Since 2018, the UAE introduced a 5% value-added tax (VAT). Still, tourists can shop under the tax-free system and get VAT refunded on goods purchased in the UAE for export abroad. Refunds do not apply to items that were partially or entirely consumed in the country.
How to Issue Tax Refund?
1. Before purchasing, you need to check whether tax-free is issued in this store (all stores that participate in the tax-free system must be marked with a small green sign with a white “Tax Free Planet” inscription).
2. When shopping in a store, ask for tax-free. Please note that the minimum price of the purchase must be 250 dirhams.
3. You must have your passport and give it to a shop assistant who will scan it to enter your data into the payment system.
4. A tax-free tag is stuck on the back of the sales receipt.
5. An electronic tax-free form that must be registered when leaving the UAE will be created.
6. Customers must register tax-free tags within 90 days.
How to Register Exported Goods at Airport?
1. Tourists have to grab their purchases and go to the tax-free offices at Dubai Airport. This must be done prior to check-in and security screening.
2. You must have a purchase receipt, a tax-free receipt, a passport, a credit card, and a boarding pass for registration.
3. At the tax-free counter, officers may ask you to present goods for additional inspection. Here, remember that goods mustn’t be partially used in the UAE, i.e. to avoid problems, it is better to keep purchases packed with tags, etc.).
4. After registration, the tourist will have to choose a convenient way to return the money. Customers can be refunded in cash or non-cash. To make a refund, it is better to have a credit card of international payment systems (for example, Visa or Mastercard).
Is there a Faster Way to Get my Funds Back?
If you are pressed for time, use one of the Planet Payment Self-Service Terminals at Dubai International Airport (DXB) or Al Maktoum International Airport in Dubai World Central (DWC). Scan your invoices, passport, and credit card, and the terminal will automatically issue your refund.
Planet Payment Self-Service Terminals are also available at The Dubai Mall. In the coming months, it is planned to open new terminals in different parts of the city.