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UAE residents turn to coupon app to save money

rohma@khaleejtimes.com Filed on July 4, 2020
Helwa scours the Internet and keeps track of available coupons in order to save money while shopping online.

(AFP)

Residents in the UAE can now download a coupons app that automatically looks for discount codes which they can apply to their online purchases and save money.

Created by two UAE-based media professionals, Helwa is a free web browser app that finds the best coupon codes on the Internet and automatically applies them to your online shopping cart. The app also detects cashback deals on sites that offer it, and automatically applies these deals when customers are shopping.

Speaking to Khaleej Times, Hitesh Uchil and Abbas Jaffar Ali, the founders of Helwa, said that the app was born out of a need to save money, which is now the priority of many residents facing economic hardships during the Covid-19 pandemic. Both wanted an easier way to keep track of the best deals when shopping online, without having to manually search for and verify discount codes that worked across different websites.

"We're living in truly unprecedented times; for my family and many others like us, it has meant having to cut down on spending and trying to save as much as possible. Helwa was grown out of the need for saving as much as possible during these trying times. I would like to share it with anyone who could use some savings right now - it's 100 per cent free to use," said Hitesh Uchil.

"Saving money is always important no matter how great or tough the times are," added Abbas Jaffar Ali. "As the saying goes - a penny saved is a penny earned. With Covid-19, the amount of online transactions have increased dramatically and being able to easily save on some of those transactions is exactly what we're looking to do."

Helwa currently operates with coupons from 35 retailers in the region, including Namshi, GAP, H&M, Mamas and Papas, Bath & Body Works, Home Box, Fresh to Home, Sprii, Ounass, Nisnass, Vogacloset, and Pottery Barn. Savings on these stores range from 5-20 per cent.

"We're working on expanding this range to flights, online groceries, hotels and a lot more," said Uchil, adding that the mobile apps can be downloaded on www.helwa.io.

"We've already launched a companion app for Helwa on both iOS and Android offering the same codes and coupons as our browser extension," explained Ali. "We'll continually looking at ways on enhancing the user experience on mobiles."

Looking ahead at the growth of the online shopping sector in the UAE and the region, Uchil said that having an e-commerce store has gone from being something that is 'nice to have' to being an absolute necessity. "By the end of the year, having a retailer with no online presence whatsoever will be a rare oddity."

Ali agreed and noted that while the UAE was already on the path to increased digital spending, the last few months have brought that timeline forward much faster. "Companies that were looking to sell online in the next 2-3 years are now looking to do so in the next 2-3 quarters," he said.

rohma@khaleejtimes.com

author

Rohma Sadaqat

I am a reporter and sub-editor on the Business desk at Khaleej Times. I mainly cover and write articles on the UAE's retail, hospitality, travel, and tourism sectors.Originally from Lahore, I have been living in the UAE for more than 20 years. I graduated with a BA in Mass Communication, with a concentration in Journalism, and a double minor in History and International Studies from the American University of Sharjah.If you see me out and about on assignment in Dubai, feel free to stop me, say hello, and we can chat about the latest kitten videos on YouTube.


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