Skip to content Skip to Search
Skip navigation

UAE tourist tax refunds rise 14% to 4.2m in 2023

Tax-free shopping for UAE tourists was introduced in the final quarter of 2018 Dubai Tourism
Tax-free shopping for UAE tourists was introduced in the final quarter of 2018

The UAE reported a 14.4 percent rise in tourist tax refund transactions, totalling 4.18 million in 2023.

The average transaction processed reached 11,460 per day, the Federal Tax Authority (FTA) said. No details were given on the total amount refunded.

Tourists and visitors can claim refund on VAT paid on purchases they made during their stay in the UAE.

Nearly 14 million electronic transactions for VAT refunds to tourists have been processed since the system’s inception in November 2018 until the end of 2023, state-run Wam news agency reported, quoting Khalid Ali Al Bustani, director-general of FTA.



The total annual number of electronic transactions executed for tax refunds to tourists has grown continuously in recent years thanks to the recovery in tourism to the UAE, he added.

The network of e-linked retail stores participating in the tourist VAT refund system reached 16,480 by the end of 2023, compared with 10,260 stores in 2020.

Tourist VAT refund procedures are fully automated and completed within two minutes, Al Bustani said.

The number of self-service VAT refund devices increased to 85 in 2023, up from 71 in 2020.

The FTA introduced a 5 percent VAT in January 2018 and launched a 100 percent digital tax-free shopping service for tourists in the final quarter of the same year.

Latest articles

Airport, Terminal, Aircraft

DXB remains world’s busiest international airport

Dubai International (DXB) has maintained its status as the world’s busiest international airport, beating London and Amsterdam, the Airports Council International (ACI), an association of world airports, said in a new report. DXB has secured the top place for the 10th consecutive year, with the number of international passengers reaching nearly 87 million in 2023, […]

Robots on the production line of an EV factory in Guangzhou, China. Saudi Arabia has yet to open its first EV manufacturing facility

EV imports rise in Saudi Arabia, but only to 779 cars

Saudi imports of electric vehicles rose sharply in 2023 – but to a total of just 779 EVs, despite government hopes that it can become a green economy leader through the manufacture and use of electric cars. The kingdom imported only 210 EVs in 2022, showing the mountain it has to climb to realise ambitions […]

Roshn awards $57m contract for Riyadh villa community

The Saudi giga-project Roshn has signed a deal worth more than SAR215 million ($57 million) with Dar Al Arkan, a local developer, to develop a villa community in Riyadh. The two companies signed an agreement allowing Dar Al Arkan to acquire and develop residential villas in the first phase of Sedra. The 35 million sq […]

Revenue of Oman’s luxury hotels rise 18% to $136m

The revenue of Oman’s 3-star to 5-star hotels rose 18 percent to OR52 million ($136 million) by the end of February 2024, compared to OR44 million a year ago. The revenue increase was driven by an 18 percent year on year increase in hotel guest numbers to 433,856 by the end of February, state-run Oman […]