Tourists who are planning to visit the UAE later this year can get the 5% tax paid on their shopping refunded at the airport. The UAE Cabinet has announced its plan to implement the value added tax (VAT) refund system for tourists. The new system will be integrated between retail outlets with tax refund points from the beginning of the fourth quarter of 2018 to ensure smooth implementation.
According to a press statement, the new tax refund system supports the growth of the tourism sector in the UAE and maintains its position as a global destination for tourists.
"The system will be implemented beginning the fourth quarter of 2018 in cooperation with an international specialised company in tax recovery services," it added.
Non-resident tourists may get a refund VAT on purchases made at participating retailers, provided that such goods are not exempt from the tax system, through designated refund outlets.
VAT was introduced on 1 January this year and is applicable on a range of good and services. However, unlike some other countries, tourists had no option to claim back VAT on their purchases at the airport when flying back at the end of their trip. With this new announcement, this is no longer the case.