Abu Dhabi to introduce 30 per cent alcohol sales tax

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Abu Dhabi will introduce a 30 per cent tax on alcohol sold in off-licence outlets.

Retailers have received a circular informing them about the introduction of the new tax.

The levy will come into force on June 15 after Ramadan, bringing it in line with Dubai, which already imposes a 30 per cent municipality tax on alcohol sold in off-licence outlets.

A Dh230 fee will also be introduced for special licenses, which enable non-Muslims to purchase alcohol. The licenses were previously free.

Retailers were informed about the changes, which are being brought in by the Abu Dhabi Department of Culture and Tourism, several weeks ago.

Many have displayed notices in stores to inform their customers of the changes, and some, such as Spinneys, are offering discounts in the run up to the introduction. The chain is offering a 15 per cent discount on the price of non-promotional items from tomorrow until the end of the month, according to staff at one of its stores.

News of the 30 per cent hike has been the subject of much discussion on social-media among expatriates – many of whom have said they will be stocking up before June 15.