Image Credit: Multiple Sources

With the introduction of VAT, many shops are faced with the challenge of owing small change to their customers on items that used to cost one dirham.

We asked around to find out what stores were doing.

Some stores are slightly increasing their prices in order to round off the price (more often to a higher amount) to avoid dealing with the problem of small change, while other places will absorb the cost of VAT and only charge Dh1 for something that is meant to be Dh1.05.

Here are some popular Dh1 items that have changed or remained the same.

Karak Chai

Dunya Sham in Satwa and Farrouj Hut in Al Barsha will officially charge Dh1.05 for their Karak Chai. However they will only ask for Dh1. If you choose to buy 10 Chai’s, that’s when they will request the additional 50fils of VAT. Not all superheroes wear capes.

McDonald's Ice Cream Cone

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After nearly 20 years of launching the ice cream cone at Dh1, last year 7 McDonald’s branches in Dubai have increased the price to Dh2.

We spoke specifically to a McDonalds branch that sells their ice cream cone for Dh1 and asked how much they would be charging customers for it. The cost of the ice cream cone is now Dh1.50 including VAT, we were told.

McDonalds got in touch with us to clarify, that their ice cream will cost costumers Dh1 in the majority of their shops. 

“The price of McDonald’s UAE’s much-loved ice cream cone has remained the same with the introduction of 5% VAT. In the majority of our restaurants, it is sold for 1 AED, which remains the same as when McDonald’s launched in the UAE over 20 years ago. This price variation is due to a number of factors influenced by location, which only applies to a small number of our restaurants.”

500ml bottle of Masafi water at Spinneys Dubai

At Spinneys, a 500ml bottle of Masafi water was Dh1 and although is meant to cost 1.05 with VAT, it actually costs Dh1.35. If you are paying in cash, they will only ask for Dh1.25. 

Chips Oman at Lulu Hypermarket


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The iconic Chips Oman was always priced at Dh1. Lulu Hypermarket is selling it for Dh1.05. However, the cashier will only ask for Dh1, thereby absorbing that cost.

Al Ain Laban up 200ml Lulu Hypermarket

Buy Alain Laban Up 200 ml Online

This favourite drink was Dh1 and now costs Dh1.05. When you pay at the cashier, you will not be required to pay the 5fils. 

It is clear that some stores will take advantage of the implementation of a 5 per cent VAT by increasing their prices to create an even amount on the bill.

If you do have questions or would like to raise issues involving the implementation of VAT, get in touch with us and we will take the matter up with the authorities.

Email ussend us a Whatsapp message on  056 524 5977, or tweet to us @GNReaders. You can also direct message us on the Gulf News Facebook page.

**This story has been updated with a clarification from McDonalds