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UAE conference and event VAT refunds

  • May 17, 2018 | Richard Asquith

UAE conference and event VAT refunds

The United Arab Emirates cabinet has approved a change in the law to provide refunds of VAT charged to non-residents businesses by local event organizers. This is generally accepted practice in the EU and many other countries with VAT regimes.

VAT which may be reclaimed includes: entrance fees; sponsorship and advertising; charges for exhibiting; and stands and such facilities. Refunds are provided by licensed organizers of the events lasting no more than seven days.

The measure will provide a boost to the local live event sector, which has developed as a huge international venue for conference and exhibition organizers. The UAE accounts for 50% of all events organized in the Gulf region.

The UAE introduced 5% VAT in January 2018. It is one of only two of the six Gulf Co-operation Council states to have done so since a mutual pact. The other is Saudi Arabia.

VP Global Indirect Tax
Richard Asquith
VP Global Indirect Tax Richard Asquith
Richard Asquith is VP Global Indirect Tax at Avalara, helping businesses understand their compliance obligations as they grow globally. He is part of the European leadership team which won International Tax Review's 2020 Tax Technology Firm of the Year. Richard trained as an accountant with KPMG in the UK, and went on to work in Hungary, Russia and France with EY.