Dubai has just abolished a 30% tax on alcohol

London/Abu Dhabi

Dubai has scrapped a 30% tax on alcohol and will no longer charge tourists or expats for liquor purchase permits as the emirate tries to attract more foreign workers and visitors in the face of competition growing regional.

Two major retailers in the city, located in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), said they reduced their prices to take account of the tax reduction.

“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 largest liquor retailers and a subsidiary of state-owned Emirates Group, has 21 stores across the city, according to its website.

African + Eastern, another beverage retailer, said on its Instagram page on Sunday that it had removed the tax and was now offering personal liquor licenses at zero cost.

Muslims are prohibited from acquiring licenses for the purchase of alcohol in Dubai.

CNN has contacted the Dubai government media office for comment.

The changes will be in place for one year as part of a trial period, Reuters reported, citing national media sources.

Faced with emerging competition from countries in the region, several cities in the United Arab Emirates have adopted globally attractive policies in recent years, including the legalization of cohabitation by unmarried couples and the authorization of sale of alcohol during the holy month of Ramadan, which was previously banned across the country. the country.

More recently, a Monday-Friday work week was introduced to synchronize with global business, after years of a Sunday-Thursday schedule.

Sales of alcohol in the UAE is already more liberalized compared to neighboring Gulf countries. Nearly 90% of its population is made up of foreigners.

International visitors spent over $29 billion in Dubai in 2022, the most in the world, according to data from the World Travel and Tourism Council.

But the city faces growing competition from neighbor Saudi Arabia, which is investing heavily in its own tourism sector as it diversifies its economy away from oil.

Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman is trying to change the kingdom’s image away from a conservative Muslim country to attract global business, talent and tourism. Parts of its Red Sea Global resort, which includes a collection of mega-hotels, are set to open this year.


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