UAE expands taxes to target vaping and more sugary drinks

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DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — The United Arab Emirates will start taxing vaping devices and e-cigarettes at 100% and all sugary drinks at 50% as economic growth stutters and the government looks for ways to boost its revenue.

The country’s Cabinet announced the new taxes on Tuesday, which come into effect in January.

The UAE has long lured foreigners with the promise of a tax-free lifestyle, but after oil prices fell sharply in mid-2014 the government introduced a sweeping 5% value-added tax last year on most goods and services. In 2017, it introduced a 100% tax on tobacco and energy drinks, and a 50% tax on soft drinks. The new tax will include other sugary beverages like sports drinks.

Economic growth in the UAE slowed last year to 1.7% and non-oil growth was at 1.3%.

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