Value-Added Tax to be Implemented in United Arab Emirates

If you plan on visiting the United Arab Emirates in the future, you may be paying an additional five percent on top of what you would already be paying for goods and services — which could possibly include stays at hotel and resort properties; as well as the purchase of airline tickets and admission to popular attractions.

Value-Added Tax to be Implemented in United Arab Emirates

“The six states in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region have agreed to implement VAT, which will generate $25 billion (Dh91.8 billion) in tax proceeds every year”, according to this article written by Cleofe Maceda of Gulf News. “If the initial date for the VAT roll-out is followed, businesses can probably start registering for VAT from 1st October 2017. As announced recently, the registration will be open three months before the go-live date. Companies will have the option to register online.”

Tourism spending is a major source of revenue for the United Arab Emirates — which means that goods purchased by visitors will not be exempted from the value-added tax at the point of sale. That does not mean that the possibility of tourists being given the option to obtain a tax refund in the future — as is observed in other countries — is zero, as that option could be considered.


There are still many questions to be answered pertaining to the exact details of the value-added tax in the United Arab Emirates; but although five percent will not exactly devastate the finances of most people, you should visit the United Arab Emirates as soon as possible to avoid paying that tax — especially if you plan on patronizing the more opulent goods and services offered in Dubai.

With the admission of visiting Burj Khalifa costing as much as 500 United Arab Emirates dirhams as one example — which I would not recommend spending, based on my experience — if the value-added tax were included, the cost would rise to 525 United Arab Emirates dirhams. That roughly extra seven dollars translates to a total of almost $143.00 in United States currency for one person to visit the observation deck on Level 148 — currently the highest observation deck in the world — via a premium experience, which I did.

Photograph ©2015 by Brian Cohen.

One thought on “Value-Added Tax to be Implemented in United Arab Emirates”

  1. Levy Flight says:

    A consequence of falling fossil fuel prices.

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