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VAT Refund for Tourists
Page last updated:: Tuesday, January 23, 2024
  • Type


  • Service Category

    From Government to People

  • Service Channels

  • Obligation to Sign-up

    Not applicable.

  • Categories of Customers

    All tourists in the UAE.

  • Relevant Publications

  • Sustainable Development Goals

  • Service Card Rating

VAT Refund for Tourists
  • Service Description
    Through this service, the FTA in cooperation with Planet (the service provider for the Tourist Tax Refund Scheme), refunds the VAT to tourists upon departing the UAE.
  • Channels and working hours

    • Planet’s tax-free manned validation desks at exit points:
    24 hours a day, 7 days a week*
    • Self-service Kiosks:
    24 hours a day, 7 days a week**


    * If the manned desk is at exit points such as land borders and sea ports, the standard timings of the location, as determined by the relevant border authority would apply.

    **If the Kiosk was in a location that is not open for 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, such as shopping malls, the standard timings of the location would apply.

  • Service Fees Details
    - AED 4.80 for each tax-free tag - Deduction of 13% from the VAT amount requested
  • Estimated Time to Submit Application
    Manned desks: 5 Minutes, Kiosks: 3 Minutes
  • Estimated Time to Complete Application by the FTA
    Bank Card Refunds: 9 Days, Cash Refunds: 3 Minutes
  • Required Documents and Forms
      • Original valid passport or GGC national ID card (based on the requirements to enter the UAE) – Copies are not accepted.
      • Original tax invoices with the tax refund tag affixed to it. Your name on the receipt should match your name as per your travel document. *
      • Purchased goods (please present your purchased goods to Planet staff located at Planet's manned validation desks before you check in your luggage).
      • Valid ticket or confirmed booking evidencing your departure from the UAE (in cases of departure through air or sea borders).
      • Online boarding pass if using kiosks located at shopping malls or hotels (departure must be within 24 hours).

      *If tax-free transaction is digital (through Planet's POS Issuing 2.0 solution adopted by select merchants), presentation of tax-free tags and original tax invoices is no longer applicable.
  • Procedures and Steps

    1. Purchase of goods eligible for refund from retailers registered under the Tourist Tax Refund Scheme, there are three types of register retailers issuing different kind of tax invoices:
    • A retailer issuing a Paper Tax Invoice and Tax-Free Tag, you need to keep Tax invoice and tax-free tag and present it if required.
    • A retailer issuing Paper Tax Invoice with a Digital Tax-Free Tag (QR code), you need to keep Tax invoice and present it if required.
    • A merchant adopting the Paperless Method by issuing digital Tax Invoice, you can track your tax-free transactions by using Planet Shopper Portal, after your purchasing is completed you will receive a link via SMS that direct you to the shopper portal.
    2. At the time of departure from the UAE, you may initiate validation of your tax-free transactions by scanning your passport or GGC national ID card at the following locations:
    a. Planet's self-service kiosks located at exit points.
    b. Planet's self-service kiosks located at leading shopping malls or hotels (to use self-service kiosks located at leading shopping malls and hotels, an online valid boarding pass where your flight is departing within 24 hours is required to initiate the validation process).
    c. Planet’s tax-free manned validation desks located at UAE's exit points (airports, land borders and sea ports if you are departing within 6 hours).

    Your purchased goods may require inspection by Planet staff which can only be done at Planet's Validation desk located at UAE's exit points.
    3. If inspection is required, please present the tax-free tag(s), original tax invoice(s) and purchased goods at Planet’s validation desks located at UAE's exit points when you are leaving the country.

    4. Upon successful validation of your transactions, select your preferred refund method (Credit Card or WeChat or Cash).

    5. In case if you choose the cash refund, make sure to visit the cash partner (participating currency exchange offices in the Tourist Refund Scheme) after the immigration desk.

  • FAQs

    1. Can a person other than registered passport / GCC national identity card holder initiate or complete the validation process?

    No one other than registered passport / GCC national identity card holder can initiate or complete the validation process.

    2. What is the timeframe within which the validation process must be completed?

    Once tax-free tags are issued, they must be validated within 90 days. The tourist must depart the UAE within 6 hours of completing the validation process. Failure to do so will result in the cancellation of the validation approval, and the validation process will need to be repeated.

    3. Which bank cards are eligible for receiving a refund?

    Refunds may be processed to Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Union Pay cards.

    Refunds processed by Planet to the credit/debit card will normally be in AED.

    The card issuing company or bank determines the foreign exchange rate to be applied on the refund.

    4. What if the card refund amount was not received within 9 calendars days?

    If the card refund is not received within 9 calendars days, the issuing company or bank must be followed up with.

    5. Who can be contacted for any queries?

    You may contact Planet Tax Free's Customer Happiness Centre via email at Tourists@planetpayment.com, or alternatively, on +971 4 586 4700 from 9 AM to 12 AM GST. 

    6. How can I track the request through the Shopper portal?
    • Open your smartphone camera app.
    • Point it at the QR code on the tax-free tag.
    • Open the URL link that appears on your smartphone’s web browser. 
     If your tax-free transaction is issued by a merchant who has adopted the Paperless Tax Free Issuing solution, you will receive an SMS with a URL linked to the Shopper Portal. Click on this link and enter the relevant information to login to the Shopper Portal.

  • Terms & Conditions

    1. The tourist should have entered the UAE on a tourist visa.
    2. You must be 18 years and above and not a resident in the UAE.
    3. The tourist must export validate their tax-free transactions within 90 days from the date of the tax invoice, at the time of their departure from the UAE.
    4. The tourist must physically present the tax invoice, tax free tags and relevant goods, if requested by Planet staff.
    5. Tourists may request a refund within one year from the date of export validating their tax-free transactions.
    6. The maximum amount of cash refund is AED 35,000.
    7. Retailers should be registered with the tourist refund scheme.
    8. A VAT refund is applicable only for the goods that are eligible under the Tourist Refund Scheme.
    9. The goods are not fully/partially consumed in the UAE.

    10. Minimum purchase of AED 250.


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Page last updated: : Tuesday, January 23,2024
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