Dubai: With less than a week of tax-free shopping left in the UAE, consumers flocked to the malls on Tuesday, which was also the start of the annual Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF).
The UAE’s value-added tax (VAT), which will add 5 per cent to most goods and services, takes effect from January 1.
DSF kicked off with a 12-hour sale at malls managed by Majid Al Futtaim, offering deals with discounts from 25 per cent to 90 per cent.
The sale involved 3,000 retail outlets, and within an hour, the malls and parking lots were packed, leading to long tailbacks and traffic jams.
Nadeem Khanzadah, head of omnichannel retail at Jumbo Electronics, told Gulf News that December has been a very good month.
“People are buying laptops, TVs, smartphones and home appliances. It is anticipated that this would happen during pre-VAT period,” he said.
Some shoppers even went to the length of taking a half-day off from work to take advantage of the discounts.
“I love shopping and I didn’t want to let this opportunity pass, so I took a half-day off from work and hopped on a train. I think there are some awesome deals and I am going to empty my wallet today,” said Mevlet Arsalan, a Turkish expat.
"Since this is a holiday season, this is a good opportunity to buy gifts at discounted prices for friends and family ahead of the New Year," Arsalan added.