VAT Refund in the UAE: A Comprehensive Guide | How is the procedure?

You might be eligible for a Value Added Tax (VAT) refund if you’ve recently visited the UAE. Understanding the intricacies of the VAT refund process in the UAE is crucial for travelers seeking to maximize their savings. With a significant 5% increase in VAT in 2018, the UAE Federal Tax Authority (FTA) introduced a VAT refund scheme specifically targeting tourists engaging in digital tax-free shopping services.

What is UAE’s VAT Refund?

Initiated in January 2018, the FTA’s VAT refund program aimed to facilitate tax-free shopping for tourists, particularly during their last moments in the country. This incentive encourages eligible entertainment seekers to claim a refund on the VAT incurred during their shopping sprees.

To be eligible for the VAT refund, tourists must ensure that their shopping transactions align with the criteria set by the FTA. Notably, the most popular stores participating in the scheme are registered in the FTA’s system, ensuring a seamless process for tourists seeking VAT refunds.

Steps to Claim VAT Refund

As an entertainment seeker engaging in shopping activities, it’s essential to be aware of the critical steps involved in claiming your VAT refund:

1. Eligibility Check

Before initiating the VAT refund claim, ensure you meet the following criteria:

  • Residency: You should not be a UAE resident.
  • Departure: You must be departing from the UAE.
  • Minimum Purchase: Each store transaction should be a minimum of AED 250.
  • Age Requirement: You must be at least 18 years old.

Preparing for VAT Refund at the Airport

Before diving into the VAT refund process, it’s essential to scrutinize your luggage for VAT-refundable items. Planate Kioskco Value Determination Point can be your go-to destination to apply for a VAT refund before VAT is refunded.

In Kioskco, beneath your duty-free acquisitions, ensure you have the necessary documentation ready for inspection:

  • Invoices with VAT details,
  • Passport copies,
  • A copy of your credit card transaction about the purchases.

Once you’ve got all your paperwork in order, the next step is to choose your refund methodβ€”either receive a cash refund in UAE Dirham or opt for a refund directly to your credit card or digital wallet.

Choosing Your Refund Method

The flexibility of VAT refund methods is a significant advantage for travelers. Whether you prefer receiving cash in AED (United Arab Emirates Dirham) or having the refund credited to your credit card or digital wallet, the choice is yours.

To streamline the VAT refund application process, you can opt for a cash refund at Planate Kioskco in Dirhams or choose a digital refund to your credit card or digital wallet.

Initiating the Refund Process

Once you’ve made your choice, proceed with the refund initiation. Whether it’s a cash refund or a digital transfer, this step thoroughly examines your VAT refund documents.

Planate Kioskco staff will process your refund request, and within nine days, you can expect the funds to be credited to your account.

Understanding the Refund Amount

For items tagged with a 4.80 Dirham fee for the “Tax-Free” label, travelers are eligible for an 85% refund on the total VAT after deducting the applicable fee. This means that after the deduction, you will receive 85% of the total VAT paid on your eligible purchases.


In conclusion, navigating the VAT refund process at the airport can be lucrative for travelers. You can maximize your refund potential by being aware of the necessary steps and preparing the required documents in advance. Remember, the key is to choose the refund method that suits your preferences and lifestyle, ensuring a seamless and rewarding experience.


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Authorized Content Writer in News Gulf Online News Portal Website Since 2019.

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