Health Desk—October 01, 2017: From October 01, residents across the country with a love for sugary drinks and cigarettes will be feeling the pinch, as the UAE's excise tax comes into effect.
Commonly referred to as a "sin" tax, it now means residents will be paying double the price for tobacco products and caffeinated drinks, while sugary drinks will increase by 50 per cent.
Depending on the brand, a pack of 20 cigarettes will now set smokers back about Dh22, while high-in-sugar soft drinks will cost upwards of Dh2.25.
When Khaleej Times visited supermarkets to check the price of several products set to increase under the Federal Tax Authority's (FTA) new decree-law, a 330ml can of Coca Cola cost Dh1.50; a 20-pack of Marlboro Lights cost Dh10; and a can of Red Bull cost Dh5.50 in one store, and Dh6.50 in another.
But from today, the Coca Cola will now be priced at Dh2.25; the Marlboro Lights at Dh20; and the Red Bull Dh11 and Dh13, respectively.
Although smokers will now be forking out 100 per cent more for a packet of cigarettes, the new price is still lower than in places like the UK and USA.
With the implementation of VAT, set to take effect in three months, today will mark the beginning of a new era in the UAE's 46-year history.