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How to Claim VAT Refund in UAE 2024?

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How to claim vat refund in Dubai, UAE
Shuraa Tax Consultant June 20, 2024

You can reclaim 85% of the VAT you paid through the VAT Refund in Dubai and UAE. This process does not incur the AED 4.80 cost of each Tax-Free Dubai Tag. The VAT Refund Procedure automatically calculates the total refund amount. It helps to ease the process for travellers and businesses. This scheme is designed to make it easier for visitors and residents to recover a significant portion.

Understanding the intricacies of this procedure can maximise your refund potential and ensure compliance with UAE regulations. In this blog, Shuraa Text will provide a comprehensive guide to claiming your VAT refund in the UAE for 2024.

From the eligibility criteria and documentation requirements to the step-by-step process of filing your claim. Stay informed and fully utilise the VAT Refund Scheme to recover your expenses effectively.

What is VAT?

Dubai VAT (Value Added Tax) is a consumption tax introduced by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) government on January 1, 2018, at a standard rate of 5%. It is levied on most goods and services at each stage of production or distribution, forming part of a broader strategy to diversify the UAE’s revenue sources away from oil dependency.

The tax applies to a wide range of goods and services, although certain items are zero-rated, such as exports and international transportation. In contrast, others, like specific financial services and residential properties, are exempt.

Businesses must register for VAT if their taxable supplies and imports exceed AED 375,000 per annum, with voluntary registration available for those exceeding AED 187,500. This tax regime aims to create a more sustainable economic model for the UAE.

How to claim a VAT Refund in UAE for tourists?

Tourists can claim a VAT Refund in UAE through a system developed by the Federal Tax Authority (FTA) in collaboration with global operator Planet. The Planet VAT Refund system is fully automated, allowing tourists to get their VAT refunds quickly. To use this service, tourists must shop at one of the 13,800.

It can also participate retailers and request a Tax-Free tag when purchasing. This electronic system connects various entry and exit points across the UAE. It includes 13 airports, land borders, and seaports.

When departing the UAE, tourists can visit a refund kiosk at the airport, border, or port and present their purchases. This will help them receive their VAT refund. This efficient process ensures that tourists can quickly recover the VAT they paid on their purchases.

How to Request a VAT Refund in Dubai, UAE  

To request and claim a VAT Refund in UAE, log in to the EmaraTax portal and request a VAT Refund form. Fill in the necessary details on the form and submit the required documents. Following these steps will help you request a VAT refund in UAE:

Step 1: Sign in to EmaraTax

  • Access your EmaraTax account using your login credentials or UAE Pass.
  • If you do not have an EmaraTax account, click the signup button to create one.
  • Upon successful login. You will be directed to your User Dashboard.

Step 2: Request the VAT Refund form

  • Choose the user type as Taxable Person.
  • Then click on the proceed button to access the Home page by clicking the View button.
  • You can select ‘Tax Agents’, ‘ Tax Agencies’, and ‘Special Refunds’ if applicable.
  • Direct to the VAT Module in the left sidebar.
click on VAT
  • Click on “New” to create a new VAT Refund Request. You can view your previous VAT 311 refund requests.
  • Use the ellipsis icon to edit the Refund request.
  • Initiate your refund by clicking the “New Refund Request” button.
  • Confirm your understanding of the instructions and guidelines by clicking ‘Next’.
  • Initiate the Refund request process by clicking on the Start button.
initiate vat refund by clicking new refund request button

Step 3: Fill in the necessary VAT Refund in UAE

  • Verify your bank details before submitting the form.
  • Enter the refund amount, ensuring it does not exceed the “Excess Refundable VAT Amount.”
  • Click on ‘Add Supporting Details’ to view the corresponding VAT refund.
  • Tap on the download button to download the template. Fill it out.
  • Then upload the completed template.
tap on the download button to download the template
  • Use the edit button to enter contact information and VAT supplies.
  • Click on the add button to upload the required document.
  • It will turn green upon successful upload.
upload bank details
  • Click the “Add Transaction” button to input transaction details.
  • Then click “Add Transaction” to confirm.
  • Use the ‘Save and Back’ button to save your progress.
  • Click ‘Next’ to proceed to the completed Refund Request. You can review it before submission.
  • Review each section by clicking on the respective step.

After filling out the VAT refund form. Mark the checkbox to confirm your agreement with the terms and conditions before submitting it using the ‘Submit’ button. Make sure to note down the application number provided upon submission for future reference.

Once successfully submitted, you can conveniently access and manage your refund request. This process makes sure that your VAT refund application is processed efficiently and by UAE tax regulations, allowing you to track its progress and manage any further actions as needed.

Documents required for claiming VAT Refund in UAE

The documents required for claiming a VAT Refund in UAE include:

  • Top five tax invoices for outputs, sales, and other transactions.
  • Supporting evidence for excess credit refunds or erroneous payments.
  • Top five tax invoices for standard-rated purchases.
  • Bank account validation letter (for foreign banks).
  • Top five tax invoices for untaxed sales (with export evidence if applicable).

Steps to Update the Bank Details in VAT Refund Request

To update bank details in your VAT refund request:

  • Follow the initial steps for applying for a VAT refund on the EmaraTax dashboard up to Step
  • Identify the application entry marked with the status ‘Payment Failed’.
  • Click on the ellipsis (…) and choose the ‘Update Bank Details’ option.
  • Select “Enable Editing” to make the bank details section editable.
update bank details
  • Enter all required bank details.
  • Upload the necessary document.
  • Click the “Next Step” button to proceed.
  • Follow the same application steps as when applying for a VAT refund on EmaraTax.

VAT Refunds for Non-Tax Residents in the UAE

VAT refunds for non-tax residents of the UAE are available at Abu Dhabi International Airport. The UAE Federal Tax Authority announced this initiative on November 18, 2018. Current regulations allow GCC nationals and other non-residents of the UAE to benefit from Tax-Free Shopping.

This includes purchasing goods in the UAE for export, subject to specific limits and conditions. Customers who comply with regional regulations and authenticate their purchases may qualify for refunds on eligible goods.

Process of VAT Refund for Non-Tax Residents in the UAE

The process of VAT Refund for Non-Tax Residents in the UAE is as follows:

  • Present a valid passport to make a tax-free purchase as a tourist.
  • Shop employees record tourist information using the system.
  • Affix the Tax-Free sticker to the back of the sales receipt.
  • Visitors must authenticate the purchase at the airport, where a Tax-Free digital form has been prepared.

What is the Refund Period?

You must validate your tax-free tag within 90 days from the date of purchase. For example, a form issued on January 1 remains valid until April 1. Kindly validate within this period to avoid the expiration of the Tax-Free tag, which will make you ineligible to claim the VAT refund.

Collecting Your VAT Refund in UAE

To collect your VAT refund in UAE, follow these steps:

  • Bring the items and the receipt to the airport with you.
  • Visit a validation station where your purchases and receipts will be verified.
  • Choose your preferred refund method. You may undergo a secondary validation check and must present your goods for inspection.
  • Each traveller can receive a maximum of 10,000 AED in cash for cash refunds. Amounts exceeding this limit must be refunded via credit or debit card.

Terms and Conditions for VAT Refund

To claim a VAT refund:

  • You must be at least 18 years old and not a UAE resident.
  • You must enter the UAE with a tourist visa.
  • Have your tax invoice, tax-free tags, and purchased items ready if requested by Planet staff.
  • Validate your tax-free transactions within 90 days of receiving the tax invoice before leaving the UAE.
  • Retailers must be registered with the tourist refund scheme.
  • You can request a refund within one year of validating your tax-free transactions for export. With a maximum cash refund limit of AED 35,000.
  • VAT refunds apply only to items under the Tourist Refund Scheme.
  • The minimum purchase amount eligible for a refund is AED 250.
  • Ensure purchased items are not consumed fully or partially while in the UAE.
  • Perishable items used in the UAE.
  1. Services.
  2. Items used within the UAE are not in the original packaging.
  3. Items not in possession upon departure.
  4. Motor vehicles, watercraft, and aeroplanes.
  5. Internet purchases.

Goods for which VAT is not refundable include:

  • Products consumed, either wholly or partially, within the UAE.
  • Items such as cars, boats, airplanes, and other goods intended solely for use within the UAE, are left behind by tourists before departing the country.

VAT Refund Point Locations in the UAE

VAT refund points are available at various locations across the UAE when exiting the country, including airports, seaports, and land borders. Visit Planet’s self-service kiosks at the following locations:


  • Zayed Port, Abu Dhabi
  • Port Rashid, Dubai


  • Dubai Airport (Terminals 1, 2, 3, and 3 Business)
  • Abu Dhabi Airport (common area between all terminals)
  • Al Maktoum Airport
  • Ras Al Khaimah Airport
  • Sharjah Airport
  • Al Ain Airport

Land Borders

  • Hatta (border with Oman)
  • Al Ain (border with Oman)
  • Al Ghuwaifat (border with Saudi Arabia)

Read more: VAT Refund Dubai for Tourists

VAT Refund Services in UAE with Shuraa Tax

Shuraa Tax is one of the experienced VAT consultants in Dubai. Which focuses on providing VAT refund services to businesses and business tourists across the UAE. Our team assists companies in identifying eligible expenses and preparing the required documentation for VAT refund claims.

Claiming a VAT refund can often be intricate and time-consuming, but with our expertise, businesses can be assured of a streamlined and accurate process. Contact us today at +971508912062 or to learn more about how we can help with your VAT refund needs.


Q1. When Should Validation be Done?

You must validate your tax-free tags within 90 days of receiving them. Additionally, you must depart the UAE within 6 hours of validation. Failure to do so will result in the validation approval being cancelled, requiring you to restart the process.

Q2. Who Can Validate the Process?

Only the individual whose name appears on the registered passport or GCC national identity card can initiate or complete the validation process. No third party is permitted to do this on their behalf.

Q3. What if I Don’t Receive the Refund in 9 Days?

If you have not received your refund within nine calendar days, it is advisable to contact your card issuer or bank promptly to inquire about its status.

Q4. Which Cards Can Receive Refunds?

Refunds can be credited to Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and UnionPay cards. Refunds are typically processed in the local currency (AED), with the exchange rate determined by your bank or card issuer.

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