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On Sunday, my wife Deemah and I came back from a much-needed winter break in Cape Town.
As we landed back here in the UAE, cars were still running crazy like ping pong balls, the skyline has still that stinging sophisticated look (seemed HD after the rain), old friends still messaging to catch up etc… everything was exactly as we left it.

Yet something had changed. Dramatically. Every business around us had increased their prices. And the increase felt like a hit. And it didn’t seem to be only psychological. My rented car went up by 13%, my meals by 11%… And when I asked why everyone seemed pretty surprised. “It’s VAT”. But isn’t VAT supposed to be only 5% (which I am totally okay with)?

As an entrepreneur myself, I understand that a fine balance between costs and pricing structure is the A-B-C of business survival. I understand that in a city that becomes more and more sophisticated, appealing, interesting, multicultural and exciting, costs also go up. I understand all of this. Really. Believe me. I get it! But what I don’t get is WHY some businesses take advantage of VAT by increasing their prices massively!!!

I have a resolution this year. And it is a BOLD one. In 2018, VAT WON’T STOP YOU FROM LOOKING DAMN SHARP! Not only we won’t increase prices, we will cut them while keeping the same quality.

I don’t know if you are really getting what I have just told you…

IN 2018 WE ARE DROPPING OUR PRICES IN ABU DHABI. And no, It’s not a promotion it’s here FOR GOOD.

Let me give you some examples:

  • Shirts: AED 8
  • Kandoora: AED 9
  • Abaya: AED 15
  • Suits: AED 25
  • Wash Everything (Blue Bag): AED 55

And you? Do you feel some businesses are taking advantage over VAT?

Author: Rami Shaar

Rami is the CEO and Co-Founder of Washmen. He started off his career in investment banking and private equity. To satisfy his entrepreneurial craving, he joined UBER in Dubai as one of the early employees that help build UBER in the region. Throughout his life and career, he always felt the pain of laundry days and has decided to do something about it!