TAG: UAE: Abu Dhabi
World-class infrastructure and tourism offerings, significant financial reserves and a reputation as a safe haven have all contributed to a feeling that despite the various headwinds buffeting the UAE, it is well placed to drive on with reforms intended to ensure long-term, sustainable prosperity.
When I wrote three months ago about why the economic changes afoot in the Gulf region have taken on a whole new urgency in “The challenge of change: And why it matters this time”, my analysis was very much framed against a background of anything but business as usual.
The introduction of a flat 5% value-added tax on January 1, 2018 is part of ongoing efforts to boost government revenue and increase the overall transparency of the market. Although still in its early days, the move comes against a backdrop of positive sentiment among business leaders, as shown in the second iteration of Oxford Business Group’s Business Barometer: UAE CEO Survey. Of the nearly 150 executives surveyed, more than three-quarters had positive or very positive expectations of local business conditions, while 90% said the level of transparency for conducting business was high or very high relative to the broader region.