Starting January 1, 2018, our charges in Saudi Arabia will be inclusive of five percent Value Added Tax. This comes after the release of the VAT regulations in the country on August 29, 2017 and the publication of the VAT Law in July of the same year. The regulations, the Law and the finalized Gulf Cooperation Council Framework Agreement form the entire foundations for the introduction of VAT across all sectors.

Each member state of the GCC is now expected to establish its own separate national legislation concerning the VAT and the detailed compliance requirements and set of rules will be outlined in the respective legislation. Implementation of the VAT in the United Arab Emirates has also been introduced but VAT is unlikely to be applied to non-GCC residents. We expect the remaining GCC countries, namely Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, and Qatar, to adopt the VAT by January 1, 2019 at the latest.

As for Lebanon, the VAT stands at 11 percent, starting January 1, 2018, up from a level of 10 percent. Our professional charges are now subject to the new VAT rate.