To save your cash, it is best to use cash

With the end of the year fast approaching, and bonuses imminent along with a host of festivals, retailers will be doing everything they can to squeeze every last dirham from our pockets.

Even the smartest among us will fall victim to slick marketing and be duped into spending more than we sensibly have to. Nobody wants to look like a cheapskate, except maybe our employers when it comes to handing out those end-of-year bonuses.

So, prepare yourself and be aware of the following tricks of the trade that shopkeepers use to fool you into giving them your hard-earned money for stuff nobody needs.

The maze: Ikea, for example, is especially good at this. Stores like to create a maze of displays that lead you around the shop, so you are never in a position where there is not merchandise in front of you. As you wander hither and thither, each new scene is presented for you to ooh and aah over. Sooner or later, you reach for your credit card.

The tower: at the end of each aisle, department stores build displays of goods that scream "special offer". Well, maybe it is, maybe it isn't. But since the goods presented are nowhere near their usual shelf mates, you can't compare. Stores know, however, that simply presenting items as if they are a special offer, without actually saying so, is enough to get the consumer to load up.

The countdown: stores do everything possible to generate a sense of urgency in the run-up to the various holidays. They open early, close late and flood our letter boxes with leaflets touting sales and special offers. We begin to feel the creeping unease that if we don't stock up soon, it will be too late.

The muzak: holiday tunes, which, for example, remind us that in some corners of the world it actually snows, are a way of never letting us forget that shopping is now beyond basic necessities. Out goes the pasta and rice, and into our trolley go those bizarre English puddings.

The imagery: advertising slots on TV, on signboards and in print carry the same basic image - families getting together, delightedly eyeing piles of food and gifts around them. It's a beguiling scene and nobody wants to be left out.

The cure: there are ways to avoid the worst of the end-of-year shopping suckerdom. Here are a few suggestions. Shop online. This is a way of buying what you need in the calm of your own home or office. It allows you to make decisions that are less impulsive and based more on reason.

The plan: hoping for inspiration to strike as you wander up and down the aisles is a sure way to spend more than you intended. Instead, have a list, if possible, of what you intend to buy. This is, of course, unlikely for most of us, myself included, because it's hard enough trying to figure out what shirt to wear when I get up in the morning. But still, this would be a good idea if put into practice.

Pay cash: don't all laugh at once, but, truly, the best way to manage a budget is to spend what you have on hand, unlike Gordon Brown, the former British prime minister. This is difficult when expenses tend to run ahead of earnings, but at least make the effort to use an ATM as part of your holiday shopping; the dwindling wad of dirhams in your wallet will at least make the temptation to overspend a little easier to resist.

When shopping with children, it is best to agree to a budget beforehand. Tell them they can have whatever they want - as long as it comes in under a certain price. Little kids don't really know what's going on anyway, so short-changing them is no big deal. As for those old enough to covet the stuff they see on TV, take them shopping - but give them a wallet with a small amount of cash inside and tell them to spend it on gifts for siblings and parents. They will quickly figure out that what it says on the price tag and what they have to spend didn't always match up.


UAE Division 1

Abu Dhabi Harlequins 12-24 Abu Dhabi Saracens

Tomb Raider I–III Remastered

Developer: Aspyr
Publisher: Aspyr
Console: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4&5, PC and Xbox series X/S
Rating: 3/5

Living in...

This article is part of a guide on where to live in the UAE. Our reporters will profile some of the country’s most desirable districts, provide an estimate of rental prices and introduce you to some of the residents who call each area home. 

Dubai World Cup Carnival card

6.30pm: Al Maktoum Challenge Round-2 Group 1 (PA) US$75,000 (Dirt) 1,900m

7.05pm: Al Rashidiya Group 2 (TB) $250,000 (Turf) 1,800m

7.40pm: Meydan Cup Listed Handicap (TB) $175,000 (T) 2,810m

8.15pm: Handicap (TB) $175,000 (D) 1,600m

8.50pm: Handicap (TB) $135,000 (T) 1,600m

9.25pm: Al Shindagha Sprint Group 3 (TB) $200,000 (D) 1,200m

10pm: Handicap (TB) $135,000 (T) 2,000m

The National selections:

6.30pm - Ziyadd; 7.05pm - Barney Roy; 7.40pm - Dee Ex Bee; 8.15pm - Dubai Legacy; 8.50pm - Good Fortune; 9.25pm - Drafted; 10pm - Simsir

Ziina users can donate to relief efforts in Beirut

Ziina users will be able to use the app to help relief efforts in Beirut, which has been left reeling after an August blast caused an estimated $15 billion in damage and left thousands homeless. Ziina has partnered with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees to raise money for the Lebanese capital, co-founder Faisal Toukan says. “As of October 1, the UNHCR has the first certified badge on Ziina and is automatically part of user's top friends' list during this campaign. Users can now donate any amount to the Beirut relief with two clicks. The money raised will go towards rebuilding houses for the families that were impacted by the explosion.”

The Vines - In Miracle Land
Two stars

Company Profile

Company name: Hoopla
Date started: March 2023
Founder: Jacqueline Perrottet
Based: Dubai
Number of staff: 10
Investment stage: Pre-seed
Investment required: $500,000


Display: 10.9-inch Liquid Retina IPS LCD, 2,360 x 1,640, 264ppi, wide colour, True Tone, Apple Pencil 1 support

Chip: Apple A14 Bionic, 6-core CPU, 4-core GPU, 16-core Neural Engine

Storage: 64GB/256GB

Platform: iPadOS 16

Main camera: 12-megapixel wide, f/1.8, 5x digital, Smart HDR 3

Video: 4K @ 24/25/30/60fps, full HD @ 25/30/60fps, slo-mo @ 120/240fps

Front camera: 12MP ultra-wide, f/2.4, 2x, Smart HDR 3, Centre Stage; full HD @ 25/30/60fps

Audio: Stereo speakers

Biometrics: Touch ID

I/O: USB-C, smart connector (for folio/keyboard)

Battery: Up to 10 hours on Wi-Fi; up to 9 hours on cellular

Finish: Blue, pink, silver, yellow

In the box: iPad, USB-C-to-USB-C cable, 20W power adapter

Price: Wi-Fi — Dh1,849 (64GB) / Dh2,449 (256GB); cellular — Dh2,449 (64GB) / Dh3,049 (256GB)


Starring: Lupita Nyong'o, Joseph Quinn, Djimon Hounsou

Director: Michael Sarnoski

Rating: 4/5

West Indies v India - Third ODI

India 251-4 (50 overs)
Dhoni (78*), Rahane (72), Jadhav (40)
Cummins (2-56), Bishoo (1-38)
West Indies 158 (38.1 overs)
Mohammed (40), Powell (30), Hope (24)
Ashwin (3-28), Yadav (3-41), Pandya (2-32)

India won by 93 runs


Company name: Nomad Homes
Started: 2020
Founders: Helen Chen, Damien Drap, and Dan Piehler
Based: UAE and Europe
Industry: PropTech
Funds raised so far: $44m
Investors: Acrew Capital, 01 Advisors, HighSage Ventures, Abstract Ventures, Partech, Precursor Ventures, Potluck Ventures, Knollwood and several undisclosed hedge funds

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