Picture used for illustrative purpose only.
Gulf Today, Staff Reporter
The new and improved integrated digital tax service platform EmaraTax, set to be launched by the Federal Tax Authority (FTA) in a few days, will be a cornerstone of our efforts to shape the future of the UAE tax system,” asserted FTA Director General Khalid Ali Al Bustani at an awareness seminar the Authority organised for the platform.
Titled ‘The EmaraTax Platform and Its Role in Enhancing the FTA’s Preparations for an Advanced Future Tax System’, the seminar is one of a series of events the Authority held to mark World Future Day.
“The launch of the EmaraTax digital platform, to be followed by its dedicated smartphone application at a later time, is part of the Federal Tax Authority’s continuous modernisation plans, which aim to prepare for a more developed future and achieve the FTA’s main goal to become a world leader in the tax sector,” Al Bustani said.
“Over the course of several months, the Authority collaborated with the competent authorities, making intensive efforts to build the digital EmaraTax platform in accordance with the latest technologies used globally in the tax field,” he added. “The platform is a notable leap forward in the plans to upgrade the tax system and achieve the Authority’s strategic goals to drive digitalisation in all of its services, in line with the UAE’s comprehensive digital transformation.”
The FTA Director General went on to note that the team in charge of implementing the EmaraTax digital tax service platform and smart application strived to create an integrated portal to enhance and streamline the experience for FTA clients, allowing them to manage their tax operations efficiently, quickly, seamlessly, and transparently.
“Throughout the development of the EmaraTax platform, the Authority was committed to integrating its services with the ones provided by other relevant government entities, including the Central Bank, and with national programmes such as UAE PASS, in an effort to streamline and optimise the use of shared data, thus facilitating operations and services for users,” Al Bustani concluded.
Meanwhile, Alpen Capital’s latest retail sector report for the GCC projects the industry to surpass pre-pandemic levels in 2022, registering a 15.7% year-on-year growth and reaching a revenue of US$ 296.8 billion. It adds the industry is expected to further grow with a Compounded Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 5.7% by 2026.
UAE-based investment banking advisory firm, Alpen Capital, launched its latest GCC Retail Industry report recently featuring forecasts on the sector, analyzing recent trends, growth drivers and challenges facing this dynamic segment. It also profiles some of the renowned retail companies in the region.
“The GCC retail industry is poised to grow at a healthy pace due to favorable demographics, improving macroeconomic factors and revival of the tourism industry. The sector is also expected to benefit from the governments’ push towards economic diversification and a growing prominence of omni-channel business models. The industry was severely hit by the restrictions imposed during the pandemic; however, retailers were responsive to the changing demands and innovated to sail through difficult times. As the retail industry continues to recover, there is an urgent need for retailers to upscale their digital presence to stay relevant as well as compete with regional and international players.”, says Sameena Ahmad, Managing Director, Alpen Capital (ME) Limited.
“The GCC retail industry is in a transformation phase with the pandemic impacting consumer behavior and buying patterns while putting e-commerce at the forefront of retail. Operators have shifted their focus on brand acquisition to strengthen their geographical presence as well as expand and diversify their product offerings. Larger e-commerce players are likely to acquire niche operators offering customized products and services. Going forward, we expect consolidation in the industry to intensify in order to drive earnings, gain market share and improve operational efficiency.”, says Krishna Dhanak, Managing Director, Alpen Capital (ME) Limited.
According to Alpen Capital, the GCC retail industry sales are forecasted to grow at a pace of 5.7% CAGR between 2022 and 2026 to reach US$ 370.0 billion.
The industry is expected to see renewed growth largely driven by the anticipated rebound in economic activity, increase in population, upcoming mega events and rising adoption of digital technologies. Regional governments are also making significant investments to enhance the leisure and entertainment sector while also enhancing the tourism and hospitality infrastructure as it witnesses influx of tourists post the pandemic.
Non-food retail sales are forecasted to grow at a CAGR of 6.2% between 2022 and 2026 while food retail sales are anticipated to increase at an annualized rate of 4.9% during the period.
Retail sales in the GCC nations are projected to grow in the range of 3.5% and 7.3% CAGR between 2022 and 2026. Saudi Arabia and UAE continue to lead the retail sales regionally, cumulatively accounting for 78.5% of the total sales by 2026. This is largely due to their large and diverse population base, liberalization of policies and a growing appetite for unique shopping experiences. Retail sales in the Kingdom and UAE are forecasted to grow at a CAGR of 6.5% and 5.1%, respectively, between 2022 and 2026.