You Can Pay With Time Instead of Money at IKEA Dubai

29 February 2020
A five-minute drive could score you a veggie hotdog

Let’s be real, IKEA is a theme park for adults. Except instead of rollercoasters and candyfloss, it’s all BJORG bookshelves and mad cheap meatballs. When a visit to the Swedish retailer is on the cards, you need hours – an entire day, even – to meander through each floor and nose around every showroom.

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So outrageously vast is each IKEA that you’ll usually find the yellow and blue-bedecked store located on the very outskirts of the city, adding a decent chunk of drive time to the trip. To combat this, IKEA Dubai has taken the adage ‘time is money’ extremely literally with its latest initiative, which allows customers to use time as a payment option.

Its “Buy With Your Time” initiative, which coincides with the opening of a huge new store in Jebel Ali, lets shoppers purchase products based on how long it takes them to travel to the store. The more time you’ve spent travelling to IKEA over the years, the more you can buy – and the retailer is being pretty generous.

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One hour of travel is worth around $29, based on the average salary in the United Arab Emirates, Engadget reports. There are “time currency” prices for every item in its Dubai stores – with 49 minutes’ scoring you a free LACK coffee table, and 55 minutes equating to a BILLY bookcase. Even if you live right next door, a five-minute journey gets you a veggie hotdog. What a result.

All you need to do is show the cashier your Google Maps Timeline, which records all of your trips every day – including all your past trips to various IKEA outlets. When you get to the checkout, they’ll convert those hours and minutes spent on the road into the equivalent cold, hard cash and redeem them against your shop.