Abu Dhabi introduces 30% alcohol tax 

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Abu Dhabi today introduces 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 came 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.

A licence is obligatory for non-Muslim residents in the UAE who wish to consume alcohol at hotels, bars, restaurants and at home. These licences are valid only in the emirate that issued the licence.

To obtain an alcohol licence, applicants must prove they are non-Muslim, are over the legal drinking age of 21, earn more than Dh3,000 a month and possess a UAE residency.

It is illegal to acquire, drink, supply, sell or offer alcoholic drinks to those without a valid licence, with a possible penalty of imprisonment for six months, a fine of Dh5,000 or both.

Tourists can consume alcohol in venues that are licensed, but if they commit a criminal offence while under the influence they may also face charges of consuming alcohol.

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