More than half of UAE residents favour the country’s new sugar tax
November 26th, 2019, Zafar Shah

More than half of UAE residents favour the country’s new sugar tax

High income earners are more likely to support the new sin tax

As the UAE prepares for its new sugar tax to take effect soon, YouGov’s latest research reveals that the majority (55%) of UAE residents support its implementation, while just one in five (20%) oppose it.

The survey shows that 66% of high income earners (those earning AED 40,000+ per month) support the tax whereas support amongst those earning AED 5,000 or less per month is considerably lower at 48%. Support for the new sin tax amongst young adults between 18 and 24 years was lower at 47% compared to 56% amongst older age groups. Amongst the genders, a higher number of men than women favour its implementation (57% vs 50%).


Although the majority of surveyed respondents (61%) were aware of this initiative by the government, two in five (39%) did not know about it.

Of those who support the tax, more than three-quarters (77%) also agree with the idea of a complete ban on the sale of high sugar drinks in the country. People aged 40 and above tend to favour a ban more than young adults between the ages of 18-24 years (84% vs 64%).

While a majority say the increased prices will change their behaviour by either reducing (41%) or stopping (13%) their consumption of sugary drinks, close to half (46%) say their intake will remain unaffected.


The new tax aims at reducing the consumption of specific goods typically harmful to either human health or the environment. Around two-thirds believe it will help to reduce the intake of unhealthy foods and beverages (67%), check sugar addiction (66%) and prevent chronic diseases linked to sugar (65%). To that end, more than seven in ten (73%) feel greater transparency about a product’s contents will further help consumers make healthy choices.

Apart from the sugar tax, more than half of UAE residents feel additional initiatives by the Government to encourage walking (59%) and systemizing nutrition standards for children’s food in schools (55%) will benefit public health. Many also think health initiatives such as marathons (49%) and community weight loss challenges (48%) are also likely to help people.

Data collected online by YouGov Omnibus among 1002 respondents in the UAE between 23rd and 30th October 2019 using YouGov’s panel of over 6 million people worldwide. Data is representative of the adult online population in the co