VAT to be implemented in 2018
By January 1 2018, VAT will be implemented at the rate of five percent. The news was announced at a press conference by Obaid Humaid Al Tayer, the Minister of State for Financial Affairs. A framework for the entire GCC is expected to be concluded by June. Implementation of a corporate tax is also under discussion. However, based on previous reports VAT would not apply to food items, education and health care.
Drop in foreign assets of UAE Central Bank
Based on data posted on the Central Bank’s website, foreign assets of the UAE Central Bank fell by $12 billion in January. The assets fell from AED 341.1 billion to AED 296.9 billion. Other areas where a drop was recorded included cash bank balances and bank deposits which dropped by 30 percent to AED 122.2 billion.
Dubai, a haven for expats in the Middle East
According to The Mercer 2016 Quality of Living Survey, Dubai was ranked as the number one city for expatriates in Middle East and North Africa (MENA). Abu Dhabi took second place in the MENA region. Globally, Dubai ranked 75th and Abu Dhabi ranked 81st. The survey which takes into factors such as quality of living, medical care and political and social environments, ranks around 200 cities worldwide.
Rich clients prefer sitting on cash?
Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank (ADCB) has said that wealthier clients are choosing to sit on their cash midst global financial uncertainty. Mark Peters, head of private clients and wealth management at ADCB commented saying that richer clients are ensuring their investments aren’t connected with oil. ADCB is currently hoping to diversify their business, moving away from lending and more towards deposits.