular area.

“I’m surprised by how it has blown up,” said Mr Kempton of the response. “It has gone completely crazy. I would not try this in any other part of the world but here you do stand a chance of retrieving something such as this.”

And he was firm when asked whether it an elaborate joke, saying he was “more than happy” to offer a reward and that he “just want[s] to get it back”.

“I’m going to be the Rolex guy forever,” he said with a chuckle.

Updated: May 19, 2023, 2:53 PM