UAE signs $5.5bn in military contracts

Members of the United Arab Emirates’ armed forces take part in a military show launching the International Defense Exhibition and Conference (IDEX) in Abu Dhabi. (AFP)
Updated 22 February 2019

UAE signs $5.5bn in military contracts

  • Gulf Arab states, including the UAE and Saudi Arabia, have long been major buyers of US weapons but have beefed up military purchases in recent years from other countries
  • The UAE awarded deals to firms from Russia, Turkey, Pakistan and South Africa at the five-day IDEX military exhibition

ABU DHABI: The UAE awarded 20 billion dirhams ($5.5 billion) worth of defense procurement contracts during a defense show this week, a military spokesman said.
The majority were awarded to international companies such as US firms Lockheed Martin and Raytheon, which sealed one of the biggest deals with 7 billion dirhams worth of contracts related to its Patriot missile air defense system.
Gulf Arab states, including the UAE and Saudi Arabia, have long been major buyers of US weapons but have beefed up military purchases in recent years from other countries. This week, the UAE awarded deals to firms from Russia, Turkey, Pakistan and South Africa at the five-day IDEX military exhibition.
Saudi Arabia signed agreements this week at IDEX to develop its domestic defense industry as the Kingdom, the world’s top oil exporter, seeks to diversify its economy away from oil. Saudi Arabian Military Industries (SAMI), the Kingdom’s state defense company, signed partnerships with France’s Naval Group, Spain’s Navantia, and Abu Dhabi state fund Mubadala.
SAMI, established in May 2017, seeks to localize 50 percent of military spending by 2030.


UAE to impose 50% tax on soft drinks in health drive

Updated 21 August 2019

UAE to impose 50% tax on soft drinks in health drive

  • The 50% tax on soft drinks and 100% on vaping products start Jan. 1, 2020
  • The government says the taxes are necessary to help persuade people to make healthier choices

DUBAI: The UAE government has announced new taxes of up to 100 percent aimed at vaping and soft drinks, in a bid to reduce the consumption of unhealthy products.

Starting Jan. 1, 2020, the new list of taxable products will include sugary and sweetened soft drinks, as well as powders that can be used to make drinks, and electronic smoking devices.

A statement on state-run news agency WAM said the step is aimed at reducing “consumption of unhealthy goods and modifying consumers’ behavior.”

The Cabinet decision, will add a 50 percent tax on soft drinks with added sugar, in form of a liquid, concentrate, powders, extracts or any product that may be converted into a drink.

Vaping devices and the associated products will be taxed at 100%. (File/Shutterstock)

“The decision also requires manufacturers to clearly identify the sugar content in order for consumers to make sensible healthy choices,” the statement read.

The cabinet also announced the introduction of a 100 percent tax on electronic smoking devices - irrespective of whether they contain nicotine or tobacco - and the liquids used in the devices.

The UAE government first introduced a tax on specific goods deemed harmful to human health in 2017.