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United Arab Emirates VAT 2018

  • May 7, 2016 | Richard Asquith

United Arab Emirates VAT 2018

As the UAE prepares to launch VAT, the Ministry of Finance has issued further guidelines on its structure.

The main proposals (subject to further change) are below:

  • Potential launch date 1 January 2017
  • 5% VAT rate
  • VAT will be levied on most goods and services
  • Exemptions for some foodstuffs, health and social care services
  • The VAT registration threshold for businesses has yet to be set
  • Reporting will be online
  • Immediate cash repayments will be available for VAT credits
  • Tourists will be subject to the new VAT on their local purchases
  • Businesses sending representatives to the UAE will be able to reclaim any VAT suffered
  • Government bodies and services will be exempted

The UAE is part of the six-country Gulf Cooperation Council. All the countries have agreed to implement a harmonized VAT regime in 2018. The GCC countries are: Qatar, 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 can be contacted at: 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.