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Like many others in a challenging 2020, techies Hitesh Uchil and Abbas Jaffar Ali were looking to save money when shopping online for their own families. The two self-professed geeks, who share a background in technology and gaming media, were aware of the multitude of websites that list promo codes and coupons. However, they also knew the pain of scouring dozens of sites to find these codes, and the added frustration of discovering that many don’t work. They decided to do something about it and share the tool they developed.

It was under these circumstances that Helwa, a browser extension and application that hunts and automatically applies voucher codes on popular UAE ecommerce sites, was born.

How it works

Helwa takes the legwork out of the code hunting and application process. It tracks available coupons in order to save money while shopping online. It also detects cashback deals on sites that offer it and automatically applies these deals when you’re shopping so you can save even more.

“We’re just a couple of geeks who found a smart way to save our families some money,” says Uchil. “We wanted to share that with anyone who would like to save money on their online purchases and that’s how Helwa came about.”

Ali explains, “Helwa is really easy to use and takes the guesswork out of getting the most savings when shopping online. We’re thrilled to be working with some of the leading regional websites that offer everything from fashion to groceries and look forward to working with more of them in the future to expand our network of savings.”

Helwa currently works on some of the most popular online shopping websites in the region, including the likes of Namshi, Gap, H&M, Bloomingdale’s, Mothercare, Mamas and Papas, Bath & Body Works, Home Box, Fresh to Home, Ounass, Vogacloset, Pottery Barn and more. Savings on these stores range from 5 to 20 per cent, with more websites being added soon. Helwa also offers an exclusive Noon.com code, as well as offers on Carrefour online.

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Success stories

Speaking about using Helwa on Namshi.com, UAE resident Sarah Mustafa says, “The first time I used Helwa, I managed to save about a third of what I was supposed to be paying originally. It’s a great tool that is adapted to Middle Eastern websites and users for efficient shopping.”

Another user Ahmed Abbas says, “I used Helwa on iHerb, from which I order supplements and diet food on an almost monthly basis. IHerb is already discounted compared to similar stores in the UAE and it was great to see Helwa offer discount codes there too. An already discounted shopping cart got me a further discount.”

Helwa is now available for free at www.helwa.io and currently works exclusively with the Google Chrome web browser on desktop. A mobile app version of the service is also available on the Apple App Store and Android Play Store.