UAE Begins Collecting ‘Sin’ Taxes on Tobacco, Energy Drinks

Pakistani Muslim women offer Friday prayers during the holy month of Ramadan in Lahore on July 10, 2015. Islam's holy month of Ramadan is celebrated by Muslims worldwide and implies fasting, abstaining from foods, sex and smoking from dawn to dusk. AFP PHOTO / Arif ALI (Photo credit should read …
Arif Ali/AFP/Getty

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — The United Arab Emirates has begun collecting new “sin” taxes on tobacco products, energy drinks and soft drinks.

Beginning Sunday, tobacco and energy drinks will be taxed at 100 percent and soft drinks at 50 percent. Shoppers could be seen stocking up the day before.

The new tax push comes as the UAE and other oil-rich Gulf nations have struggled with low global energy prices. The UAE will start collecting a 5-percent value-added tax on certain goods in January.

All six members of the Gulf Cooperation Council have agreed to begin collecting so-called VAT taxes, though others may begin later than January. The GCC includes Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

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