Dubai: VAT is being applied at stalls in Global Village whose business’ turnover is at least $100,000 a month, and have a Tax Registration Number (TRN), said an official during a media event on Sunday. 

Bader Anwahi, CEO of Global Village, clarified that with the recent introduction of VAT in the New Year, Global Village has ensured that all investors and exhibitors selling their goods at stalls and pavilions have been advised on VAT guidelines. 

“We have asked our investors and exhibitors to attend workshops [that we have provided] that explain how the VAT works. It’s a new concept and needs a lot of education, which is why we have tried to educate them also through our consultants who work closely with the Federal Tax Authority (FTA) to explain the policies,” said Anwahi. 

He confirmed that while several investors are currently applying the VAT at their stalls, guests should also look out for a TRN number on the receipt upon any purchase where tax is applied.  

“This year, we have tried to control the concept of price changes, especially with the introduction of VAT. Apart from minor increments, we have kept prices the same and have not even increased ticket prices. We are also working closely with the authorities in order to hopefully exempt exhibitors from tax in the future (not confirmed yet),” said Anwahi. 

He further pointed out, the latest statistics reported a 9/10 happiness score, with guests’ highest purpose of visit at the park being the entertainment and shows provided. In second place, was shopping, followed by picnic and outing with family, rides, and finally, dining and concerts. 

“This year, we have invested heavily in facilities and have adopted the smart operation initiative project, where we are using technology instead of showing it, to maintain our place as a cultural and heritage destination,” he said.

The smart project includes an advanced software that analyses the guest trip plan, reviews survey results at all touch points and refines responses to guest behavior with the aim to improve services.
New record 
Anwahi also announced that more than 2.4million guests visited Global Village over a period of two months, since the opening of its 22 season on November 1, creating a new record.

The statistics, showed a four per cent increase in the number of visitors from the year before, and reported a huge influx of guests, exceeding 100,000 per day during New Year celebrations. 

The park celebrated seven New Year’s Eves on December 31, 2017 that coincided with the advent of the New Year at seven selected countries from across the world.

At 8pm, (UAE time) the festivities began with a Philippines cultural performance on the Main Cultural Stage followed by the countdown and an intense one-minute fireworks show in sync with those that took place in the Philippines.

At 9pm, there was a similar celebration of the New Year at Thailand and at 10 pm it was in line with that in Bangladesh. At 10.30pm it was in sync with celebrations India and at 11pm with Pakistan.

This was followed by the biggest fireworks show this season to mark the arrival of the New Year in the UAE. At 1 am (UAE time), celebrations concluded with those at Istanbul, Turkey.

Earlier in the season, Global Village also attracted more than 500,000 guests during the 46th National Day celebrations, achieving a new record as it consolidated its position as the ideal destination for National Day celebrations in the country.

Visitors streamed in to see the world premiere of the epic play ‘Belad Alkhair,’ the largest theater production of its kind in its history. The Main Cultural Stage also hosted a concert by the renowned artist Abdullah Bil Khair and received large crowds of fans.

Anwahi emphasised that guests remain their top priority as they continue to develop the destination and further enhance the guest experience.

“Our performance is in line with the vision of Dubai to attract more visitors and to focus on family entertainment as we host the largest entertainment shows and bring new international shows for the first time to the region. We have raised the bar with our weekly concerts with top Arab and international singers and talents to provide guests with experiences they can cherish with every visit,” he added.