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| 23 September, 2017

Shoppers flock to Dubai's Gitex to buy VAT-free electronic items

Visitors walk the floor on the first day of the Gulf Information and Technology Exhibition (GITEX) at the Dubai World Trade Centre in Dubai.

Visitors walk the floor on the first day of the Gulf Information and Technology Exhibition (GITEX) at the Dubai World Trade Centre in Dubai.

REUTERS/Jumana ElHeloueh

The UAE will impose five per cent VAT on gadgets, home appliances and other electronics items from January 2018

Sales of electronic items will pick up as the year-end approaches and shoppers prepone their purchases due to implementation of value-added tax (VAT) from January 2018, according to industry executives.

"We see some consumers advancing their purchases due to VAT introduction, and the pace will get accelerated more as the year is closing - with the maximum impact in December," said Nilesh Khalkho, CEO, Sharaf DG.

Niranjan Gidwani, CEO, Eros Group, believes that major appliance purchases - as they are being along-term investment and big budgeted also - are likely to pick up before VAT comes into effect.

"Given the quiet summer, the Gitex Shopper is ideally placed for consumers to make buying decisions keeping in mind the VAT implementation from January 1. While the pre-VAT sales will really peak in December, it is quite likely that consumers with purchasing intentions will factor that into their final decision," he noted.

As part of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) agreement, the UAE will impose five per cent VAT on gadgets, home appliances and other electronics items from January 2018, resulting in hike in the prices, hence, prompting residents to advance their big budget purchases. Alongside Emirates, Saudi Arabia will also impose five per cent VAT from January which will be followed by other Gulf states.

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Nadeem Khanzadah, Head of omni-channel retail, Jumbo, stated that the consumers will continue to approach Gitex Shopper like the previous shows as people who want to make purchases will continue to buy electronic products, with or without VAT.

Mahesh Chotrani, senior vice-president, Jacky's, says that this being the last exhibition ahead of VAT implementation, it will play a major role on consumers' mind on purchasing electronics at Gitex Shopper.

He adds that shoppers could prepone their purchases during Gitex because VAT is five per cent but the discounts offered by retailers are much higher.

- waheedabbas@khaleejtimes.com


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