Five major global organisations specialising in assessing competitiveness have ranked the UAE among the top ten countries in the world in 28 competitiveness indexes related to finance and taxes.
This was highlighted by a report by the Federal Competitiveness and Statistics Centre (FCSC), which documented the rankings of the IMD World Competitiveness Yearbook, the Legatum Prosperity Index, the World Economic Forum’s Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report, the Global Talent Competitiveness Index (GTCI) and the Global Competitiveness Index 4.0.
According to the report, the UAE was ranked first in the Real Personal Taxes Index, the Collected Personal Income Taxes Index, the Low Tax Evasion Rate Index, the Collected Indirect Tax Revenues Index, the Lack of Wastefulness in Government Spending Index and the Best Time to File Tax Returns Index.
The UAE was also ranked second globally in the areas of corporate tax collection, real increase in government expenditures, and collection of capital and real estate taxes, while it was ranked third in the areas of intergovernmental transfers, local central governmental debt and rate of low consumption taxes.
In January 2018, the UAE adopted the value added tax (VAT), which is an indirect tax of 5 percent on most products and services supplied at every phase of the supply chain.
In the fourth quarter of 2017, the country also adopted an excise tax to discourage the consumption of products that adversely affect health, including tobacco, energy drinks and soft drinks.
Moreover, the UAE joined the top ten countries in business competitiveness in finance and tax, thanks to its policy to not apply any income taxes and focus only on indirect taxes, such as the VAT and excise tax.
While many countries are planning to increase taxes on personal profits and corporations, the UAE ranked first globally in terms of the lack of real personal taxes and low rates of tax evasion, which enhanced its attractiveness to foreign direct investments.
In its 2020 report, the World Economic Forum (WEF) ranked the UAE third globally due to its low rates on consumption taxes, and fifth globally in terms of the low impact of taxes on employment incentives. Furthermore, the country was ranked eighth globally for the impact of taxes on investments, and seventh globally in investment capital availability, according to the Legatum Prosperity Index.