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Tue 3 Dec 2019 12:30 PM

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Revealed: how popular is the UAE's new sugar tax?

YouGov's latest research revealed that 55% of UAE residents support implementation of excise tax on sweetened drinks

Revealed: how popular is the UAE's new sugar tax?

Of those who support the tax, more than three-quarters (77 percent) also agreed with the idea of a complete ban on the sale of high sugar drinks in the country.

More than half of UAE residents support the launch of the country's so-called sugar tax, which came into effect on Sunday, accoridng to a new survey.

YouGov’s latest research revealed that 55 percent of UAE residents support its implementation, while just one in five oppose it.

The UAE's Federal Tax Authority (FTA) implemented an expansion of excise tax on Sunday which includes sweetened drinks, electronic smoking devices and tools, and the liquids used in these devices.

The survey showed that 66 percent of high income earners (those earning AED40,000+ per month) support the tax whereas support among those earning AED5,000 or less per month is considerably lower at 48 percent. 

Support for the new sin tax among young adults between 18 and 24 years was lower at 47 percent compared to 56 percent among older age groups. Amongst the genders, a higher number of men than women favour its implementation (57 percent vs 50 percent).

Of those who support the tax, more than three-quarters (77 percent) also agreed with the idea of a complete ban on the sale of high sugar drinks in the country.

While a majority said the increased prices will change their behaviour by either reducing (41 percent) or stopping (13 percent) their consumption of sugary drinks, close to half (46 percent) said their intake will remain unaffected.

The new tax aims to reduce the consumption of specific goods typically harmful to either human health or the environment. Around two-thirds believe it will help to reduce the intake of unhealthy foods and beverages (67 percent), check sugar addiction (66 percent) and prevent chronic diseases linked to sugar (65 percent).

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