95% of UAE retailers to adopt paperless tax-refund for tourists

September 14, 2022 | By RetailME Bureau

The UAE’s Federal Tax Authority has announced the launch of a new paperless VAT refund initiative for tourists shopping in the country. In partnership with Planet, the exclusive operator of the tax refund system for tourists, the redefined tax refund solution is ready to be adopted by retailers across the country.

Seddiqi Holding, Apparel Group, Mohammed Rasool Khoory and Sons, and Dubai Gold and Jewellery Group are among the first to implement the process to offer paperless tax refund to its tourist customers.

Since 2018, tourists could claim refund on the VAT paid on purchases made in the UAE at all ports of entry and exit. However, this system wasn’t exactly hassle-free. “The biggest challenge was that tourists needed to carry a lot of paper, as, in order to redeem the VAT refund, they needed to carry a printed invoice with a sticker that shows the reference number for the refund code. At the airport, this paper would be checked, during a lengthy process,” explained Khalid Ali Al-Bustani, Director-General of UAE FTA.

“We decided that the data must be ready before the tourists arrive, as a measure of pre-emptiveness. We worked on a plan along with Planet to introduce a scheme where merchants (retailers) can automatically link their systems to the tourist refund and the invoices would be generated electronically. We are the first in the world to achieve that,” he added.

The process increases efficiency for both retailers and shoppers, enhances customers’ journeys, and is also more environment-friendly.

“ESG is a buzzword in the corporate world today. This initiative by FTA and Planet is a welcome initiative in truly working towards achieving these ESG goals. UAE is the first to introduce this kind of a technology in this field, staying true to its agenda of incorporating innovation and advanced technologies to benefit the people and world,” said Abdul Salam KP, Dubai Gold and Jewellery Group.

The FTA plans on on-boarding 95% of the retailers in the UAE to implement this paperless tax refund solution within one year. The companies that implement the process will now be issuing e-receipts, which will enable tourists to seamlessly claim their VAT refunds at the airport.

“Apparel is always looking for answers to – ‘how can we deliver better, how can we remove customers’ pain points, and how can we make the customer’s journey seamless?’ I am very excited to be amongst the first to join this initiative and am looking forward to see what’s next,” said Neeraj Tekchandani, Group CEO at Apparel Group.

The process is also in place to be availed by tourists shopping online, but only under the click-and-collect option.

“Two mandates for customers to be able to avail tax-free shopping is that they have to be a tourist and they must be in the country. But when retailers receive an order in the UAE from outside the country, they will be ineligible to avail this. So the process exists for e-commerce but some retailers might choose to integrate it and some might not,” explained Eyad Al Kourdi, General Manager at Planet.



Previous Article Next Article



Lulu Group partners with Amazon expanding grocery offerings to online customers in the UAE

Abu Dhabi based grocery retail chain Lulu Group has partnered with Amazon 

Continue Reading

November 24, 2022 | By RetailME Bureau
Food Tech Valley partners with Tradeling to boost UAE’s food ecosystem

UAE-government-led initiative Food Tech Valley – announced in 2021 by His Highness 

Continue Reading

November 17, 2022 | By RetailME Bureau
Lulu Hypermarket to open in The Dubai Mall in 2023

Abu Dhabi-based supermarket chain Lulu Hypermarket is all set to open in 

Continue Reading

November 10, 2022 | By Rupkatha B
Beyond Meat’s Q3 2022 results “disappointing”

Plant-based meat brand Beyond Meat’s financial results for the third quarter of 

Continue Reading

November 10, 2022 | By RetailME Bureau
Barakat unveils new biodegradable packaging

UAE’s fresh produce brand Barakat has launched bio-degradable packaging across its entire 

Continue Reading

October 27, 2022 | By RetailME Bureau
Pure Harvest CEO Sky Kurtz

UAE-based agritech start-up Pure Harvest Smart Farms has signed a Memorandum of 

Continue Reading

October 27, 2022 | By RetailME Bureau
Carrefour signed up as anchor tenant for Midtown Project

Carrefour, owned and operated by Majid Al Futtaim – Retail in the 

Continue Reading

October 27, 2022 | By RetailME Bureau
Grandiose Supermarket announces country-wide expansion plans

Grandiose Supermarket, part of Ghassan Aboud Group, has announced expansion plan in 

Continue Reading

October 26, 2022 | By Rupkatha B
100 years of Valrhona

The Valrhona journey began 100 years ago with a cocoa bean. Since 

Continue Reading

October 24, 2022 | By Justina Eitzinger
On-demand grocery delivery in 15 mins

Deliveroo UAE has announced the expansion of its rapid grocery delivery service 

Continue Reading

October 24, 2022 | By RetailME Bureau
Mariam bint Mohammed Almheiri, Minister of Climate Change and Environment

The Ministry of Climate Change and Environment (MOCCAE) revealed that the UAE 

Continue Reading

October 17, 2022 | By RetailME Bureau

Abu Dhabi-based leading supermarket chain Lulu Group has appointed investment bankers Moelis 

Continue Reading

October 13, 2022 | By RetailME Bureau

Download Images RetailME Magazine