VAT refund for tourists in UAE

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TOURISTS in UAE can refund value added tax from goods they've bought.

DUBAI – If you’re visiting this progressive emirate, don’t worry about the value added tax: it is refundable.

According to Federal Tax Authority’s Khalid Al Bustani, tax refunds for tourists are expected to be finalized soon.

The FTA top official added that Dubai is likely to get a company that will handle the tax refunds to the tourists.

“We have tender for the selection of a tourist refund operator, and we are in the final stages now. We are waiting for the final approval in order to finalize the contract with the operator,” said Al Bustani, who is director-general of FTA.

Tourism is one the linchpins in the United Arab Emirates’ diversification effort since the oil slowdown worldwide.

Acknowledging the critical role that tourism plays in contributing to the country’s economy, Al Bustani said: “Tourism is important to the UAE, and we’re aware of the importance of having a tourism refund.”

He was quick to say, however, that the selection process needed to be professional and transparent.

“To have a tourist refund system, we have to be professional about how we implement this system in accordance with best practice,” Al Bustani added.

Tourists visiting the UAE will be able to claim back value-added tax (VAT) on purchases they make whilst on holiday in the country, according to the FTA’s executive regulations.

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