The UAE introduced value added tax (VAT) from January 1, 2018, after publishing the Federal VAT Law in August 2017 establishing the domestic rules applying for VAT in the UAE. This adds to the Unified VAT Agreement between GCC nations. The standard VAT rate of 5 percent is applied to goods and services. It's only natural to wonder how the introduction of VAT could affect certain sectors, so let's look at telecommunications.

Read more: Will VAT affect UAE’s telecom sector?

The Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) in Dubai confirmed that more than 5,000 heavy vehicles have been fitted with smart monitoring devices that remotely detect vehicle faults and drivers' attitudes on roads. The service, which has been launched via the recently opened Vehicles Safety Center at Jebel Ali Free Zone, has become mandatory to all companies operating trucks exceeding 20 years in service.

Read more: Dubai’s RTA fits 5000 trucks with smart monitoring devices

A recently released Analysys Mason study in collaboration with Huawei entitled, 'Digitalization reshaping operations: a new digital operational model for the future' has illustrated how digitalization is fundamentally reshaping the way businesses are being operated, and how in order to remain competitive a new operational model for the future operational environment is necessary.

Read more: Huawei study highlights how digitization is reshaping operations

Software is "disrupting nearly every industry, fundamentally reshaping business models, changing the competitive landscape, and forever altering customer expectations," claims a recent Analysys Mason study in collaboration with Huawei. It illustrates how digitalization is reshaping the way businesses are being operated, and how in order to remain competitive, new operational models are required.

Read more: Software is ‘disrupting nearly every industry’

Cisco announced the appointment of Hani Raad as General Manager for its West Region in the Middle East. In his new role, Hani Raad will focus on leading Cisco’s digital transformation initiatives in Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, the Levant and Iraq, and will work closely with its partner ecosystem to support government and private sector customers on their digitization journeys, while helping them drive desired business outcomes.

Read more: Cisco appoints Hani Raad as GM for the Middle East’s West Region

Once again, the issue of Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) services is causing a stir in the UAE. Etisalat and EITC (du), the UAE's two telecommunications providers, announced in early January this year that access to the VoIP service Skype had been blocked. If VoIP services wish to operate in the UAE they should coordinate with the TRA and local providers instead of operating without compliance.

Read more: What’s all the hype about VoIP in UAE?

Blockchain venture studio ConsenSys focused on Ethereum, has announced the opening of its office in the Dubai Design District (d3) in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The office will be the company's second largest operation globally. In March 2017, Smart Dubai announced the selection of ConsenSys, as well as IBM, to implement blockchain technology.

Read more: Smart Dubai’s blockchain advisor ConsenSys opens Dubai office

The UAE's Ministry of state for Higher Education, the Telecommunication Regulatory Authority, the ICT Fund, Dubai Investments, and the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry have partnered with Huawei to launch Seeds for the Future 2018 Program, an educational challenge that offers university students a platform to present their ideas and turn them into viable projects.

Read more: Huawei partners with TRA among others to launch educational challenge in UAE

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