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Can I Get VAT Refund on Online Purchase in Dubai

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can i get vat refund on online purchase in dubai


Online shopping vat refund: When it comes to VAT rules, the Federal Tax Authority (FTA) initiated to administer a new rule for “Tax-Free Shopping” that’s about the purchase of taxable goods in the UAE that are supposed to be exported for tourists. That’s why there are specific eligibility requirements for requesting & claiming a refund on the VAT incurred on tourists’ purchases.

As purchases are validated at the different points of exit in the UAE. For this reason, refunds are authenticated through export tags that can be claimed within one year only from the initial date of export validation. Hence, these VAT claims are refunded at the time of leaving the UAE whether by air, land or sea. From this point, it’s understandable now that certain goods are only eligible for the VAT refund.

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All taxable goods for tourists are eligible for VAT refund except in two conditions:

  • Goods that were consumed, fully or partly, inside the UAE or any other complementing vehicles whether motor, boats and aircrafts.
  • Other goods that are not accompanied by the tourist at the time of leaving the United Arab Emirates overseas.

How to claim VAT refund in UAE for tourist?

In order to successfully claim VAT refunds in the UAE as a tourist, some steps should be taken into consideration to answer the question of “Can I get VAT refund on online purchase in Dubai after the purchase?”. These steps are:

  • Before purchasing anything, the tourist should request a tax-free purchase that will be valid on a minimum expenditure of 250 AED at the store.
  • For tourists, it’s a must to show or present a valid travel document along to be scanned for appropriate usage on the payment system before purchasing.
  • Therefore, the shop assistant can capture the tourist’s information through the system in order to place the order of ‘tax-free’ tag on the sales receipt.
  • As a result, a digital tax-free form is then created for the tourist that enables him to claim the transaction VAT refund at the point of exit within 90 days of the purchase date.

These steps should be followed rightfully for tourists to avoid the depressing message of “Dubai VAT refund not received”. Additionally, common features are needed for tourists to be applied for VAT refund claim including:

  • The tourist should be at least 18 years old.
  • As well, the goods must be purchased from a certain retailer who’s already participating in the ‘Tax Refund for Tourists’ tag.
  • Moreover, the tourist has to physically present the tax invoice, and the ‘tax-free’ tags alongside with the relevant goods.

That’s why it’s necessary to follow these notes for a successful VAT refund claim.

Understanding “Can I get VAT refund on online purchase in Dubai?”

can i get vat refund on online purchase in dubai

As there are specific requirements that should be applied for all consumers of VAT refund claiming whether tourists or locals or even businesses. These requirements include:

  • Obtaining customs verification approval for the VAT refund within 90 days from the purchase date because customs aren’t verified after 90 days.
  • Possessing the goods when claiming the VAT refund or the required documents for claiming, including the receipts of the purchase.
  • If purchasing online, the exported goods should leave the UAE within 90 days from the date of purchase.

After receiving the receipt through the system at the exit point or even the digital invoice via email, it’s required to scan the QR code on the tax-free label through the shopper portal for claiming tax-free transactions. And that’s how all is done through the process.

Exceptions for “Can I get VAT refund on online purchase in Dubai?”

There are some exceptions for claiming VAT refunds, that are: 

  • Goods that are not accompanied by the original packaging, that’s why if a used smartphone is shipped alone and not accompanied by the original packaging upon leaving the UAE, the whole shipment is not eligible.
  • Goods that are purchased online, and the Tax Free Tag is issued on the same day of the collection date.
  • Goods that are sold to businesses.

Moreover, crew members of a flight or aircraft alongside all the GCC residents are not eligible for the VAT Tourist Tax Refund. Therefore, it’s necessary to take into account all these points in order to claim the refunds successfully.

Collection ways of “Can I get VAT refund on online purchase in Dubai?”

There are different ways of collecting the refunds at the various exit points when leaving the UAE, it’s necessary to make sure being applied for a VAT refund before checking out the luggage. These ways are:


  • Abu Dhabi International Airport 
  • Dubai International Airport at Terminals 1, 2 and 3
  • Sharjah International Airport
  • Al Ain International Airport


  • Port Zayed at Abu Dhabi
  • Port Rashid at Dubai

Land borders

  • Al Ghuwaifat (At the border with Saudi Arabia)
  • Al Madeef (At the border with Oman)

How to claim VAT refund in UAE for business?

how to claim vat refund in uae for business

This happens through avoiding certain requirements that are:

  • Making supplies in the UAE.
  • Operating a business that’s not included in the eligible countries of the FTA.

Moreover, there are some documentations need to be filed for proceeding the process of claiming VAT refunds for businesses, that are:

  • Original certificate of tax compliance.
  • Stamped proof of all tax invoices claimed.
  • Proof of authority for claiming the refunds. 
  • Passport copy.

Now, all is completed for a successful claim of VAT refunds for business that should go through the whole process.

Conclusion: The only answer for “Can I get VAT refund on online purchase in Dubai?”!

After knowing the whole procedures, legalisations, and exemption for claiming the VAT refunds whether for tourist and local individuals or businesses, it’s time now to progress with the applicable shortcut for a successful claim. This progress happens through a specialized professional taxation agency that can proceed with all these procedures at ease.


How to claim VAT refund in Dubai airport?

That happens at the tax-free kiosk for proceeding with the purchased goods. That’s why some documents are needed for inspection during presence at the kiosk, that are: tax invoices, the passport copy, and credit card copy.

How many days does it take for the VAT request?

This request takes up to 9 days for the refund request in order to be processed and the decided amount to be reflected in the account.

Claim your VAT Refunds for Offline and Online Purchases with Alsun Taxation Agency!

We care at Alsun Taxation to provide our clients with the best service possible, and that can happen only through hiring the most qualified accountants, auditors and tax consultants in Dubai and the UAE. As we offer comprehensive VAT services for all FTA laws, that’s why our agency is FTA-Registered to make sure that all our procedures are complied with the legal authorities.

Get an Online Free Consultation Now!

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