ABU DHABI / WAM
The UAE Cabinet has adopted a decision to implement the value added tax (VAT) refund system for tourists, which will integrate between retail outlets with tax refund points in line with the government’s efforts to achieve the efficient implementation of the tax system in the UAE.
According to a press statement, the new tax refund system supports the growth of the tourism sector in the UAE and maintain 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 refund VAT on purchases made at participating retailers, provided that such goods are not exempt from the tax system, through designated refund outlets. The tourism sector contributes directly to the local economy. The number of passengers through UAE’s airports reached 123 million passengers in 207, and the total contribution of the tourism sector to the country’s GDP reached 11.3 percent in 2017, equivalent to AED154.1 billion.
Following Cabinet decision, Saif Saeed Ghobash, Under-Secretary of DCT Abu Dhabi, said that the decision will provide “further impetus” to Abu Dhabi’s strategy to position the emirate as “a visitor-friendly destination of distinction.”
In a statement, Ghobash added, “The UAE in general, and Abu Dhabi specifically, will now have this added significant attraction to all types of tourists and business travellers, reinforcing the emirate’s position as a ‘go-to’ destination and further boosting potential visitor numbers.”