Opec member nations Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates have made further moves to diversify their revenue bases outside of oil and gas by introducing value added tax (VAT) for the first time.

A 5% levy has been added to goods and services such as petrol, diesel and food as of 1 January, with clothes, utility bills and hotel rooms also getting the added cost.

However, some services such as medical treatment, transport and financial services will continue to be exempt from VAT, while there are no plans to introduce income tax – a relief to many ex-patriot workers in the two countries’ oil sectors.