Sales of cars and jewellery in Bahrain have surged by up to 40 percent in the last days of December, as shoppers seek to snap up big ticket items before the launch of VAT on Tuesday, it has been reported.
Local media reported that leading supermarkets, furniture stores and consumer electronics retailers have also seen a spike in demand for TVs, home theatre systems, digital cameras and furniture.
Gulf Daily News reported that one car dealership had to station staff at the General Directorate of Traffic to process paperwork due to huge demand.
Ayman Shehadeh, marketing senior manager at Toyota and Lexus, a division of Ebrahim Khalil Kanoo, reported a 20 percent surge in customer walk-ins and a 15-20 percent increase in car sales compared with the same period last year.
The rush comes ahead of the launch of five percent VAT which will see the price of a car that costs BD10,000 rise by BD500.
EY Middle East and North Africa (Mena) VAT implementation leader, David Stevens, told the GDN a spike in consumer spending before the VAT deadline had been expected.
He added it was likely to be followed by a short-term drop in spending in the wake of the new tax.
Bahrain will apply zero-rate VAT on basic food items, some construction services, education and healthcare services, local transport services and the oil and gas sector.
Bahrain has also exempted from VAT the sale and lease of residential and commercial real estate – as well as certain financial services such as loans.For all the latest banking and finance news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.
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