It has been officially confirmed that the UAE will implement VAT at the rate of 5% on 1st January 2018.
Other GCC countries may do so at the same time or by 1st January 2019, at the latest. It is now understood that the six GCC countries have now all signed the VAT agreement paving the way for VAT introduction across the GCC in 2018. The next steps are for local implementation laws to be agreed in each country. Businesses with operations in the GCC countries of the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Oman, Kuwait and Qatar will all be affected.