A week in review: Here are the top stories from Dubai this week

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Here’s your must-read guide to the city’s biggest news stories…

In a fast paced city like Dubai, it can be hard to keep up with all the city’s happenings. Which is why we’re bringing you the week in review: a short, digestible overview of the weeks biggest news announcements, trending stories and top happenings.

From the announcement that a new IKEA is opening in Dubai this year to a major change for tourists who wish to purchase liquor while on holiday in Dubai, we’ve rounded up the Dubai news you need to know about this week.

Tourists can now obtain a temporary liquor license to buy alcohol in Dubai

It is now possible for tourists on a visit visa to purchase alcohol from any registered retailer in Dubai. While previously, tourists were unable to buy alcohol anywhere, now there’s a quick and simple process in place to grant them a temporary liquor license. In order to get their license, tourists must visit an African + Eastern or MMI liquor store with their original passport, fill out a short form and sign an official declaration to state that they are not a UAE resident, and will obey the UAE’s rules and regulations in regards to alcohol purchase and consumption. The store will then take a copy of both the passport and the entry stamp, and also issue the customer with a guideline to responsible drinking in Dubai.

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There’s a new IKEA opening in Dubai this year

Al-Futtaim have announced that their new mall, Festival Plaza, will open in December this year. Within the mall will be 120 retail outlets including IKEA, Ace Hardware and Lulu Hypermarket. Conveniently located in Jebel Ali, the mall will be easily accessible to residents living in Dubai Marina and surrounding areas. Close to Sheikh Zayed Road, just past Ibn Battuta, the mall is part of Al-Futtaim’s new residential area, Wasl Gate.

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UAE ministry slashes work permit fees by up to 94 per cent

Fees for work permits provided by the UAE’s ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MOHRE) are set to be reduced by up to 94 per cent, the ministry has confirmed. The move comes in a bid to support business owners in the UAE, an official Tweet read. The ministry confirmed it has started enforcing the reduced fees for 145 services and 128 transactions. Of those, 17 fees have been cut by between 50 per cent and 94 per cent.

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It looks like the UAE could introduce a charge for single-use plastic soon

Following countries such as New Zealand, United Kingdom and Ireland, it looks like the UAE could soon introduce a charge for single-use plastic. Items such as carrier bags and plastic cutlery could soon incur a small fee to deter customers from using them. Shaikha Al Hosani, executive director of the environment quality sector at the Environment Agency Abu Dhabi, told The National that the move is ‘in the pipeline’.

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The VAT cash refund limit has been decreased for UAE tourists

The UAE Federal Tax Authority (FTA) has announced it has decreased the daily limit on cash refunds for tourists visiting the UAE. Previously tourists were able to claim back up to Dhs10,000 in cash, whereas now they will only be able to receive Dhs7,000. Any remaining VAT to be claimed can be refunded via electronic transfer to the traveller’s credit card. This move comes as the FTA aims to ‘reduce its reliance on cash’ and focus more on electronic transactions. There is currently no limit on credit card transfers.

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Pay-per-use mobile data plans to be discontinued in the UAE

The UAE Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) has ordered network providers du and Etisalat to stop offering pay-per-use data plans to customers. According to the TRA, du and Etisalat should only offer the pay-per-use data plan to customers going forward if they explicitly ask for it. The move comes in a bid to ‘protect subscribers from excessive charges’.

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