Tourists and visitors can claim refund on VAT paid on purchases they made during their stay in the UAE. Recovery of payment will be done through a fully integrated electronic system which connects retailers registered in the ‘Tax Refund for Tourists Scheme’ with all ports of entry and exit from the UAE. Read the details.
Federal Tax Authority (FTA) introduced Value Added Tax (VAT) of 5 per cent in January 2018 and launched 100 per cent digital tax-free shopping service for tourists in the last quarter of 2018.
What is tax-free shopping?
Tax-free shopping is the purchasing of taxable goods in the UAE which will be exported, subject to terms and conditions. Eligible tourists may request a refund on the VAT incurred on their purchases, after they validate their purchases at the point of exit. Refunds for already export validated tags can be claimed within one year from the date of export validation.
Operator of the VAT refund system
Planet is the exclusive operator of the tax refund system for tourists which FTA executes in the UAE. Most popular stores are registered with the scheme, and refund is secured on departure via land, sea or air.
How to shop tax-free?
Find out how to shop tax-free in the UAE
Conditions for tourists to claim their VAT refunds
Refunds are not applicable on:
Other conditions to claim refund include:
How to collect VAT refund?
Tourists can collect their refunds through a special device placed at the departure port - airport, seaport or border port. They must submit:
After they submit these documents, tourists can recover the VAT either in cash in UAE dirhams, or have it refunded to their credit card.
Tourists can use this eService from FTA, in cooperation with Planet, to have their VAT reimbursed upon their departure from the UAE.
Note: The tourist will receive 85 per cent of the total VAT amount paid, after the deduction of a fee of AED 4.80 per tax-free tag.
Find out how to track your tax refund.
Find in this ‘Guide to Tax Free Shopping’ (PDF, 416 KB) more information on the following:
More useful links: