UAE VAT on digital and e-services

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) introduced Value Added Tax on 1 January 2018, including imposing compliance and collections obligations on foreign providers of electronic and digital services. This includes marketplaces.

Definition of digital and e-services in UAE

The following services are liable to VAT:

  • Streaming or download media (including video and music)
  • Apps
  • Online gaming
  • Advertising
  • Cloud software and storage

VAT registrations

There is no VAT registration threshold for non-resident providers of e-services. They must register immediately with the Federal Tax Authority.

There is no simplified VAT registration process in UAE; businesses must follow the regular VAT number application process. Foreign business will require a local tax agent to represent them and file returns.

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