The United Arab Emirates on Sunday introduced a new “sin tax” on tobacco products, energy drinks and soft drinks, AP reported. Starting October 1, people buying tobacco and energy drinks will be taxed 100%, and those who consume soft drinks will be taxed at 50%.
UAE’s decision to impose the Excise Tax comes ahead of the value-added taxes planned by six Gulf countries to be charged on goods and services from January 1, 2018. The countries have recently been struggling with low energy prices across the globe. The Gulf region was long known for being tax-free.
The UAE is part of the Gulf Cooperation Council, which also includes Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Oman, Qatar, and Kuwait. UAE and Saudi Arabia have announced to impose 5% VAT on goods starting January 1, 2018. The other four states will follow suit later in the year, reported AP.