Dubai: The UAE has no plans to increase its VAT (value-added tax) rate, according to Younis Khouri, under-secretary in the Finance Ministry, after Saudi Arabia confirmed it would go in for a hike.

Even prior to the ministry confirmation, business sources were hopeful that the UAE would not opt for a rate hike now. “In fact, we are hoping there would be a six-month deferment of VAT payments, until business levels stabilize and consumer confidence returns,” said Abdul Salam K.P., a member of the Dubai Gold & Jewellery Group.

Saudi Arabia on Monday said it would raise VAT to 15 per cent from 5 per cent from July 1, seeking to shield finances hit by low oil prices and a slump in demand for its lifeline export worsened by the new coronavirus.

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