United Arab Emirates VAT 2018

Mon 9th May 2016

As the UAE prepares to launch VAT, the Ministry of Finance has issued further guidelines on its structure.

The main proposals (subject to further change) are below:

  • Potential launch date 1 January 2017
  • 5% VAT rate
  • VAT will be levied on most goods and services
  • Exemptions for some foodstuffs, health and social care services
  • The VAT registration threshold for businesses has yet to be set
  • Reporting will be online
  • Immediate cash repayments will be available for VAT credits
  • Tourists will be subject to the new VAT on their local purchases
  • Businesses sending representatives to the UAE will be able to reclaim any VAT suffered
  • Government bodies and services will be exempted

The UAE is part of the six-country Gulf Cooperation Council. All the countries have agreed to implement a harmonized VAT regime in 2018. The GCC countries are: Qatar, Saudi Arabia