The United Arab Emirates has begun collecting new “sin” taxes on tobacco products, energy drinks and soft drinks. Tobacco and energy drinks will be taxed at 100% and soft drinks at 50%. Shoppers could be seen stocking up the day before. The new tax push comes as the UAE and other oil-rich Gulf nations have struggled with low global energy prices.The UAE will start collecting a 5% value-added tax on certain goods in January. All six members of the Gulf Cooperation Council have agreed to begin collecting so-called VAT taxes, though others may begin later than January. The GCC includes Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE.Energy drinks are a popular fillip for the tired inhabitant of UAE, with Red Bull, XL and Rockstar all being available in the Gulf state. Red Bull also sponsors cricket events in the UAE, as part of its ongoing association with high-octane sports.
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