Sales of cars and jewellery in Bahrain have surged by up to 40% 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.
Ayman Shehadeh, marketing senior manager at Toyota and Lexus, a division of Ebrahim Khalil Kanoo, reported a 20% surge in customer walk-ins and a 15-20% increase in car sales compared with the same period last year.
The rush comes ahead of the launch of 5% VAT which will see the price of a car that costs BD10,000 rise by BD500.
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.
Source Credit: Arabian Business