You may not get a positive response at your local hypermarket but a large number of people ask for discount on a wide range of purchases in Fujairah and get it.
Asking for a discount is a long established tradition. It may be more common in the rural emirates like Fujairah than in the more commercially sophisticated emirates of Dubai and Abu Dhabi.
It is so much part of commerce in Fujairah that many vendors build a discount amount into their product when they are setting the price.
Shop at a hardware shop and if you ask for a discount you might get Dh10-15 knocked off the price of a rake or spade. Ditto for buying a car, paying a hotel bill or settling your school fees.
A Fujairah taxi driver who landed a Dh300 speeding fine, went to the Police Department and asked for a discount. He said he spun a good story because he ended up only paying Dh100.
Starting from today (11 September 2011), the Dubai Police department is advertising a whopping 30% discount on the payment of traffic fines.
This discount may not relate to Fujairah motorists but it could certainly serve as leverage when paying a fine to the Fujairah Police. Ask for a 35% discount on the basis that Dubai is offering a 30% discount (over the next 3 months).
Asking for a discount doesn’t come easy to people of some cultures and personalities. It can make you feel stingy, something of a cheapskate or a dirham-pincher.
On the other side of the ledger, in this culture asking for a discount, like bartering at the Friday Markets, is something that is expected.
It can give to the vendor an opportunity to demonstrate generosity so that both parties end up happy when the transaction is complete.
On a related matter, discover more on the purpose and practice of bartering in:
Friday Market: Why Markets are Hard to Beat in the UAE, Experiencing the Emirates, 18 April 2007.
More Fujairah news, resources and photos are posted on the Fujairah in Focus Facebook Page.
Image: This Fujairah farmer was asking for a discount on a purchase of wheat at one of the agricultural shops in the city.