Smokers and lovers of sugary drinks will find their wallets significantly lighter this Sunday – but will hopefully emerge much healthier and fitter as a result.

In a landmark move, the price of tobacco products and caffeinated drinks is to double with the introduction of what has been labelled a “sin tax”, while sugary soft drinks will be subject to a 50 per cent increase in excise duty.

The Government hopes pushing up prices will encourage people to turn away from unhealthy products like cigarettes and fizzy drinks, which place a heavy burden on the health service and contribute significantly to diseases like diabetes and cancer.

The new taxes will also contribute millions of dirhams to the UAE budget and will be followed by the introduction of VAT of five per cent on many products and services in the New Year.

The UAE is the second country, after Saudi Arabia, to attempt to deter the consumption of unhealthy products with steep price increases, with many other governments around the world considering similar tactics…. see more