UAE to create new gateway for soaring e-cigarette industry - GulfToday

UAE to create new gateway for soaring e-cigarette industry


More than 64 million people will switch to vaping devices instead of smoking traditional cigarettes over the next three years according to expert forecasts, and Dubai is to provide a global platform for an industry expected to be worth $53.4 billion by 2024.

The World Vape Show, the first international vape expo of its kind in the UAE, has been strategically located in Dubai due to recent government legislation making the sale of e-cigarettes, vaping devices and e-liquids legal for the first time.

The rule change, which came into effect in April, is designed to support efforts to curb smoking in the UAE and stop the online sale of unregulated devices.

It opens up a market where the consumption rate of tobacco is high - 25-30 per cent among men - but where there is rising awareness of health hazards associated with smoking and a growing demand for alternatives to traditional cigarettes.

The official announcement today of the World Vape Show, running from June 3 to 5, 2020 at the Dubai World Trade Centre, comes amid estimates that the MEA e-cigarettes market, valued at $267.9 million in 2018, will register compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 9.74 per cent between 2019 and 2024.

The Emirates Authority for Standardisation and Metrology, which is behind the new regulations allowing the sale of e-cigarettes and vaping devices in the UAE for the first time, says concern about the spread of unregulated e-cigarettes was among the reasons behind the move.

Manufacturers are now allowed to sell the battery-powered products as long as they meet new standards and carry health warnings similar to traditional cigarettes.

Steve Diprose, Managing Director at Quartz Business Media, the organisers of The World Vape Show, said: “Before April 2019 it was against the law for retailers in the UAE to sell e-cigarette products but now there are huge opportunities for both manufacturers and retailers to take advantage of.

“We have created this event to bring the industry together in a new market, to understand how suppliers can reach end users, how the vaping category in-store can drive footfall, sales and profits, and what we can learn from both specialist outlets and the big retailers.”

The three-day exhibition will provide manufacturers with a unique opportunity to showcase products to thousands of international retailers, wholesalers, distributors and consumers in Dubai. The first two days of the event will be dedicated to business buyers, whereas the 3rd and final day will open its doors to the general public.

Alongside the exhibition is the Future of Vape Conference featuring more than 50 experts taking part in debates around innovation, regulation and industry outlook.

“We’ve created a conference agenda to cover the full spectrum of the market, from innovation to public health to a specific session on the UAE’s market,” added Diprose.

“One of the sessions which will be of most benefit to our visitors is ‘Building and Branding your Vape Business’ which will provide practical advice on how to establish your vape business, promote it within the market regulations and grow it. These kinds of sessions are vital for an emerging industry.”

Over 50 international suppliers have already signed up to exhibit.

Meanwhile in order to direct efforts towards reducing the negative effects of harmful consumption patterns, the Ministry of Finance announced the details of the amendment of Cabinet Resolution No. (38) of 2017 regarding excise goods, excise tax rates and the formula to calculate the excise price. In addition to the goods currently subject to excise tax (i.e. tobacco products, soft drinks and energy drinks), excise tax will also be imposed on e-cigarettes and the liquids used with them, as well as beverages sweetened with added sugar.

The decision to amend excise goods and the formula of calculating excise price is to achieve government directives in terms of rationalising consumer behaviour related to harmful products, which contributes to raising community members’ public health levels, and reducing the negative health consequences caused by these products. This decision is in line with the UAE’s commitment to implementing the GCC Unified Agreement for Excise Taxes and to complement efforts to achieve economic integration among the GCC countries.

Obaid Bin Humaid Al Tayer, Minister of State for Financial Affairs, pointed out that these new amendments to the Cabinet’s decision on excise tax are part of the UAE’s keenness to reduce harmful consumer practices by establishing a legislative and procedural base that supports national efforts to curb unhealthy practices that cause chronic diseases.


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