A 50% 'sin' tax on soda in Dubai could have global consequences
The United Arab Emirates has instituted a hefty tax on sugary drinks and cigarettes: 50% on soda and 100% on energy drinks and tobacco products.
The tax, which went into effect October 1, has several goals. The first is to generate revenue for the UAE government as global oil prices remain low, according to Gulf News. The second is to improve public health since the UAE has one of the worst diabetes rates in the world. Today, 19.3% of the UAE population (nearly one in five people) between the ages of 20 and 79 have type 2 diabetes. The UAE's diabetes figures have gotten worse in recent years, according to the International Diabetes Federation — in 2013, 10% of the population had diabetes.
Some other countries, including South Africa, have implemented much tamer sugar taxes but this one is quite a serious move. It will be interesting to see what happens and whether there is an effect.