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Soda Prices to Increase in the UAE

This Will Make Soda Drinkers in The GCC Want to Kick the Habit

I absolutely love Diet Coke. Without a hint of irony or sarcasm, I say to myself "omg this is delicious" when I take the first sip out of a cold can. And I say this, no joke, every. single. day.

It's not just Diet Coke that I consume daily, though. Perhaps my greatest liquid intake is of soda water, which back home in New York we call seltzer or club soda. No matter what the name, I pick it over water (or Perrier or San Pellegrino) any day, and, I drink about five cans of it daily.

One of the greatest joys, then, of my move from the US to the UAE (and there have been many) is how little a can of anything carbonated costs here. As a serial soda drinker, I didn't even realize how much money I'd been shelling out on the beverages until I saw how cheap they are in Dubai.

Things are about to change for me and my fellow soda-fiends, though, because six GCC countries are introducing a soft drink tax.

According to the Saudi Gazette, the GCC is set to "see taxes of 100 per cent on tobacco and its by-products and energy drinks and 50 per cent on soft drinks."

Though there's no word on when the price increase will go into effect, it's said to be a result of rising diabetes and obesity rates in the region. Right now, a can of soda costs AED1.5. Once the new tax is in place, it'll increase to AED2.25.

Anyone else going to stock up on soda while they still can?

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