Visiting the UAE soon? Well, we have some pleasant news for you. November onwards, you will be able to enjoy tax-free shopping.
The UAE Cabinet has finally decided to implement a VAT (Value Added Tax) refund scheme for tourists. This will be effective from November, 2 months from now.
There are a few conditions, the tourists claiming the refund must be non-UAE residents and above 18 years of age.
Also, their tax free tags need to be validated within 90 days of the purchase. If receipts are not validated within 90 days, the tax free tag expires and VAT cannot be claimed.
VAT in the UAE was introduced on 1 January 2018. The 5 percent value added tax law is applicable across a wide range of goods and services in the UAE including education, petrol and groceries.
Unlike other countries all around the world, millions of tourists in the Emirates can’t claim a VAT refund.
This worried businesses as they feared their sales would drop. However, they are now relieved that tourists will soon be eligible to tax-free shopping.
This view was supported by Abdul Salam, group executive director of Malabar Group. He stated that implementation of VAT refund will bring in a fresh wave of energy to the tourism industry in the UAE.
"From the perspective of the gold and diamond jewellery retail industry, this action will help to attract tourists who would have been deterred by the VAT implementation and will help Dubai to maintain and grow its position as preferred global jewellery destination," Salam added.
Hopefully, the introduction of a VAT refund scheme will encourage more tourists to add the UAE to their travel lists.