From driverless taxis to new tax in UAE: 23 things coming up in 2023

A glimpse of what to look forward to in the New Year



by

Mazhar Farooqui

Published: Sat 24 Dec 2022, 6:00 AM

From driverless taxis and world class eateries to corporate tax and mandatory job insurance, the New Year is coming with a whole bunch of things for UAE residents and visitors. Here's a look at what's in store for the year ahead.

1. Driverless taxis on Dubai roads

You could be riding driverless taxis by the year end. At least 10 of these futuristic autonomous taxis will begin to carry passengers in late 2023. The vehicles will be equipped with sensors, cameras and LiDAR systems – light detection and ranging (laser scanning technology) to monitor road conditions, and controls to avoid collision with objects which human eyes may fail to see.

2. COP28

KT photo by Neeraj Murali
KT photo by Neeraj Murali

COP28 will be the UAE’s most important event in 2023, said His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. The 28th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 28) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) will be hosted at Expo City Dubai from November 30 to December 12 next year. Over 140 heads of state and government leaders and 80,000 delegates are expected to attend the event.

3. Mandatory job insurance

Starting January 1, it will be mandatory for employees to subscribe to the Unemployment Insurance Scheme.

Workers with a basic salary of Dh16,000 or less will need to pay a monthly insurance premium of Dh5. The scheme offers a cash benefit for a limited period not exceeding three consecutive months per claim, in the event of job loss due to a non-disciplinary reason.

4. Corporate tax

Businesses will be subject to the UAE Corporate tax from June 1. Firms posting annual profits exceeding Dh375,000 will be taxed 9 per cent. The Corporate Tax will apply to all businesses and individuals conducting business activities under a commercial licence in the UAE.

5. Fines for failure at Emiratisation

KT photo by Shihab
KT photo by Shihab

Starting January 1, private sector firms with 50 employees or more will have to cough up heavy penalties if they fail to meet the Emiratisation rate of 2 per cent for skilled jobs. A monthly fine of Dh6,000 will be imposed for every Emirati that has not been employed.

6. Personal status law

A new federal decree-law concerning the personal status of all non-Muslim foreigners in the UAE will come into effect on February 1, next year. The law regulates various procedures including those for marriage, divorce, and inheritance.

7. Dubai’s most anticipated resort

Dubai’s most anticipated resort, Atlantis The Royal, will make its grand debut in 2023. The 795-room the hotel features 90 swimming pools and 17 restaurants – eight of which are by world-class celebrity chefs. The property will be also home to the world’s largest jellyfish aquarium and a water fountain that breathes fire.

8. Seaworld Abu Dhabi

The UAE’s first marine life dedicated theme park will be the latest addition to Yas Island’s tourism offering. between all life on earth and our oceans.

The custom-built 183,000 sqm facility features over 68,000 marine animals including manta rays, sea turtles and reptiles in the world’s largest aquarium, along with six different realms that showcase the complexity, interconnectivity and beauty of life under the sea.

9. Exciting restaurants

Foodies will be even more spoilt for choice with the opening of several exciting new restaurants in Dubai. Above Eleven (Mariott Palm Jumeirah), City Social (Grosvenor House), Estiatorio Milos (Atlantis The Royal), Josette (DIFC) are among some 30 odd eating joints that will add to Dubai’s thriving culinary scene in the New Year.

10. Ultra Music Festival

One of the world’s biggest music festival touches down in Capital early next year. Ultra Abu Dhabi will be held at Etihad Park on March 4-5 at 2023. The event will host two stages — a big room focused main stage and a house-centric Resistance stage — with a lineup to be released shortly.

11. Snow park in Abu Dhabi

A fun-filled experience awaits residents as the world’s largest snow play park, Snow Abu Dhabi, opens at the capital’s Reef Mall. Divided into distinct zones, the 10,000 square foot park features 13 world-class rides and attractions besides a Snowflake Garden.

12. World’s most immersive mega coaster

If you enjoy roller coasters then Mission Ferrari, launching at Ferrari World Abu Dhabi is just the thing for you. Billed as the world’s most immersive mega coaster, it offers an exhilarating, high intensity and multisensory 5D rollercoaster experience that includes the world’s first sideways coaster drop.

13. New Dh1,000 currency note

A new Dh1,000 bill will be available in the first half of 2023. Made of polymer, the bank note will depict UAE’s success story while achieving its achievements in space and clean energy.

14. Ajman plastic ban

KT photo by M. Sajjad
KT photo by M. Sajjad

Plastic bags will be banned in Ajman from next year. The Ajman Municipality and Planning Department earlier said they are conducting a study to find the most sustainable alternatives to single-use plastic bags.

15. Instant Payment Platform

You could be using an Instant Payment Platform (IPP) for financial transactions.

The Central Bank of the United Arab Emirates (CBUAE) said the IPP will be launched in the first quarter of 2023 with a pilot group of licensed financial institutions.

16. More outlets on Sharjah’s latest beachfront

Sharjah’s newest recreational development, Al Heera Beach will add several restaurants and entertainment zones before the first quarter of 2023. The three commercial units that opened here on December 22 include a restaurant, café and a gym.

17. Robotic biobank

The UAE will open its first biobank with the potential to manage around seven million specimens. Al Jailia Foundation is investing Dh17million to build the state-of-the-art facility aimed at boosting the advancement of medical research in the area of genetic disorders, cancer and other chronic diseases and pandemics.

18. World’s tallest hotel

The world’s tallest hotel may not open in 2023 but it will certainly dwarf many skyscrapers in the city. The Ceil Tower in Dubai Marina will reach 365 metres high, beating Dubai's former record holder Gevora Hotel by nine metres.

19. Chinatown at Dubai Mall

KT photo by Neeraj Murali
KT photo by Neeraj Murali

A one-stop shop for all things Chinese opens at Dubai Mall next year. As with other Chinatowns across the world, this Emaar-backed venture will be home to Chinese shops and bakeries.

20. Minifootball World Cup

Ras Al Khaimah will host the 2023 Minifootball Worldcup. Held every two years, the competition attracts thousands of spectators and fans from around the globe.

21. Maldives-inspired resort in RAK

A hotel inspired by resorts in Maldives is set to open in Ras Al Khaimah. Overlooking a mangrove-lined eco reserve, the Anantara Mina Al Arab will have 306 guest rooms and overwater villas – a first in the Emirates.

22. Ain Dubai to reopen

This isn’t exactly new but long awaited. The world’s biggest and tallest ferris wheel is likely to reopen in the first quarter of 2023. The Bluewater Island attraction was closed for maintenance and refurbishment in March this year.

23. New flight to Bangkok, Surat

Emirates will launch a fourth flight between Bangkok and the UAE from January 1. The additional flight will be operated by the airline’s flagship Airbus A380. Meanwhile, Indian budget carrier Air India Express has announced plans to start daily flight services between Sharjah and Surat from mid-2023.

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