28/09/2017 05:12 AST

Tobacco and energy drink prices are set to double in the United Arab Emirates, which is imposing steep excise taxes to help ease a budget shortfall caused by low oil prices. Khaled Al-Bustani, director general of the newly established UAE Federal Tax Authority, said on Wednesday that the 100-percent tax would be introduced from October 1.

Prices of other types of soft drinks will increase by 50 percent, Al-Bustani told a press conference.

He declined to say how much the UAE will raise from the tax. The decision stems from agreements reached by the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council to raise the prices of those products, then impose a long-awaited value-added tax (VAT) from the start of next year.

The GCC states — Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates — have been hit hard by a slump in oil revenues, which make up the bulk of their national income.

Saudi Arabia, which is forecast to post a large budget deficit in 2017 for the fourth year in a row, has already started imposing the excise tax, besides levying heavy residency fees for expatriates’ dependents.

The kingdom, as well as UAE and Qatar, announced it would start collecting VAT of five percent at the beginning of next year on most products and services. Other members have not given a specific date.

The GCC states, which pump around 17 million barrels per day of crude oil, have seen their revenues plummet since the collapse of oil prices in mid-2014.

Arab News

Ticker Price Volume
SABIC 112.76 5,780,764
ALMARAI 54.43 842,171
STC 81.81 724,186
JARIR 190.97 81,922
EEC 15.20 2,039,089
BURUJ 34.26 41,241
PETRORABIGH 24.90 1,971,650
Saudi tourism outstrips overall economic growth in Kingdom


The KSA travel and tourism sector grew four times faster than the wider economy in 2017, according to a report released by the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), on Thursday.

The tota

Arab News

Oman's economy to accelerate in 2018-19 on energy exports, BMI says


Economic growth in Oman is expected to accelerate this year and next, as the biggest Middle Eastern oil producer outside Opec boosts oil and gas exports, BMI Research said.

Real gross dome

The National

UAE, Saudi Arabia discuss civil aviation cooperation


The General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) and a high-level delegation from the Saudi Arabia headed by Saad Bin Abdul Aziz Al Khaleb, Deputy Minister of Transport, have discussed ways of strengtheni

Gulf News

Saudis hunting for deals plan to meet Amazon, Apple, Google


The delegation of hundreds of Saudis that’s descended on the US for three weeks will meet executives from Amazon, Apple, Google, Pfizer and other companies as they hunt for foreign investment.

Gulf News

GCC e-commerce market set to hit $23.7b by 2022


The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) e-commerce market is growing rapidly and is expected to reach $23.7 billion by 2022 rising at a rate of 7.2% per annum, according to the findings of the latest stud

The Gulf Today