Dubai abolishes its 30% tax on alcohol

The wealthy emirate of Dubai has scrapped its 30% tax on the sale of alcohol, according to distributors, in an apparent attempt to attract more tourists, amid competition between major cities in the Gulf region.

Dubai abolishes its 30% tax on alcohol

The wealthy emirate of Dubai has scrapped its 30% tax on the sale of alcohol, according to distributors, in an apparent attempt to attract more tourists, amid competition between major cities in the Gulf region.

The abolition of this tax, announced on social networks by Maritime and Mercantile International (MMI) and African and Eastern, but not confirmed by the authorities, will make it possible to reduce prices among the highest in the world, the pint of beer (a half-litre) costing an average of fifteen euros.

MMI and African and Eastern have also indicated that the license to be able to buy alcohol, in force for non-Muslims over the age of 21 and who are required to obtain their supplies from the few approved shops in Dubai, is now free.

"Buying your favorite drinks has become easier and cheaper!" MMI said in a Facebook post.

According to local media, the decision took effect on January 1.

A financial, commercial and tourist centre, Dubai is also the best known of the seven members of the federation of the United Arab Emirates, a Muslim country that is one of the largest oil exporters in the world and which has gradually relaxed the rules for the consumption of alcoholic beverages.

Unlike neighboring Saudi Arabia, most of the UAE is home to licensed liquor outlets, including hotels, restaurants, bars and dedicated stores. However, alcoholic beverages cannot be consumed in public.

Of the country's seven emirates, only Sharjah, neighboring Dubai, completely prohibits alcohol.

The move to make consumption cheaper in Dubai comes as Saudi Arabia continues strong efforts to attract foreign visitors and businesses, and gas-rich Qatar recently hosted the FIFA World Cup.

Dubai attracted more than 12 million foreign visitors in the first eleven months of the year, twice as many as the roughly six million visitors during the same period in 2021, according to the Department of Economy and Tourism of Dubai.

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