Property Management | Company Formation | Supportive Services
31 Aug 2017

UAE to rebound in 2018: IMF

UAE’s economic growth will accelerate to 4.4 per cent in 2018 as global growth is expected to pick up steam from 2017, driven by rebound in investment, manufacturing and trade, the International Monetary Fund said on Tuesday.

Raising its outlook for the global economy, the IMF said in its latest World Economic Outlook that growth is expected to rise to 3.5 per cent this year and 3.6 per cent in 2018, compared to 3.1 per cent last year with “buoyant financial markets and a long-awaited cyclical recovery in manufacturing and trade under way.”

“Stronger activity and expectations of more robust global demand, coupled with agreed restrictions on oil supply, have helped commodity prices recover from their troughs in early 2016,” according to a statement from the IMF, which is holding its annual spring meetings in Washington, D.C. this week.

For 2017, the IMF cut its forecast for Arabian Gulf oil producers’ economic growth as their output restraint deal is expected to wipe out any gains from higher oil prices in terms of government revenue.

“The expected growth improvements in 2017 and 2018 are broadly based,” said Maurice Obstfeld, Economic Counsellor and IMF director of the Research Department, but he added that “growth remains tepid in many advanced economies, and commodity exporters continue to struggle”.

“Commodity prices have firmed since early 2016, but at low levels, and many commodity exporters remain challenged – notably in the Middle East, Africa, and Latin America,” he added.

The IMF said that it expects real GDP growth for the seven oil-exporting countries in the Middle East of 1.9 per cent this year, which is a full percentage point lower than the 2.9 per cent growth it forecast for the group last October.

Saudi Arabia’s growth is forecast to grow at just 0.4 per cent this year, compared with a forecast last October of 2 per cent, and 1.3 per cent in 2018. The UAE’s growth forecast, which is cut to 1.5 per cent in 2017 from 2.5 per cent last year, is seen accelerating to 4.4 per cent in 2018, at the fastest pace in the region.

The UAE economy has been resilient to the impact of the slump in oil prices as it has benefited from a relatively diversified economy, excellent infrastructure, political stability and ample foreign assets, according to the Institute of International Finance.

“Sentiment has improved with firmer oil prices. We expect non-oil activity to pick up modestly in 2017 as fiscal drag eases and consumption spending rises in the second half of 2017, ahead of the introduction of value added tax [VAT] in 2018,” said Garbis Iradian, Chief Economist Africa Middle East, IIF.

Hardest hit within the region is Iraq, where growth of 0.5 per cent had been expected, but is now forecast to contract by 3.1 per cent. Also forecast to contract in 2017 is Kuwait – by 0.2 per cent, compared with a previous forecast of 2.6 per cent growth, a rebound to 3.5 per cent growth in 2018. Qatar will post 3.4 per cent growth in 2017 and 2.8 per cent in 2018.

“Higher commodity prices have provided some relief to commodity exporters and helped lift global headline inflation and reduce deflationary pressures,” the IMF said. “Financial markets are buoyant and expect continued policy support in China and fiscal expansion and deregulation in the United States. If confidence and market sentiment remain strong, short-term growth could indeed surprise on the upside.”

The IMF has warned that the euro zone economic outlook is clouded by Brexit and election uncertainties, with growth expected to be only modest overall. Growth this year in the 19-nation euro zone would be 1.7% per cent, up 0.1 per cent from its January estimate but unchanged from the 2016 performance.




31 Aug 2017

UAE launches website to help businesses navigate new tax system

Site includes information about tax body, as well as introduction of different types of indirect taxes

The Federal Tax Authority (FTA) has launched its website, providing businesses and consumers with a wealth of information on the upcoming introduction of excise tax and VAT in the UAE.

The FTA website,, includes information pages about the authority itself, as well as the introduction of the different types of indirect taxes in the country, the legislations regulating them, and the objectives and benefits to the UAE economy.

For businesses, the website provides advice, and guides to help them determine if they are eligible to register, as well as guidance on the registration process. Businesses can also use the website to learn from the tax guides posted, in addition to the opportunity to register and attend VAT and excise tax live sessions conducted by the FTA around the UAE and webinars and offline training sessions.

“Launching the Federal Tax Authority’s website is a significant and impactful step forward towards implementing an efficient and transparent tax system in the UAE,” said Khalid Al Bustani, director-general of the FTA.

A comprehensive FAQ section provides answers to the most common queries businesses and consumers alike may have about the introduction of taxes.  The website has a dedicated section for media as well, which will serve as a repository for media releases and statements, photographs and videos, as well as serving as an access point for media queries to the FTA.

From mid-September, businesses will be able to register with the tax authority through the website, ahead of the implementation of excise tax in October 2017 and VAT in January 2018.

“The website is full of rich content that is presented in a clear, and concise way that aims to communicate with the UAE community, businesses and individuals.  As it helps website visitors to understand the newly introduced tax jargons and technical language,” Al Bustani said.

“We trust it will be the go-to resource for businesses and consumers seeking information and reassurances about the new tax system. The website’s accessible design and emphasis on relevance and readability reflects the authority’s commitment to international standards and best practices as it goes about executing tax laws and procedures in the UAE.

“On the other hand, the authority developed and dedicated a full-fledged careers’ portal on the website that simplifies the process of applying for a promising career path and future at the FTA for ambitious job seekers, and facilitates the recruitment process for the entity.”

“Implementing taxes in the UAE serves to diversify and, as a result, strengthen our economy,”  Al Bustani explained.

“This requires that all stakeholders step up and demonstrate their readiness to effectively and efficiently adopt the new systems and procedures. The website will help them in this journey, providing them with the information they need and, very soon, with the ability to register their organisations with the Federal Tax Authority before the excise tax and VAT laws go into effect in October 2017 and January 2018 respectively.”


31 Aug 2017

New traffic rules, new fines in UAE

The UAE Ministry of Interior implemented costlier traffic fines on July 1st, 2017.

From now on overtaking on the hard shoulder will be worth Dh1,000 and six black points, blocking traffic will incur a penalty of Dh1,000 while sudden swerving will cost Dh1,000.

Driving under the influence of drugs or similar substances: Decided by court, 23 black points and confiscation 60 days

Driving under the influence of alcohol: Decided by court, 23 black points and confiscation 90 days

Driving a vehicle without number plates: Dh3,000, 23 black points, confiscation 90 days

Jumping a red light: Dh1,000, 12 black points, confiscation 30 days

Drivers distracted by mobile phones: Dh800, four black points

Carrying and transporting passengers illegally: Dh3,000, 24 black points

Driving dangerously: Dh2,000, confiscation 60 days

Driving a noisy vehicle: Dh2,000, six black points

Exceeding permitted level of 50 per cent car window tinting: Dh1,500

Not renewing vehicle registration after expiry: Dh500, confiscation seven days (if it has been expired for over three months)

Allowing children under 10 years old or shorter than 145cm to sit in the front seat of a vehicle: Dh400, four black points

Failure to fasten seat belt while driving Dh400, four black points

Speeding over limit

80km/h: Dh3,000, 23 black points, confiscation 60 days

60km/h: Dh2,000, 12 black points, confiscation 30 days

Speed limit not more than

60km/h: Dh1,500, six black points, confiscation 15 days

50km/h: Dh1,000

40km/h: Dh700

30km/h: Dh600

20km/h: Dh300