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UAE approves VAT refund scheme for tourists

The UAE Cabinet has adopted a decision to implement the value added tax (VAT) refund system for tourists, and it will be introduced later this year.

According to a press statement cited by state news agency WAM, 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,” the statement said.

It added that 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 number of passengers through the 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.

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