Due to its strategic location and international reach, it is possible to get plenty of different items for cheap in Dubai. It also helps that the emirate has little taxes, so people can really indulge in their shopping sprees.
High-end cars, designer apparel, and even consumer electronics can be more affordable when buying them in Dubai. These mostly boil down to the region having little sales tax as well as the right infrastructure to support most of these goods.
Low or No Taxes Helps Keep Things Cheaper in Dubai
It is well-known that Dubai has very little income and sales tax. However, the region also has very few to no import taxes on most items it brings in from overseas.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that all items are exempted from taxation. Imported goods which are at odds with Islamic law are heavily taxed such as alcohol, tobacco, and ammunition.
But unless you are interested in those, you can easily find most other products more affordable in Dubai. Here are just some of them:
Most high-end, luxury cars typically cost a fortune just to buy, let alone maintain. But you might just be able to afford it better when you buy your dream car in Dubai.
Getting a luxury car is cheaper in Dubai when compared to European countries. It also helps that Dubai is a good country to drive one, thanks to its well-maintained road networks.
Additionally, fuel is also cheaper in Dubai which makes it an attractive spot for revving up the engines of high-end, high-fuel consumption vehicles.
However, while cars and fuel costs are rather low, there are other expenses to consider when owning a car.
Parking space can be quite limited and expensive in major destinations, and fees for traffic infractions are quite high. Likewise, luxury car maintenance and repair will also be costly compared to normal cars.
To save on this, it is important to always drive safely. Also, knowing the best places to get auto parts will come in handy in case repairs are needed.
With luxury comes fashion, and Dubai has a good number of malls and clothing stores where people can purchase designer brands even on a budget.
While luxury brands and apparel are about on par with prices from places like the US, they are around 15-25% cheaper compared to China, India, and other MENA countries.
Dubai shopping malls do host several sales throughout the year however, so prospects may want to keep an eye out. This helps the city maintain its edge in the market, allowing it to be a cornerstone of its retail sector.
Alternatively, people can order some luxury goods online via e-commerce websites. This competition between physical stores and online outlets help keep prices at a competitive level to the customer’s benefit.
Gold and Gold Jewellery
Dubai is known as the ‘City of Gold’ as these items are usually exempted from sales taxes. Buyers tend to get good deals since they only pay for the actual value of the item.
While Value Added Tax (VAT) does levy some additional cost, it still remains cheaper than other countries. Tourists may also claim VAT refunds for their purchases.
The government also helps regulate these items, ensuring its authenticity. Stores selling gold jewellery are required to carry a certificate that specifies the details of the piece, which customers can ask to see.
As Dubai is known as one of the top jewellery destinations, you can easily find some of the best jewellery stores in the world here. Their catalogues are sure to carry some dazzling and affordable pieces for your collection.
Electronics in Dubai can be quite affordable, with many stores offering plenty of deals on leading industry brands. Once again, this is due to the lower taxes on consumer goods in the country.
When it comes to buying electronics like game consoles, cameras, laptops, and tablets, many experienced shoppers recommend Al-Fahidi Street in the Bur Dubai area. It is a very popular bazaar though visitors do need to check the items closely.
Keep in mind though to double check the voltage to see if it’s compatible with your home country. Also, remember to ask for the warranty, especially for home appliances.
Dubai offers a diverse variety of chocolates, both in terms of flavours and in terms of price. Being a popular gift for all seasons, many malls, gift stores, and even supermarkets carry delicious chocolate.
There are plenty of local brands, and for expats in particular, the Baqer Mohebi comes highly recommended. It is also possible to save on recognizable household names like Toblerone, Ferrero, and Hershey’s at this supermarket.
One thing that isn’t as easily quantifiable is how affordable public transportation in Dubai is. It is a significant investment for the city, given how many people visit it every year.
The Dubai Metro remains a very affordable and convenient way of getting around the emirates. It has sufficient stops among multiple key areas and it travels quite fast too.
Other than that, the RTA bus still remains the most common and cheapest way of getting around Dubai. Over 1,500 buses ply the city at the moment, so you’re sure to be able to catch a ride at most times.
To ride the RTA bus, you will need a Nol card however, which serves as the main payment method. It can be bought at any Metro station and it can be used to pay fares for taxis as well.
There’s really no need to be intimidated by the city’s reputation as the ‘City of Gold’. When you know where to look, it is possible to get bargain prices on high-quality goods in the city.
Dubai definitely maintains its strong reputation for buying gifts and delivering on them. Discerning shoppers will definitely want to take advantage of these deals in order to make their trip a lot more memorable.