Upcoming updates and Trends regarding VAT Refund in UAE

Upcoming updates and Trends regarding VAT Refund in UAE

The Value Added Tax (VAT) refund system in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has been an integral part of the country’s taxation framework since its introduction in 2018. As the UAE continues to refine and enhance its tax policies. There are several upcoming updates and trends that are poised to shape the future of VAT refunds in the country. From technological advancements to administrative reforms. These developments are aimed at streamlining the refund process. Expanding eligibility criteria, and improving the overall experience for businesses and tourists seeking VAT reimbursement. We will explore the latest updates and trends surrounding VAT refunds in UAE. Providing insights into how these changes will impact individuals, businesses, and the economy.

VAT Refund Services in UAE:

VAT refund services in Dubai refer to the process through which eligible individuals or businesses can reclaim. The Value Added Tax (VAT) they have paid on certain goods or services within the city. The UAE introduced VAT in 2018, and as a tourist-friendly destination. Dubai offers a VAT refund scheme specifically designed for visitors who are not residents of the UAE. This scheme allows tourists to reclaim the VAT paid on their purchases made in Dubai. Ensuring a hassle-free and cost-effective shopping experience. The VAT refund services in Dubai involve submitting the necessary documentation. Such as tax invoices and refund forms, and following the prescribed procedures to claim the refund. These services play a crucial role in attracting tourists, promoting shopping tourism, and supporting the growth of the retail sector in Dubai.

Current VAT Refund Scheme in the UAE:

The current VAT refund scheme in the UAE allows eligible tourists to claim refunds on the Value Added Tax (VAT) paid on their purchases while visiting the country. Here is an outline of the key aspects of the existing VAT refund scheme in the UAE:

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Non-UAE residents: The VAT refund scheme is available for individuals who are not residents of the UAE.
  • Tourist status: Tourists visiting the UAE on a valid tourist visa are eligible for VAT refunds.
  • Departure requirements: Tourists must depart the UAE within 90 days from the date of purchase.

Minimum Purchase Amount:

  • Minimums spend requirement: Tourists must meet a minimum spend threshold on eligible goods purchased from registered retailers to be eligible for VAT refunds.
  • Threshold amount: The minimum spend threshold for each purchase must be AED 250 or more (including VAT).
  • Totals spend requirement: The total spend on eligible purchases during a single visit to the UAE must be AED 2,000 or more (including VAT).

Eligible Goods and Retailers:

  • Retailer participation: VAT refunds are only available for purchases made from retailers registered in the Tax Refund for Tourists Scheme.
  • Eligible goods: VAT refunds can be claimed for eligible goods that are not excluded from the scheme. These goods are typically intended for personal use or consumption by the tourist.
  • Excluded goods: Certain goods, such as tobacco, energy drinks, and goods consumed or used in the UAE, are excluded from the VAT refund scheme.

Refund Procedure:

  • Valid invoices: Tourists need to ensure they obtain valid tax invoices from retailers participating in the VAT refund scheme.
  • Refund request: Tourists can request a VAT refund from the retailer at the point of purchase or at designated refund offices.
  • Verification process: The tax invoices and eligible goods may be subject to verification by customs officials to ensure compliance with the refund scheme requirements.
  • Refund options: VAT refunds can be provided in cash or credited back to the tourist’s credit card, subject to the available options provided by the refund service providers.

It’s important to note that the specifics of the VAT refund scheme may be subject to change over time. Therefore, it’s advisable to consult the official website of the UAE’s Federal Tax Authority (FTA) or the relevant government agencies for the most up-to-date and accurate information on VAT services in UAE.

Tips for Maximizing VAT Refund Claims:

When it comes to maximizing VAT refund claims in the UAE, there are several tips and strategies you can consider. While these tips may vary depending on the specific rules and regulations of the VAT refund scheme in the UAE, here are some general suggestions:

Understand Eligibility Criteria:

Familiarize yourself with the eligibility criteria for VAT refunds in the UAE. Ensure that you meet all the requirements, such as being a non-UAE resident, visiting on a valid tourist visa, and meeting the minimum spending thresholds.

Choose Registered Retailers:

Shop at retailers that are registered in the Tax Refund for Tourists Scheme. Look for the Tax-Free Shopping logo or ask the retailer if they participate in the VAT refund program. Purchases from registered retailers are generally eligible for VAT refunds.

Plan Your Shopping:

Be strategic with your shopping to maximize the VAT refund. Consider consolidating your purchases and making larger transactions to reach the minimum spend threshold required for a refund claim. Keep track of your spending to ensure it meets the required criteria.

Keep Valid Invoices:

Request valid tax invoices for all your purchases from the retailer. Ensure that the invoices clearly display the retailer’s name, address, Tax Registration Number (TRN), invoice date, description of purchased goods, and the VAT amount paid. Valid invoices are crucial for processing VAT refund claims.

Shop Tax-Free Goods:

Some goods, such as certain luxury items or electronics, may have a higher VAT rate or be excluded from VAT refund schemes. Prioritize purchases of goods that are eligible for VAT refunds to maximize your potential refund amount.

Know Refund Procedures:

Understand the refund procedures and options available to you. Familiarize yourself with the in-store refund process or the designated VAT refund office at the departure airport. Follow the instructions provided by the retailer or refund service provider to ensure a smooth refund experience.

Keep Track of Deadlines:

Pay attention to the expiration dates and deadlines for claiming VAT refunds. Ensure that you depart the UAE within the specified timeframe (usually within 90 days from the date of purchase) and submit your refund claim before leaving the country.

Seek Assistance if Needed:

If you have any questions or concerns about VAT refund claims, consider seeking assistance from VAT refund service providers, tax professionals, or customer support provided by the relevant authorities. They can provide guidance and help you navigate the process effectively.

Remember, these tips are general in nature, and it’s important to refer to the specific guidelines provided by the Federal Tax Authority (FTA) or relevant government agencies for accurate and up-to-date information on maximizing VAT in UAE.


SAB AUDITING OF ACCOUNTS can be a preferred choice for VAT refunding in the UAE due to several reasons. First, they have a strong reputation for providing reliable and efficient VAT refund services. With their experience in the industry, they possess a deep understanding of the UAE’s VAT regulations and procedures. Second, SAB AUDITING OF ACCOUNTS offers personalized assistance, guiding clients through the entire refund process and ensuring compliance with all requirements. Their team of experts stays up to date with the latest developments in VAT legislation, ensuring accurate and timely submission of refund claims. Third, their commitment to excellent customer service sets them apart, as they strive to provide prompt responses to client inquiries and address any concerns throughout the refunding process. Overall, choosing SAB AUDITING OF ACCOUNTS can provide a seamless and hassle-free experience for VAT refunding in the UAE.


VAT refund policies and practices in the UAE are subject to change. And it is crucial to stay informed about any updates or upcoming trends. Monitoring official sources such as the Federal Tax Authority (FTA). And relevant government agencies are key to staying up to date with the latest information on VAT refund eligibility, Procedures, and requirements. Considering the tips provided can help maximize VAT refund claims. Including understanding eligibility criteria, shopping at registered retailers, and keeping valid invoices. Planning purchases strategically, and following the refund procedures accurately. When choosing a VAT refund service provider, consider factors such as reputation, expertise, knowledge of VAT regulations, and commitment to customer service.

SAB AUDITING OF ACCOUNTS is mentioned as a potential option. It is important to conduct further research and due diligence to determine the best service provider for your specific needs. Ultimately, staying informed, and following guidelines. And seeking assistance when needed will contribute to a successful VAT refund experience in the UAE.

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