There’s one way to avoid the United Arab Emirates’ new 100 percent VAT tax on cigars and other tobacco products: buy them on the way out.
The new VAT went into effect on Sunday, Oct. 1, part of a sin tax movement that tacked on a 50 percent VAT to the price of sodas, while tobacco products and energy drinks get hit with a 100 percent VAT. It’s the first time in the UAE’s 46-year history that such a tax has been implemented, and is effectively doubling the price of premium cigars in the region.
According to a statement from Dubai Duty Free that was published by TheNational.ae, departing passengers will be exempt from paying the tax on tobacco products, though it will remain on sodas and energy drinks.
Arriving passengers will still be subject to the tax and current customs rules.