how vat has revolutionised my own abu dhabi neighbourhood
Last Updated : GMT 05:17:37
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Last Updated : GMT 05:17:37
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How VAT has revolutionised my own Abu Dhabi neighbourhood

Emiratesvoice, emirates voice

Emiratesvoice, emirates voice How VAT has revolutionised my own Abu Dhabi neighbourhood

Moulouk Al Shawarma restaurant in Khalidiya.
Dubai - Emirates Voice

The year is barely two weeks old and a new word has already become part of the social lexicon – Dareeba, which comes from the root word daraba, and in English translates “to strike”.

While this, admittedly, is not the most positive way to describe the region’s VAT tax, the effect it has had on my usually busy Abu Dhabi neighbourhood, is well, best described as striking.

I live in one of the many small apartments that make up the Darat Al Miyah community in Khalidiyah, which is split in half by a long narrow street linking us to Airport Road and Mubarak Bin Mohammed Street.

Food is the star of the show here, and over the last five years, our busy little strip has become a haven for small but thriving restaurants offering an array of regional fast foods such as the ever dependable paratha (House of Tea), koshari (Khafayef) and shawarma bil sarookh (the spicy “rocket” shawarma from Molouk Al Shawarma).

Waiters are the lifeblood of Darat Al Miyah, whether they are busying themselves around me inside or surrounding cars with menus, their cheery presence always comforts me at the end of a long day.

Then on January 1, Dareeba happened and those smiles have now curled into looks of consternation. Pockets now carry small calculators as well as menus, and beads of sweat are not caused by the heat but as a result of the challenge of subtracting Dh38.65 from a Dh200 note.

The days of the cheerful and easy transaction are gone. In Molouk Al Shawarma, the normally crooning Syrian counter staff now approach each sale with the solemn silence indicative of a geometry exam.

Meanwhile, at Zubaidah Laundry, Dareeba has put an end to the age-old tradition of “hissab” – the tab. Where before my laundry bills were recorded in a tattered blue book and settled fortnightly, now payment is taken care of on the spot..

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how vat has revolutionised my own abu dhabi neighbourhood how vat has revolutionised my own abu dhabi neighbourhood

 



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how vat has revolutionised my own abu dhabi neighbourhood how vat has revolutionised my own abu dhabi neighbourhood

 



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