Dubai removes the 30% tax on alcohol and will no longer charge tourists or ex-pats for permits to buy alcoholic drinks. The decision comes in a bid to invite tourists, foreign visitors, and workers to Dubai to expand and support the economy.
Two major retailers in the city say they have cut down their prices to adjust their prices after the tax relief. “Buying your favorite drinks is now easier and cheaper than ever,” Maritime and Mercantile International (MMI) announced on its Instagram account on Sunday. MMI, one of Dubai’s biggest alcohol retailers has 21 stores across the city. Muslims, however, are prohibited from acquiring liquor licenses at zero cost. According to Islam, Muslims are prohibited from consuming alcohol.
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The domestic sources say that the change has been implemented for one year for trial purposes. UAE is introducing globally attractive policies while facing tough competition from other Gulf countries including Saudi Arabia and Qatar. UAE bids to make itself more attractive to foreign investors, tourists, and visitors to increase its non-oil revenues.
In this one year, the government will monitor how effectively the lower prices are passed onto the consumers. Taxes from alcohol sales are important sources of revenue for Dubai which will be adjusted by 9% federal corporate tax to be implemented in June.
Expatriates in Dubai make up to 80% of the 10 million population in Dubai, making it the biggest city in the UAE.
UAE has also relaxed its laws on unmarried couples living together and introduced the policy of ‘golden visas’- allowing foreigners to work, live, and study without needing a sponsor in the country.
Several Pakistani celebrities including Sarah Khan, Falak Shabbir, Javed Khan Afridi, Anoushey Abbasi, and others have been granted Dubai’s Golden Visa by UAE. UAE is becoming a hot spot for tourism in the region.