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UAE tourists can claim VAT refund from 18 November

The UAE Federal Tax Authority (FTA) announced that the tax refund scheme for tourists will come into effect from 18 November, allowing eligible tourists to request refunds of value added tax (VAT) incurred on their purchases. The first phase will see the digital system of the “Tax Refund for Tourists Scheme” implemented at Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah international airports. As of mid-December, the system will be fully operational to include all airports and land and sea ports in the UAE. The authority explained that tax invoices issued starting from 18 November will qualify tourists eligible for a tax refund to reclaim taxes incurred on their purchases. FTA Director General Khalid Ali Al Bustani asserted that more than 4,000 retail outlets across the UAE will be connected electronically to the system, clarifying that only the invoices issued by retail outlets registered in the scheme and connected to the system are eligible for a refund. These eligible outlets can be identified with posters displayed on their storefronts and visible to visitors.