Abu Dhabi levies fee on expat tenants to boost revenues
The emirate of Abu Dhabi has imposed a fee on expatriates renting homes there as it seeks to increase state revenues that have fallen due to low crude prices.
The municipal fee, equivalent to 3 percent of a tenant’s annual rent, will take effect retroactively from February 2016, the Abu Dhabi Department of Municipal Affairs & Transport said on Thursday.
Last January the largest member of the United Arab Emirates hiked water and electricity charges, and in July the International Monetary Fund estimated the government would run a fiscal deficit of 6.9 percent of gross domestic product in 2016.
Authorities decided on the fee last year but delayed its introduction because procedures to implement it were not yet in place. The department did not say how much the measure, from which UAE nationals are exempt, would raise.
Neighbouring Dubai, the financial hub of the UAE, charges tenants a 5 percent municipality fee. The emirates do not levy income tax.