UAE conference and event VAT refunds

Thu 17th May 2018

The United Arab Emirates cabinet has approved a change in the law to provide refunds of VAT charged to non-residents businesses by local event organizers. This is generally accepted practice in the EU and many other countries with VAT regimes.

VAT which may be reclaimed includes: entrance fees; sponsorship and advertising; charges for exhibiting; and stands and such facilities. Refunds are provided by licensed organizers of the events lasting no more than seven days.

The measure will provide a boost to the local live event sector, which has developed as a huge international venue for conference and exhibition organizers. The UAE accounts for 50% of all events organized in the Gulf region.

The UAE introduced 5% VAT in January 2018. It is one of only two of the six Gulf Co-operation Council states to have done so since a mutual pact. The other is Saudi Arabia.

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