(MENAFN- Muscat Daily) Muscat- Dubai is fast losing its sheen as a shopping paradise among Omanis due to the Value Added Tax (VAT) being implemented in the UAE from January 1. From clothing, accessories, and jewellery, to shoes and gift items, Omanis used to throng Dubai for shopping as well as leisure and entertainment activities.
Since the introduction of VAT, many say the city is not worth the visit any more as goods in Oman cost less. 'Since the introduction of VAT in the UAE, shoppers feel the pinch of an additional five per cent tax added to many goods and services. I used to spend around RO300 for Eid shopping in the past but now I have to pay more. I think I will never go to Dubai again for shopping,' Hamad Sultan, a father of four said. It has been a practice for some Omanis to go to Dubai for Eid and back-to-school shopping but things have changed a lot in the past few months.
'I came back from Dubai two weeks ago after shopping for Eid. I prefer shopping well in advance but this time things have not been the same.
'I spent RO1,200 just for my four-day trip and shopping. In the past, I used to spend around RO500 to RO600 only,' said Yahya al Dughaishi. Even for Ramadan, many Omanis prefer to do shopping in advance. This year Ramadan is set to start in mid-May.
'I prefer Ramadan and Eid shopping much in advance just to have a relaxed time during the month of fast. This year I will be doing my shopping in Oman because things are cheaper here than Dubai,' Hasna al Naamani, a mother of four, said. Amour al Tauqi said, 'Ramadan is an extremely busy season for me. That is why I am doing Eid shopping now in Oman to save money rather than go to Dubai and spend more.'
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