Worried UAE smokers stock up on cigarettes to beat price hike

Groceries and smokers have started stockpiling cartons of cigarettes to avoid the new sales tax which will come into effect next month. On October 1, the excise tax will go into effect at a rate of 100 per cent on tobacco and energy drinks that include stimulants or substances that induce mental or physical stimulation, such as caffeine, taurine, ginseng and gaurana. The tax also will go into effect on soft drinks, at a rate of 50 per cent.

When Khaleej Times reached out to several small minimarts to find out if they have been ordering extra stocks of cigarettes, all said no. But they have been witnessing higher customer demand.

“We’re continuing to order only normal quantities of cigarettes, but we have witnessed some customers buying in bulk loads,” an assistant manager of a Motor City-based mart said. “Because we only sell at a retail level, we don’t have the means to sell in huge amounts, but our suppliers do not have enough to fulfil large orders anyway. ”

Source Credit: Khaleej Times
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