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How to Claim VAT Tax Refund in Dubai? An Outer View Of Dubai Mall Where Locals And Tourists Are Shown

How to Claim VAT Tax Refund in Dubai?

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Written By Arabiers Digital & Reviewed by Robeena Brown

02 July 2024 | 13 min read

It’s been amazing journey collecting, organizing & publishing UAE travel related information. We often hear our guests says it was some thing useful when I found Arabiers, that give me motivation to sit hours & hours with subject experts to extract right information that are useful but updated. I would love to write some thing that useful for any travelers, Recidents & locals, we at Arabiers trying our level best provide right information & aiming at updating our information page as much as we can, looking forward your feedback.

What is Dubai VAT?

Value Added Tax, or VAT, refers to a tax on consumption added to the price of goods and services at every step of the supply chain, from when the item is first made to when it is sold to the final customer.

VAT is called "Value Added Tax" because it taxes the value added to a product during production and distribution.

Businesses tied to the system and signed up for the "Tax Refund for Tourists Scheme" are the only ones that can get a refund. 

What is Tax-Free Shopping in Dubai?

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In November 2018, the government of the UAE, in partnership with the Federal Tax Authority (FTA), made it possible for some foreign visitors to the nation to legally submit a claim for a refund of the Value-Added Tax (VAT) that they paid on purchases made while they were in the country.

An integrated computerized system, created following the establishment of a 5% VAT levy on purchases in the UAE, makes the procedure possible.
You can only get a VAT return on things you buy that will be shipped outside the UAE during your time in the UAE. is the only company that runs the system and the most well-known company that uses it. The plan aims to make it easy for tourists to get their money back and shop tax-free on their way out of the country by land, sea, or air.

Required Documents & Formalities

Below are the documents you ought to present to claim a VAT refund in Dubai:

  • An original, valid passport or a national ID card issued by the GGC (by the requirements for entering the UAE); copies are not permitted.
  • The original tax invoices, each of which must have a tax refund tag securely connected to it. The name that appears on the receipt must be the same as the name that appears on your travel document.
  • Items that have been purchased (you must show proof of purchase to an employee of Planet positioned at one of Planet's manned validation desks before you check in your luggage).
  • A valid ticket or a booking confirmation showing that you are leaving the UAE (if you are exiting the country by an airport or a seaport).
  • A boarding pass can be printed online if you use the kiosks in hotels or shopping centers.

Note: Once you have validated the tax refund, you ought to leave or depart from Dubai within 6-24 hours.

How Does a VAT Refund Process for Tourists in Dubai Work?

The FTA and global operator Planet collaborated to develop a fully automated system called Planet VAT refund, which helps registered retailers and shoppers breeze through the VAT refund process.

Tourists can get their money back from the Value Added Tax through a streamlined electronic system that links up with over 13,800 participating establishments.

The scheme connects 13 air, land, and sea entrance and exit ports throughout the UAE to further facilitate tax refunds for qualifying buyers.

Here How it Goes:

  • 01   The shopper requests a VAT refund claim and presents the necessary travel documentation (travel passport or GCC National ID card) used to enter the country.
  • 02   The retailer enters the necessary data into Planet's electronic system to issue the claim.
  • 03   The retailer will stick a Tax-Free tag on the back of the original sales receipt presented by the shopper.
  • 04   The Tax-Free tag is scanned to link the purchase to the shopper's GCC National ID card or travel passport.


How Can Travelers to Dubai Claim Back the VAT Charged to their Purchases?

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You have to verify the newly bought items before you leave Dubai. Validation booths can be found all over the airport.

In the United Arab Emirates, every claim has to be checked at one of several validation sites, which are unique checkpoints set up at places where people leave, like airports, seaports, and border lines.

For example, if you are leaving Dubai as a tourist, the process can be done at the counter at Dubai International Airport, where VAT returns are handled.

Note: You should validate the VAT refund if you are ready to leave UAE within the next 6 hours. When you fail to leave within the next 6-24 hours, the VAT refund request will be canceled, and you will have to start the claiming process again.

Here is How it Works:

  • 01   Visit the validation designated point at the airport before you check in your luggage.
  • 02   Go to the counter and show them the original receipts and products bought. The receipts should have the Tax-Free tag. Other documents you need to present are your credit card and passport.
  • 03   You can get the refund via cash or card after successfully validating your purchased goods.
  • 04   The last step is you get the refund processed.

You must know that you will only get 85 % of the total VAT you paid when purchasing the goods. The remaining 15 % PlanetPayment charge is an administration fee.

As per the new regulation introduced by the Federal Tax Authority, you cannot get cash amounts of more than AED 7,000 daily. The cap was imposed in an attempt, so shoppers wouldn't have to use cash as much when making financial deals and so that they could get the most out of the improvements to technology in the country.

There is no limitation on the VAT amount you can recover if it is processed through the credit card.

Note: Every Tax-Free tag must be validated within 90 days of being bought. If this isn't done on time, the Tax-Free tags will expire, and they will not be eligible to make any claims.

VAT Refund Point Locations

You can claim for UAE VAT refund in various locations when exiting the country at the airports, seaports, and land borders in the UAE. You can visit Planet’s self-service kiosks at any of these locations:


  • Abu Dhabi Airport – Common area between all terminals
  • Dubai Airport – Terminal 1, 2, 3, and 3 Business
  • Sharjah Airport
  • Al Maktoum Airport
  • Al Ain Airport
  • Ras Al Khaimah Airport


  • Zayed — Abu Dhabi
  • Port Rashid – Dubai

Land Borders

  • Al Ghuwaifat — At the border with Saudi Arabia
  • Al Ain — At the border with Oman
  • Hatta — At the border with Oman

Channels Working Hours

The manned planets are tax-free at the exit points and are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Equally, the self-service kiosks are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The relevant border authority would set regular operating hours for the manned desk at exit locations like land borders and sea ports.

The standard operating hours apply if the Kiosk located in a shopping mall is not open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.