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VAT refund


VAT Refund

The UAE Federal Tax Authority announced the start on 18/11/2018 the tax refund for eligible tourists to recover the value added tax paid on their purchases while leaving through Abu Dhabi International Airport.

Anybody who is not a resident of the UAE is eligible for Tax Free shopping, therefore under the current rules GCC Nationals are eligible.

Tax Free shopping is the purchasing of goods in the UAE which will be exported (subject to terms and conditions). Shoppers can obtain a refund on the VAT on these items, providing that they validate their purchases according to local rules.

The UAE Federal Tax Authority introduced a VAT of 5% in January 2018.

How does it work?

  • A tourist can request a Tax Free purchase, and must present a valid passport
  • The shop assistant captures tourist information using the Planet system
  • The shop assistant then places the Tax Free tag on the back of the sales receipt
  • A digital Tax Free form is then created
  • The tourist must validate the transaction at the airport.

Is there a time limit?

  • Your tax free tag needs to be validated within 90 days of the purchase date. For instance: a form issued on 1st of January is valid until 1st of April. If this is not done, the Tax Free tag expires, and the VAT cannot be claimed anymore

How do I collect my refund?

  • The tourist takes goods and tagged receipt to the airport. The tourist goes to a Planet validation point. Tax refund service counters in Abu Dhabi International Airport are available in three different Locations:
    • T1 next to Etihad Airways Transfer Desks (After Immigration).
    • T1 next to Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank (Before Immigration).
    • T3 opposite Costa Coffee (After Immigration).
  • Once validated, the tourist chooses a refund method. (Please note that the tourist may be subjected to a further validation check and may need to produce the goods for inspection).
  • Planet processes the refund.
    • Cash (maximum refund amount as cash is 10,000 AED per tourist. Any additional value over this amount must be paid to a credit/debit card).
    • Credit or debit card.

Certain Taxable goods are not eligible for refund including:

1) Goods that have been consumed, fully or partly, in the UAE or any Emirate.

2) Motor vehicles, boats and aircraft.

3) Goods that are not accompanied by the overseas Tourist at the time of leaving the UAE.

If you have any queries or to learn more, visit the official website or visit the Planet International website operating at or call +971 (0)4 586 4700