By abolishing the high alcohol tax, Dubai wants to become more attractive to tourists, who are increasingly sought after by neighboring countries. The 30 percent tax on alcohol has been suspended and the licensing fee previously due has been abolished, two major retailers announced today on social media. According to media reports, the changes will initially apply for one year.
“With the removal of the 30 percent tax and a free liquor licence, buying your favorite drinks is now easier and cheaper than ever before,” announced MMI, one of Dubai’s two largest liquor suppliers, in its Instagram account. Retailer African+Eastern also confirmed that the excise duty would no longer apply, but prices would still be subject to a 5% sales tax.
Tourism is an important pillar of Dubai’s economy: in the first half of 2022 alone, the number of foreign visitors increased by more than 180% compared to the same period in 2021, following the relaxation of CoV rules. This is one of the reasons why Dubai’s economy recovered so quickly from the pandemic. The gross domestic product grew 4.6% in the first nine months of last year.