Will VAT be applicable for tourists?
The short answer is yes. The travel and tourism industry is an important part of the UAE’s national economy.
Not all parts of the industry will be subject to the same VAT rates, though. The travel and tourism sector can be broken down into several components, such as luxury, medical, education, meetings, exhibitions, healthcare, education, events and other special interest groups. It is expected that healthcare and education will be zero-rated supplies in the UAE. Meetings, conferences, events, and trade expos, which account for a significant portion the revenue-generating drive of the tourism sector, will be taxable.
Currently, the UAE is doing a feasibility study of a Tourist Refund Scheme where visitors and tourists will be able to claim a refund on VAT paid on certain goods and services purchased in the UAE.