Dubai kicks off the new year with a 30 percent tax reduction on the sales of alcohol as the Middle East country seeks to boost tourism revenues and maintain the number one tourist destination in the Middle East.
Investors King understands that the decision which was made on Sunday also took effect immediately and has been seen as a trying time by the Executive Directors of the alcohol industry.
Dubai, which boasts of a great number of expatriates in a number of nine to one compared to other Middle East countries, has been working on ways to be more flexible with regulations and laws in order to accommodate and attract more tourists to the country.
The change which is expected to run for a year is seen as a key move to compete with other major Middle East countries such as Qatar after the country hosted a successful World Cup in 2022 and attracted a huge number of tourists to the country.
In a video statement posted on Instagram by MMI, one of Dubai’s leading alcohol suppliers “ “With the removal of 30% municipality tax and a free alcohol license, buying your favourite drinks is now easier and cheaper than ever,” it was also revealed that prices of alcohol in their stores reflect the removal of the 30 percent tax reduction.
Investors King also gathered that African+Eastern industry, another major alcohol retailer, disclosed that the prices of their drinks reflect the tax reduction, but prices would remain subject to a 5% value-added tax (VAT).
Tourism is a key pillar of Dubai’s economy, and tourist numbers grew more than 180% in the first half of 2022 over the corresponding 2021 period.
Dubai, which is home to the world’s tallest building and islands shaped like palm trees, will introduce a 9% corporate tax from June on profits exceeding 375,000 dirhams ($102,100).
Egypt Eyes Tourism Boom Despite Regional Tensions
Despite the recent Israel-Hamas conflict, Egypt’s tourism sector remains optimistic about meeting its target of 15 million arrivals in 2023 with expectations of further growth in 2024.
The North African nation is gearing up for a hotel-building initiative to address the pressing need for additional capacity, aiming to add at least 25,000 rooms in 2024 and 40,000 the following year.
Tourism Minister Ahmed Issa emphasized that the scarcity of hotel rooms is the primary challenge, prompting the government to consider incentives such as tax breaks to expedite construction.
“The No. 1 challenge that Egypt faces today is the number of hotel rooms. We need at least 25,000 additional rooms in 2024 and 40,000 the year after,” said Issa.
Tourism, a crucial component of Egypt’s economy, is gaining increased significance amid the country’s fiscal challenges.
Despite concerns raised by the Israel-Hamas conflict impacting nearby countries, including Egypt, the relative containment of the conflict and the favorable exchange rates due to currency devaluations have made Egypt an attractive destination.
In the past financial year, tourism revenue in Egypt reached a record $13.6 billion, with a focus on attracting higher-spending tourists and solid visitor numbers from countries like Germany and Russia.
The government is also looking to tap into the vast potential of Chinese tourists, aiming for 1 million Chinese visitors between now and 2028. While Red Sea cities like Sharm El-Sheikh and Hurghada continue to be popular, efforts are underway to promote tourism in the northwestern Mediterranean coast.
To encourage further development, the tourism and finance ministries are proposing incentives for hotel builders, including rebates for funding costs and potential tax holidays on capital expenditure.
Issa stated, “We’re going to seek the approval of the cabinet over the coming couple of weeks” and expects to announce the incentives “before the end of December.”
Winter Travel Tips Around the Iconic Southern Cross Station
What’s more beautiful than Melbourne’s Southern Cross Station, adorned with twinkling winter lights, a light dusting of frost on the platforms, and the buzz of travelers eager to embark on their winter adventures? Winter has cast its enchantment over the city, and you’re about to dive headfirst into the wonderland that is Melbourne during this chilly season.
Before you do, one essential aspect of your journey deserves special attention: luggage storage near Southern Cross Station. It’s the unsung hero that allows you to explore the city unburdened, and we’ll dive into that soon. First, let’s talk about getting to this iconic station.
Making Your Way to Southern Cross Station
Navigating your way to Southern Cross Station is like embarking on the first chapter of your winter adventure. Whether you’re a local planning a staycation or a traveler from afar, there are multiple routes to reach this central hub.
If you’re a public transportation enthusiast, you’re in luck! Melbourne’s well-connected tram and train network makes it a breeze to reach Southern Cross Station from virtually anywhere in the city. Just hop on a tram or a train, and you’ll find yourself right at the heart of the action.
What if you’re rolling into Melbourne with your trusty car? Don’t worry! There are plenty of parking options available near Southern Cross Station. Secure parking facilities make it convenient for those who prefer to bring their own wheels.
Dressing for the Chilly Weather
Now that you’ve safely stowed away your luggage, let’s chat about the first order of business regarding winter travel: dressing for the weather. Melbourne’s winter is a delightful mix of crisp mornings, occasional rain showers, and pleasantly cool afternoons. To conquer this ever-changing climate, layering is your trusty sidekick.
Start with a cozy base layer, add a stylish sweater or cardigan, and top it off with a waterproof jacket. Remember to pack a high-quality pair of waterproof boots to keep your feet dry while you explore. Of course, a stylish scarf and beanie combo will keep you warm and looking like a true Melburnian.
Embracing Melbourne’s Winter Events
Melbourne doesn’t let the chilly weather dampen its spirits. In fact, it thrives in winter with a slew of exciting events and activities to keep you entertained. From June to August, the city comes alive with winter festivals, art exhibitions, and food extravaganzas.
Imagine gliding gracefully on an ice skating rink under the open sky, surrounded by the city’s stunning skyline. Or perhaps you’d prefer to immerse yourself in the vibrant art world, exploring galleries showcasing Melbourne’s creative talents. Finally, let’s not forget the food festivals that’ll have your taste buds dancing in delight.
The best part? Many of these events are conveniently located near Southern Cross Station, making it the perfect starting point for your winter adventure. But before you rush off to partake in the festivities, let’s talk about warming up from the inside out.
Warm Eats and Hot Drinks
One of the great pleasures of winter travel is indulging in the heartwarming cuisine and beverages the city has to offer. Melbourne knows how to do comfort food right. From hearty soups and savory pies to mouthwatering pasta dishes, you’ll find a plethora of options to satisfy your cravings.
And what’s winter without the perfect cup of coffee or hot chocolate? Melbourne takes its coffee seriously, and there’s no shortage of charming cafes near Southern Cross Station to enjoy a steaming cup. Sip slowly, savor the flavors, and take in the cozy atmosphere.
Exploring Melbourne’s Winter Scenery
As winter blankets Melbourne in its cozy embrace, you’ll discover that this city transforms into a captivating wonderland. Its parks and gardens take on a magical allure, with glistening dewdrops adorning the foliage and crisp air, making each stroll a refreshing experience.
One must-visit spot is the Royal Botanic Gardens, where you can wander among stunning winter blooms and serene lakes. For architectural enthusiasts, Federation Square and its intriguing design will be a sight to behold. Melbourne’s winter scenery is Instagram gold, with every corner providing the perfect backdrop for your next post.
Safety Tips for Winter Travel
Safety always comes first, especially when navigating a new city and in winter when sidewalks can get slippery. Be mindful of icy patches, and invest in a good pair of non-slip shoes to avoid any unexpected ice-skating incidents.
Above all else, stay hydrated. The cooler weather might trick you into thinking you don’t need as much water, but staying well-hydrated is crucial for staying healthy during your travels.
Embrace the Chill: Your Melbourne Winter Adventure Awaits!
And there you have it, fellow adventurers — your comprehensive guide to winter travel around Melbourne’s iconic Southern Cross Station. We’ve covered everything from the ever-changing weather to the picturesque scenery and all the safety tips you need to know.
Winter in Melbourne is a unique and enchanting experience, and with the right preparation and a touch of wanderlust, you’re bound to create lasting memories. So, grab your winter coat, pack your sense of adventure, and let Melbourne’s winter charms captivate your heart. Here’s to an unforgettable winter getaway!
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